Probably – just remember, breastfeeding doesn’t look the same for every family, and “breastfeeding” doesn’t have to mean exclusively latching, or exclusively receiving breastmilk. Any human milk you choose to and are able to give to your baby is a wonderful gift.
It’s likely that your body will be able to make milk for your baby. If you notice breast changes during pregnancy, such as darkened areolas, sensitive breasts, and more prominent veins on the breasts, these are all normal changes that support the idea that your body is getting ready for breastfeeding and making the perfect milk for your baby.
It’s tough to know if your body will make all the milk that your baby needs to grow well. Two main factors to consider would be:
1. the surgical incision placement
2. the amount of breast tissue present before the surgery
Incisions that are placed around the areola would be more likely to cut milk ducts – the vessels within the breast that bring milk out through the nipple. Incisions that are placed on the lower part of the breast are less likely to cut milk ducts and impact the movement of the milk from the breast to the nipple.
If the breasts developed typically during puberty, they likely have enough glandular tissue to make just the right amount of milk for a baby. If a condition known as Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT) is present, this means the breast or breasts have less milk-making tissue than is typical, and the parent may not be able to make enough milk for the baby. Symptoms can include one or both breasts with little growth in puberty, lack of lower fullness to the breast, and few breast changes in pregnancy.
If you aren’t able to make all the milk that your baby needs to grow well, it can be a difficult realization. LowMilkSupply.org is an evidence-based resource to learn more about how you can maximize the milk your body IS able to make. If you need to add in supplemental feedings to make sure your baby is growing well and getting enough calories, donor breastmilk is the healthiest choice to add in. If donor milk is not available or if the family chooses it, formula is recommended.