Breast Reduction — Don’t Think So!

Although you can’t tell it from my head-shot, I would say I’m, um, “blessed” enough to qualify for a breast reduction should I want one. I don’t, for a number of reasons.

[Also, if you don’t have large breasts, you may be tempted to be envious of those of us who do. Don’t. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It would be nice to be able to walk into a clothing store and not worry about finding a shirt that either doesn’t button up the front; or that buttons up the front, but doesn’t gape. It would also be nice to wear the same size in top and bottom. I hate bra-shopping, because it’s almost impossible to find a good bra that’s comfortable for longer than a few hours. It seems that most bra manufacturers design bras for the average woman in mind, and then just add extra fabric to accommodate larger sizes. HAH! So, I just get them from Enell. They are comfortable and supportive. Most of my friends would have a drawer full of pretty bras of all different fabric types and designs; I counted myself lucky to find one that fit. Forget “Victoria’s Secret”! They only stock certain bra sizes — only up to, I think 38C, or perhaps 40C, and the biggest D size you could get was 36. I guess that’s their only definition of sexy. :-/ Also, I was always suspicious of whether guys were attracted to me or to them. Sometimes it wasn’t hard to tell with certain Mr. Wandering-Eyes! And finally — “the bigger they are, the harder they fall!”]

So, with all that I could say negatively against having large breasts, why wouldn’t I get a breast reduction? For many reasons! One would certainly be money. I don’t just have spare cash floating around to use on cosmetic surgery. But, let’s say I won the lottery or something… Nope! Still wouldn’t!

I’ve seen the surgery done several years ago on some cable channel (probably Discovery Health), and, well, let’s just say I sat there with my arms crossed over my chest in a protective fashion for nearly the entire duration of the show. Basically, they stuck a fat-melting-and-sucking rod into the breast and jiggled it around, back and forth, and in and out — making me cringe. Then, there was too much skin on the breast when they were done, and the woman would just end up with saggy boobs, so they had to do a breast lift or tuck. This involved (take a deep breath, everyone) cutting off the areola, drawing together the skin from both the upper and lower part of the breast, so that it wouldn’t sag, then sewing the areola back onto the breast. I don’t know if this is still the typical way it’s done, but the thought of it just makes me hurt vicariously. And the recovery is quite painful and long, as well. But that’s not the biggest reason.

The biggest reason is, quite frankly, the likelihood that I could not breastfeed future children, should I have any more. One of the blogs I read is by a woman who among other things had a breast reduction many years ago, prior to having children. She was very prepared that she wouldn’t be able to breastfeed when she finally had her son, because her doctor had warned her that she had only a 30% likelihood of being able to nurse her own babies due to the surgery. I just don’t think I could take that risk. Having nursed my two children, it would be extremely hard on me emotionally if I could not breastfeed any other children I might have — and made that much worse by knowing that it was due to some choice of mine, something elective that I did not need to have done. Yes, most babies don’t suffer ill effects from formula; yes you can still snuggle your baby even if you don’t breastfeed… but it just doesn’t seem the same to me. And it wasn’t for this other blogger either.

She was prepared for nursing not to work, but she wanted to try, just to see if she could. I’ve heard of other women who have had breast reductions, and were able to partially but not completely breastfeed. I’m not sure if that percentage of women who can breastfeed after a reduction includes only those who can completely breastfeed their children, or all women who have at least some retained ability to produce milk are included in that 30% figure. From what I understand, the reduction process (either the liposuction or removing the areola, or both) can interfere with the ability to breastfeed either by destroying the milk glands themselves, or destroying or “rerouting” the ducts that transport the milk from the glands to the areola. In the first instance, not enough milk would be produced; in the second, the milk would be produced, but could not reach the baby. So, it seems that some women who have a breast reduction will have some parts of the milk-producing or -transporting system be destroyed or compromised, but others will still be intact.

