Sorry, this is quite complicated with lots of ifs and buits, but I am very upset and really need some advice.
I posted the other day. thinking I might be getting mastitis for the 4th time. However, sadly it seems things might be worse.
It's looking like I might need breast surgery, to eithe rone or both breats. However, I really, really don't want to stop BF my 3 month old daughter. I would delay surgery if I can, but ideally I had hoped to BF until 2 years old or self weaning if it came later than that and I'm not sure I can delay it that long. I had hoped to donate milk, but won't be able to now and so I have some milk in the freezer and am expressing to add to that.
In order to have the surgery I will need my milk to dry up. If I only need surgery to one breast, can I allow one side only to dry up (will it even?) and still feed from the other side? If so, I was thinking I could use my stored milk around the time of surgery and then resume feeding from the not operated on side ASAP.
If I do need surgery to both breasts, how long will it take to dry my milk up? Does anyone know how long after the surgery I might expect to be able to BF again? ( I appreciate I probably need to ask my surgeon this last one). Is it completely unrealistic to think I can have surgery and then re-lactate several weeks/months later and the resume BF?
I'm sorry if these seem like silly questions, but BF didn't work out with my previous DC and this is probably my last child and it means so much for me to be able to successfully feed her, I am struggling to come to terms with what might happen.
Oh Midori, that sounds like such a difficult situation. The only thing I can think of is to find a IBCLC as soon as you can to go through the medical stuff with you. I would also try to find a breastfeeding counsellor to go through the emotional stuff, is there a LLL near you? Or NCT? I would pull out all the stops and see what info you can get via phone or email, even if it's not local.
These are not silly questions at all, breastfeeding is important to you and should be taken into consideration by the doctors I think.
Best of luck to you, I really hope you can find some help and find a way to work through this <also holds Midori's hand>
Second the support and suggestions....and would add that yes, feeding one sided is possible and many women end up doing it. You would need to stop feeding on one side, gradually, so the production slows down and then stops.
There might still be some milk in the non-used breast for a while but this might not matter - your surgeon would have to discuss it with you.
I'm sure I remember reading about mother(s) who had an abscess excised/drained, the wound was packed but left open and they bfed even off the side with the open wound (obviously they had to be careful about little grabby baby hands though).
Can I find it now - of course not. Sorry not a great deal of help but perhaps it might jog someones memory <ever hopeful>
I really think a good course of action would be to contact a IBCLC and find out your options.