Breast is Best, But Is It the Right Choice for You?


Breast is Best, But Is It the Right Choice for You?

If you’re a breast cancer survivor, it may feel near impossible to breastfeed your baby. Lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation may make you question the risks, benefits, and possibility of breastfeeding after cancer.

But, breastfeeding after cancer IS possible for some women. Here’s what you need to know:

  • While you are pregnant, you can start to prepare for breastfeeding. Talk to a lactation consultant who has experience working with breast cancer survivors. Learn all you can to help baby latch well immediately.
  • Schedule regular nurse ins and nurse on demand to encourage milk supply. You may or may not be nursing from one side of your breasts. If this is the case, you will want to be sure you work to keep supply up!
  • Try a nursing tank instead of a nursing bra.  Nursing tanks, which feature shelf bras, fit cutlet inserts better for women who have a had a mastectomy or lumpectomy.
  • Remember, breastfeeding may or may not be possible depending on the degree to which radiation has affected your body. Talk to your doctor about what’s possible for you. Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best for your baby whether or not you can breastfeed.

Need more resources on breastfeeding after cancer?

 Check out: Having Children after Cancer: How to Make Informed Choices before and after Treatment and Build the Family of Your Dreams by Gina Shaw.

Not a breast cancer survivor? But, want to learn more about how to support moms who are? We liked this piece on the issue.  It’s an important reminder that we don’t know every mom’s story and what’s best for one mom and baby isn’t always what’s best for another.