Post # 1
I’m going anon because my mIL is on here and knows my normal username and this is a very private issue for me.
10 years ago I had breast reduction surgery. I’ve never regretted it. My husband has been supportive even though he likes bigger breasts, he knows he is not the one dealing with a sore back etc so no issues there. At least there were no issues until recently.
We are talking about starting a family and while I feel ready in almost all respects, the issue of breastfeeding is paralysing me at the moment. Medically speaking we don’t know yet whether or not I would be able to breastfeed, although my GP said she thinks probably not, based on how much tissue they removed (she has seen the surgeon’s notes and has done my breast exams yearly since I was 18.) I feel like I can mostly make peace with it, although I do cringe when I see “breast is best” ads and think that my vanity (but it was about more than that, it was about my mental health!) will deprive my child of all these benefits. My husband’s family and especially my MiL are all natural health freaks (and it works for them) so I know she will be incredibly judgmental of my “decision” not to breastfeed. His family doesn’t know about the surgery I had and I don’t want to tell them. I don’t know how I will deal with this. And I will feel so guilty!!!
I know this might seem like a silly and petty fear/concern, but has any bees out there struggled with similar thoughts? Esp bees who have had similar surgery? (I get that many new moms might have some similar feelings if they can’t breastfeed for some reason.) I would greatly value any stories that could help me relax about / come to terms with this. (Please don’t just tell my I’m being stupid, I’m really worried and I live in a conservative country and conservative town, so I get enough “tough love” from friends and my own family when I’ve dared to share my concerns. Ie my mom, who obviously knows about my surgery just said oh well, you made your choice, now live with it. This is obviously true, but it definitely didn’t make me feel better! 🙂 Thanks In Advance bees.)
Post # 2
anonee008 : I know a woman who had a breast reduction – apparently when they did it they made sure not to remove the milk ducts / nipple so that she would still be able to breastfeed. That said she decided not to attempt to breastfeed but I know that had more to do with her being an alcoholic than anything else….It would be worth really checking with your doctor what happened during your surgery to find out if this will be a problem or not.
You have no reason to feel ashamed of having a breast reduction. Big boobs are no joke and the back pain / issues that they can cause are real and you were right to decide to undergo the surgery to improve your quality of life (repeat this to yourself as often as you need to)
When it comes to babies – fed is best (and I say this as a breastfeeding mother) Yes there are lots of benefits to breastfeeding, but it isn’t possible for everyone. In terms of how to deal with your in laws you just have to own your choice. Shut down any judgement and get your husband to support you. The immediate pp period is a huge mix of hormones and he will need to be your advocate at this point. tbh I would also explain to your in laws that due to some medical reasons in the past you are unlikely to be able to breastfeed, end of story.
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re feeling that way! I tried to breastfeed and it didn’t work out. For two weeks baby was crying and losing weight. I was crying. I was get depressed. Nothing was working. To be honest you could have not had the surgery and still be unable to breastfeed. They make great formulas now. My grandmother told me Her boobs got HUGE but she never had milk. None of my greandmothers breastfed. My aunts, my husbands family. No one. And everyone is fine. I threw in the towel and guess what? She’s happy. She’s fed. She’s growing. She’s healthy and happy. So am I and everyone in my family. I needed up pumping and supplementing. Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different. You may be able to breastfeed. You may do some breast milk and formula. You may do all formula. You and your SO other are loving caring, stable people? Have all the kids you can! Love is just as important and food. You are more then a pair or breast!
Post # 4
It would not change my decision, because fed is best. I’m not here to shame any mom’s decision on how they feed their baby. Kids turn out just as fine on formula as when breastfed. They can’t rightly shame you for something that you just cannot do – but you never know, maybe it won’t be a problem. Women have supply issues for a number of reasons. I think there’s a way to inform them than you just don’t have the supply to breast feed, while not disclosing the surgery.
Dont let this stop you from having a family if you’ve always wanted one. Your parents and your in laws will always find something about your parenting to have an issue with, but they will be your kids and you get to call the shots.
Post # 5
Currently 16 weeks pregnant and I know I will not be able to breast feed because of very necessary medication I am on.
I never one considered not having kids because I knew I wouldnt be able to breast feed, as long as they are fed, they’re fed. That’s the most important part.
Post # 6
For me breastfeeding just didn’t work. Nurses tried to help, a lot, but my baby was hungry and nothing was working, I was tired and sad, and just asked for a damn bottle. Seing my baby drink that bottle eased all my worries, she was fed and obviously much happier then when 5 people were trying to shove a breast into her mouth without success.
So if/when you realise you can’t breastfeed, just tell them it didn’t work. Your milk didn’t come or the baby wouldn’t latch even with a lot of help, and leave it at that. I’m sure your Mother-In-Law won’t suggest you whip out your boobs so she can help.