This blogger I’m referring to was able to breastfeed. Exclusively breastfeed. She went from expecting to have to feed her baby only formula, to being able to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, and intended on breastfeeding him at least partially until he was twelve months old. She spoke most eloquently of the joy and satisfaction she found in breastfeeding, and particularly the pleasure of him contentedly nursing, needing nothing more than the comfort and milk she gave him. I would miss that. And I don’t want to.


10 Responses

  1. Right there with you! After having breastfed my 22-month-old and still going strong, I feel like there is no other way for us. I absolutely love breastfeeding. Right there with you about the bras too! I found very comfortable nursing bras at Motherhood Maternity, but I don’t know what will happen when it is time to get regular bras! I’ll check out the website you mentioned – thanks!

  2. Well being an aerodynamic woman (no wind resistance!) I have had the other problem. Breast that are c cup are a good fashion accessory. But really that is it. I would advise women to wait until they are done having children before a redux or an insertion. Because last I checked, the only way to know if you can exclusively breast feed your child after these operations is through trial and error. ::Leaves a lot to chance. Too bad we were not all made with small hips and c cups? But we are not! So I guess we must deal with it.

    funny a very good friend of mine just had a redux. She was a 38F. I didn’t know that was possible. I am thrilled if I fit into a B. But then again, aerodynamic!

    • “Aerodynamic “– I like that! But “woman”? — you’re a 300-lb gay convict — of course you are an A-cup, unless you’re one of those guys with man-boobs. 😉

      My dad had a saying, “As a rule, man’s a fool; when it’s hot, he wants it cool. When it’s cool, he wants it hot. He always wants it what it’s not!” I don’t know anybody who is satisfied with her own breast size — or if she’s fine with her breasts, is dissatisfied with her hips, thighs, height, hair color, etc.

      Sometimes I joke that I’d like to donate some of my boobs to a woman who needs or will appreciate them — then she’ll be bigger and I’ll be smaller, and we’ll both be happy.

      I wasn’t sure if a breast enlargement caused similar problems — I thought it might, but wasn’t sure if the thing they put in to “enhance” the breasts interfered or not. I thought perhaps they put it behind the mammary apparatus and it might not interfere.

      When I measured myself for a nursing bra after having Seth, I was an “I” cup. I forget the band size. I tend to gain and lose weight up top first, so having had pregnancy gain, plus the milk production, it was seriously bad.

      • A friend of mine is recovering from a reduction right now and I volunteered to come with her to the hospital and take some of her… er… “excess.”

        She thought for ages about this and went back and forth, but the reality of her chronic back pain made the choice for her: it was either keep the breasts and definitely be able to bf but be unable to HOLD the baby for any length of time, or get rid of the breasts and maybe be able to bf, but actually be able to hold and carry and cuddle the baby. So really, she made the only logical choice!

  3. New website

  4. Here’s one blogger who successfully breastfed her 2nd baby after 2 breast reductionsand being unable to feed her first:

    • Thanks for that link! It was really cool to hear her story. I’m so glad she is able to b/f her baby, and to hear how it makes her feel.

  5. I have had friend who had breast reductions. They were painfully large, with chronic back pain and indentations in their clavicles from the weight of their bra straps. They were very happy they had the surgery, but all waited until after children.

    As for me, my cup size barely makes it in the alphabet, and I am not talking toward the “Z” end of the alphabet! But don’t assume us small on top ladies, fit into the same size top as bottom. My butt needs it’s own zip code. Basically, I am a weeble-wobble!

    • LOL! — Oh, too funny!

      You got me — I’m too fixated on my own personal imbalance to think of the reverse type of imbalance. 🙂

  6. Having a breast reduction is a big step , but it all depends on how comfortable you feel having those big breasts and if they restrict you from doing the things you want to do as for the fear of breast feeding your children then all I can say is have your children first and then if you still feel you need a breast reduction then go ahead a do it.

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