I know I am not a pediatrician or a family practice doctor, so some may wonder why I am so focused on breastfeeding.   I am a surgeon who deals a ton with the breasts and the effects of breastfeeding.  I have heard rumblings while being a mom-around-town of women who are choosing not to breastfeed their children because they are concerned about the cosmetic effect it will have on their breasts.  I am a fan of breastfeeding.  Please see the other blogs prior to this and the results of a study which just came out.

For the hypereducated Bay Area women reading my blog, here is another pro for breastfeeding:

MUCH lower risk of SIDS.

SIDS is sudden infant death syndrome.  It affects 2,300 babies a year.  The cause is unknown.  From the sids.org site, risk factors include having a baby as a teen, less than one year between pregnancies, tobacco/cocaine/heroin use during pregnancy, and premature birth.  After the baby is born: have the crib in your room, no bedding/pillows, sleep on the back, use a pacifier, avoid respiratory infections, and do not overheat the baby.  The risk is highest between 2-4 months of age.  90% of SIDS occur in babies less than 6 months.

In Pediatrics June 2011 online edition, Hauck and researchers at University of Virgina did metaanalysis of 18 studies looking at breastfeeding and risk of SIDS.  Findings:

  • 73% reduction in risk if exclusively breastfed
  • 60% reduction in risk if breastfed for any time period
  • 45% reduction when other factors known to increase SIDS were factored out, like smoking, socioeconomic status, and sleep position.

 

Why does breastfeeding lead to lower risk?  Thoughts vary.  Hypothesis include:

  • Breastfed babies are more arousable during sleep
  • Fewer issues with diarrhea and respiratory infections, which may predispose to SIDS
  • Possible boost of their immunity from the breastmilk.

So, pediatricians recommend breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then continue to nurse for the first year, as you introduce solid foods.  So bond with your child, lose weight (anyone for an extra slice of cheesecake?), and protect them from SIDS…. Breastfeeding is sounding pretty good.

I answered a question recently about timing of a mommy makeover.  The person was traveling out of state via plane to have the surgery done.  I tried to redirect her to the real issue: how safe is travel to have surgery?

plane

Mommy makeover is a combined surgery of breast and body.  Her question was when to do surgery after you stop nursing (I would wait 3-6 months, and be close to your ideal weight if possible).  The bigger issue I saw was her travel from New York (place with many great doctors) to Florida for surgery.

There are short surgeries with easy recoveries, and there are long surgeries with long recoveries.

Mommy makeovers are usually two surgeries done at one sitting.  In most healthy women, it is safe.  But combined surgeries have higher risk of bleeding, anesthesia complications, DVT, infection, and other issues.  You are at higher risk for a DVT for 3-4 weeks after surgery, making airline travel riskier.  If you do a tummy tuck, you will have a drain.  In heavier women, that drain can stay in for 3-5 weeks after surgery.

If you have a complication, it will be difficult to get to your doctor.  A local doctor will be hesitant to treat you.

Find someone close to where you live.  If you live in a small town, then go to a nearby larger town.  For a qualified surgeon near you, find someone board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Meet a few doctors.  You’ll know the right one when you meet them and see their photo books.

(I do have patients travel to have me do surgery.  Usually though they have family or friends near me, and I require they stay around for 2-3 weeks depending on the scope of surgery.  It is not ideal.)