Good luck, and don’t let that hold you back. Your baby will be fed and loved no matter what.
Post # 7
I formula feed and have since day one. People sometimes give me shit about it but I tell them my kid, my choice and that pretty much ends the conversation. I don’t have any reason that I know of that I couldn’t breastfeed, I just plain didn’t want to. Some people really were offended at that but it wasn’t their decision and none of their business. So, I’ve found that people tend to accept if you *can’t* for whatever reason but it really strikes a nerve if you simply don’t want to.
There isn’t anything wrong with formula feeding and I certainly wouldn’t let not being able to breastfeed keep me from having children. Remember, above all, fed is best. You will have to just stand your ground and challenge anyone that wants to give an opinion about it, though. And people will give opinions! But once you make it clear you’re not about to let them judge you for your decisions they usually slink back into their holes.
Post # 8
As a PP said, fed is best.
The truth is no woman knows for sure that she will be able to breastfeed. There are a lot of women who end up not being able to breastfeed for various reasons that aren’t breast reduction surgery. So you not knowing if you will be able to or not doesn’t actually put you in a different position than everyone else going into parenthood for the first time.
Post # 9
anonee008 : It would not stop me from having children. And breastfeeding was extremely important to me (I battled through supply issues and formula supplementation for the first 2 months until it all finally came together despite lots of people telling me to just quit and she’s still nursing at 17 months) but if I knew a prior surgery would most likely prevent me from doing it I wouldn’t let it stop me from having children altogether. Breastfeeding can be wonderful and the benefits are undeniable BUT it is not the be all and end all of being a mother. My mom didn’t even consider breastfeeding me, I was 100% formula fed, and I’m a happy, healthy, successful person who has a wonderful relationship with her mother.
You don’t have to explain anything to his family if you don’t want to. Just get your husband on board to repeat “how we feed our child is none of your business” to anyone who tries to butt in.
Post # 10
chelbell23 : This is so true – everyone has an opinion on everyone else’s parenting choices. My mum and MIL’s latest one is that my son should be out of nappies (he isn’t 2 yet) because in their day you toilet trained early.
One of the first things you have to learn as a parent is to own your choices and not make excuses or apologies for them.
I sometimes feel we have to stand up and say things like this.
I am Twizbe and I am mum to a 2 year old
I breastfed for 13 months
I took a year’s maternity leave
I work full time (for now)
I will be a Stay-At-Home Mom after my next maternity leave and will quit on the last day of my leave
I don’t believe in male genital mutilation
I didn’t have my son’s tongue tie corrected
I use disposable nappies and wipes
I weaned using mostly pre made baby food
I didn’t teach my son baby sign language
I did a baby massage course but then never used it
I had gas and air during labour
I vaccinate my child
I could go on, but you hopefully see my point.
Post # 11
Just to add as well that the milk feeding part of our life is tiny. If you imagine a child born today could live to 100, then it is about 1% of their life ….
Post # 12
I’m in tears bees. I so needed this. Thank you.
Post # 13
If anyone comments I would just say “fed is best” and repeat as often as needed. I tried to breastfeed with my first. It didn’t work out. She’s a too smart for her own good 3.5 year old.
Breast is best is a dubious statement at best as there has never been any conclusive scientific study with conclusive results (nor will there ever be because it would be unethical to do). There was a PROBIT study done in Belarus and differing fed Sibling pair study (multiples of these have now been done). The PROBIT study did find some differences between breast and formula feeding but they were minor and were non existant by adolesence. The sibling pair study showed next to no differences between the two except there was a slightly higher incidence of asthma among breastfed children.
If you are really worried, I would do your research and ignore the media hype and the money driven breast is best campaign. Get actual facts. I’m sure a child would rather be alive and bottle fed than not exist.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY
I was unable to breastfeed any of my 2 kids. Even though I was set to do it, I had to be put in antibiotics right after both deliveries. I would not change having my kids for anything, and have always been grateful because they grew up healthy and happy.
As for what to tell families, if you choose to discuss with them, tell them the truth: due to medical reasons, you are/might be unable to breastfeed. If there’s something my husband and I practice with extended family is to give them the minimum of information needed, only if needed, only when needed. They have learned to respect our wish for privacy.
Post # 15
Wait what. Please tell me you’re not actually reconsidering having a child who you would otherwise love to have just because you wouldn’t be able to breastfeed them. That is legit ridiculous.
Sure, the pressure to breastfeed these days and the “better than thou” attitude of many who do is downright awful. But you cannot let that dictate your major life choices. And as a parent, there will be 87348 choices you make for your child that *someone* will judge you for. You just gotta suck it up and deal with it.