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I need some breast feeding experts.... Am I physically unable?

(11 Posts)
Ellevan Mon 13-May-13 00:02:27

I'm 33 weeks pregnant with my second child and had a breast reduction 10 years ago. I contracted a hospital infection after the surgery and so it ended up being revised 5 times.

I was told that I would be unable to breast feed following this and with my first child didn't try. I had an ELCS and after going home three days later, took off my bra to find it stained yellowish (hardly any, less than a 1p) and thought it would be too late / must be normal to leak a tiny bit and my baby had already been ff for three days so just continued.

I've just had a bath and noticed tiny hard white dots on my nipples... Is this normal? Is this something to do with milk coming in?

I'd really appreciate some advice, I feel a bit embarrassed to ask my midwife and maybe it's totally normal for this to happen but wouldn't result in being able to feed?

Ellevan Mon 13-May-13 00:03:02

Title should say am I able!

GibberTheMonkey Mon 13-May-13 00:15:51

I'm no expert but doesn't it depend on how they did the op in the first place (what was cut etc). It does sound positive so I would definitely carry on looking into it
Good luck smile

You might manage to at least partly bf, try kellymom see if they have info.

raisinggirls Mon 13-May-13 00:33:14

There is a BRILLIANT American woman who speaks on this very topic. I can't remember her name but will try to google for you. Maybe Jocelyn somebody? will come back...

Also Diana West's book "Defining your own success - breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery" is one to put on your reading list.

raisinggirls Mon 13-May-13 00:35:35

might have to be tomorrow - I have a copy of some notes from a talk at the ABM conference last year, but they are under the bed and I don't want to wake DH!

The short answer is that you might be able to breastfeed, you just need to do a bit of research first. smile

Midori1999 Mon 13-May-13 08:02:49

It does sound like you have produced/are producing some colostrum/milk. The only way you would really know is by trying. I think that most women who have had a reduction (and I appreciate you also had serious complications) can at least partially breastfeed though.

raisinggirls Mon 13-May-13 09:22:07

Jolene Slothouber Galbreath

But I can't find anything relevant on her online. I might see if I can tweet this thread to her (oo er technology!). She was a brilliant speaker, and has personal experience of this. smile

nannyl Mon 13-May-13 13:58:58

I have a friend who had similar surgary but was determined to try.

she breast fed, and then topped up with formula, then breast fed again at each feed (and expresesed a couple of times a day) for 6m (and once she even got nearly 1 oz of milk rather than a few drops)

her new baby is now 3 weeks old, and second time round (she only has a 19m gap) BFing is working even better and she is making lots more milk.

I take my hat off to her..... it took her weeks of using a pump to get any milk at all, and baby was nearly 3m, before she got a squirt, but she was absolutely determined and kept trying at every single feed, always.

lucysnowe Mon 13-May-13 14:07:06

When you say 'revised 5 times', do you mean that you had to have surgery a further five times? In which case maybe quite a lot of breast tissue was taken away. However, this wouldn't make it impossible to feed. It depends also on whether they re-sized and re-placed your nipples, again that can cause problems with supply and also leave you with very sore nips smile). But it's always worth a try, even just in hosp, and even with the baby sucking for comfort while you mainly FF. I don't think you should worry about talking to the midwife now or in hospital; the only thing is IME that they tend not to be very conversant with the problems of BF after a reduction.

Slw8000 Mon 13-May-13 14:32:44

All sounds really positive, it all depends on how they did the operations. No one will be able to tell you until you have the baby & see if your milk comes in.
I would suggest you try to 'harvest' some milk from about 36 weeks by hand expressing into a small sterile container. You may only get a few drops or nothing at first but keep it up. Anything you collect can be kept in fridge for 48 hours so you can keep adding to it and then frozen for 3 months.
Do talk to your midwife, you don't have to give all the details but just explain that you want to give it a try this time but are concerned. The trust she works for will probably have an infant feeding specialist midwife who will be able to help and advise you. Don't feel too shy to ask, there is lots of help and midwives are really supportive if women who want to breast feed (it's good for there statistics!).
Good luck

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