Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Breast Problems After Breastfeeding

Should I Be Screened for Breast Problems if I'm Breastfeeding?

Most breast problems after breastfeeding are cosmetic changes, not real medical concerns. But it's wise to stay up to date on your regular breast screening tests to ensure your breast health.

  • Breast self-exams are a simple way to keep tabs on your breast health and changes. Examine your breasts once a month, even while breastfeeding. It's especially important to examine your breasts in the months after you stop breastfeeding, as the shape and size of your breasts change. Report any lumps or unusual nipple discharge to your doctor. Most lumps are benign, meaning they are not cancer. But they still should be checked for breast cancer.
  • A breast exam by your doctor can evaluate whether a breast problem after breastfeeding needs medical attention. Have your doctor perform a breast exam once a year or any time you notice unusual breast changes after breastfeeding.
  • A mammogram (breast X-ray) can diagnose a lump too small for you to feel. If you have a breast problem after breastfeeding, your doctor may advise a mammogram right away, rather than waiting for your regularly scheduled yearly or biannual mammogram. It's also safe to have a mammogram while breastfeeding if you need one. It won't affect your milk or your baby's health.

Call your doctor if you have any of these breast problems:

  • A lump in your breast
  • A red, sore lump that may feel hot to the touch, which could be a plugged milk duct
  • Dimpling or puckering of your breast
  • Fever or flu symptoms, which could indicate a breast infection (called mastitis)
  • Nipple retraction (the nipple turned inward)
  • Painful breasts (more than the discomfort related to breastfeeding)
  • Rash on your breast
  • Unusual nipple discharge or a bleeding nipple

A positive note: Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer. Women who have never breastfed have a slightly higher risk.

What's the Treatment for Misshapen or Asymmetric Breasts?

When breast size or shape changes a lot after breastfeeding, some women consider cosmetic surgery. A breast lift, called a mastopexy, can be performed to help sagging and to reposition the nipple and areola (the dark circle around the nipple) higher on the breast. 

A thorough evaluation by a qualified cosmetic surgeon, including a complete breast health history, is advised before you consider surgery.

1|2

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on December 30, 2013

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow