Nipple reduction has become a popular surgical procedure over the last few years. The procedure is meant to alter the shape and size of the nipple, boosting a patient’s overall appearance. But if you’re considering having kids, you may wonder whether you can still breastfeed after the surgery. Keep reading to find out.
Understanding the Process of Nipple Reduction
Just like the name suggests, this procedure aims to reduce your nipple size. It can reduce the circumference of the nipple as well as how far it protrudes. Some of the reasons people undergo this procedure include the following:
- Nipples are too big or long
- Nipples are extremely visible underneath clothing
- Sagging nipples
- Damaged or stretches nipples
- Areolae are too large
- Asymmetrical nipples
This procedure is often performed alongside breast augmentation, lift, or reduction. During the surgery, the doctor removes excess nipple tissue and combines the remaining part. This can reduce the circumference of the areola and nipple.
Does Nipple Reduction Reduce Breastfeeding Ability?
The main concern with any type of breast procedure is the ability to breastfeed. Many women worry that the surgery will damage the milk ducts preventing them from breastfeeding. However, this isn’t common. As Dr. Joel Aronowitz suggests, work with board-certified plastic surgeons. They try to preserve the milk ducts and ensure you can breastfeed successfully after the procedure.
Most women’s milk supply isn’t affected, and they can produce the full amount, although some may produce less.
Breastfeeding After a Nipple Reduction
After any surgical procedure, doctors advise patients to rest. Why? To allow the body to heal. The same applies to this type of procedure. It’s advisable to wait for about three years before getting pregnant if you plan to breastfeed your child. This period allows the damaged tissue to heal and recover completely. This is why most people considering this procedure get kids first, then the surgery later.
If you become pregnant after the procedure, inform your healthcare provider. They can refer you to a consultant who can help if you experience milk supply issues. Also, there are supplemental nursing options to help women in such positions.
How to Improve Your Ability to Breastfeed After Nipple Reduction
If you’re worried about breastfeeding after the procedure, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of producing enough milk. Aside from waiting for three years, get advice from a lactation consultant. Also, you can increase your milk supply through frequent nursing, skin-to-skin contact, and manual expression.
How You Can Supplement Breastfeeding
You can supplement breast milk with formula. Also, consider supplemental nursing systems which help supplement breast milk. These devices combine breastfeeding and formula feeding. The baby is sucking milk from a tube connected to the breast while also sucking the breast to stimulate milk production.
As you have read, breastfeeding is still possible, even after nipple reduction surgery. Therefore, if you have been thinking of undergoing the procedure but weren’t sure if you can still breastfeed, now you know you can.