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At age 19, after years of frustration with my ever growing breasts ( 34 DDDD) and an inability to find clothes or bras that fit my body correctly (even with the help of a seamstress and professional bra fittings), I did much research on reduction with the help of my family. I almost decided against surgery because of my future desire to breastfeed.

At 29, I now have a 4 month old who receives both breastmilk and formula. I spoke to many doctors before and during my pregnancy who were not sure if I would be able to breastfeed. To my surprise my colostrum came in a few weeks before my baby was born. My pediatrician was supportive but sceptical of my ability to breastfeed because his wife had also had a reduction. While in the hospital I spoke to 2 lactation consultants and was given a supplemental feeder. Over the first 2 months I used the supplemental feeder, pumped, took herbal supplements, and prescription medications to increase my lactation.

At my baby's first week check up after using the supplemental feeder, my pediatrician was pleased to note that my baby had regained up to her birth weight. By the following week my baby had maintained her weight, but not gained any. My pediatrician asked me to strictly bottle feed for 3 days and then we would weigh my baby again. During the 3 days of bottle feeding I pumped rather than nursing at every feeding. 3 days later we returned and my baby had made huge gains. My pediatrician counseled me to stop breastfeeding. Instead I pumped round the clock, nursed, and supplemented with the bottle. I then went on to try the herbal supplements which did not work for me. My doctor gave me a prescription which I believe did increase my production, although I do not believe it was enough to sustain my child. After much experimentation my baby and I have found what works for us and my pediatrician is pleased with how well my baby is thriving. I now nurse exclusively from midnight to noon, then I nurse followed by a bottle for the 4 afternoon feedings.

I do not regret my surgery at all, my physical and emotional quality of life was greatly improved by having the surgery. My baby and I are still able to have a great bonding experience at the breast even though I supplement, and I know she recieves the nutrition she needs.


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