Breastfeeding after a mastectomy

Breastfeeding after a mastectomy

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Can I breastfeed after a single mastectomy?

Yes. If you've had a single (unilateral) mastectomy, you can breastfeed from the other breast. Many women produce enough – or nearly enough – milk for their baby with just one breast.

In the first few weeks, frequent nursing combined with pumping after each nursing session can help boost your milk production. You can also supplement with formula.

A mastectomy is a major life change. Nursing your newborn from your remaining breast, especially if milk production isn't fully meeting your baby's needs, may bring up difficult feelings. But it can also be very empowering.

Can I breastfeed after I've had a double mastectomy?

No. If you've had a double (bilateral) mastectomy, you won't be able to breastfeed because there's no breast tissue remaining to produce milk. If you experience what you think is milk production after a nipple-sparing mastectomy, consult with your surgeon and oncologist about the possible presence of residual breast tissue.

If you're a young patient with unilateral breast cancer and plan to have children after treatment, consider deferring an other-breast (contralateral) preventative (prophylactic) mastectomy, if you're planning to have one, until you complete childbearing.

How can I prepare to breastfeed after a single mastectomy?

It's a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider and a lactation consultant before your due date. They can help you explore your options and arrange for supplies and assistance.

Whatever you plans are, be sure to notify the physician and hospital staff before you deliver your baby. Making your wishes – and your situation – clear will prevent repeated explanations of what you are doing and why. It will also help ensure that you get whatever help you need establishing feeding once your baby arrives.

Read more about breastfeeding and cancer.

Watch the video: Dr. Cassileth Performs Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation After Breast Reconstruction (June 2022).


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