Can you still breast feed your baby? You can but it widely depends on your how your doctor did the procedure. If your doctor cut at the fold of the breast or near the armpit, then it is likely no damage was done to the milk ducts or nerves. But if your doctor did an incision close to the areola, than that will be more of a problem for nursing. A cut by the areola is more likely to damage the milk ducts and nerves. You might need to ask for help from a lactation consultant to make sure that you and the baby are breastfeeding correctly. You also need to watch to make sure your baby is gaining weight and has 8 to 12 of each wet and poopy diapers. If that is happening and the baby is gaining then you should be fine.
Sometimes mastitis will come unannounced and you will feel like you have the flu. When you feel this way you know that is it not just a plugged duct. Now is when you call your doctor and get on antibiotics. The pain will usually start going away before the day is over, but you want to take the medicine until it is gone. Get alot of rest to make sure that mastitis stays away. Depending on how many antibiotics you are going to be on, you might want to add some acidophilus to your daily routine to make sure you don't get any yeast infections, which can cause plugged ducts.
If the mastitis is untreated it can turn into something much worse. I have never heard of this but it is called "Abcess". It is much more dangerous than mastitis and sometimes requires surgery. So make sure you don't put off treatment for mastitis.
I want to talk about inverted nipples and the best treatments for them. Also about Breast shells vs. Nipple Shields. I forgot to add this in when I talked about nipples, so I will add it into this post. I am very thankful that I don't have to use the shell or shield. I am not sure how I feel about them, but I am not going to tell you to use or not to use them. I don't have a right because I don't have to struggle with flat or inverted nipples. So you decide if they are right or not for you and your baby.
Inverted or Flat Nipples-
The picture on the left is an image of a normal looking breast or a nipple that protrudes normally. The picture on the right is one of a inverted nipple. A flat nipple is just flat against the areola and doesn't protrude, but doesn't sink in like a inverted nipple. (pictures are from http://www.babycenter.com/). You know that you have a flat nipple if it is not stimulated from being caressed or cold. A inverted nipple sinks into the breast when the areola is squeezed.
They now have this new thing called the "Advent Niplette" that you can order. I don't know anything about it, so make sure you do some research on it and see if it will work for you. I read that it has a high percentage rate of success in the tests that they have done on nursing mothers.
Large Breast, Sagging Breast, Breast Size-
This has been the hardest part for me and having babies. When I got pregnant with my first, my breast got big because I was gaining weight. But then my milk came in and they got bigger. So be prepared when you get your milk in. Then when you are done nursing hopefully they will return to a good size. Everyone told me that they would return to their regular size and I saw my sisters return to the size before nursing and even get smaller. So I thought that I would be ok. Well not really. My breast stayed their size DD even after I was done nursing and they sag alot. I mean alot. My sisters can't believe the size of my breasts after they came from being a size B. So lets just say that they are not attractive. I did talk to someone about it and they said that is it just because I have extra skin and fatty tissue, so getting pregnant and gaining weight made them stretch. I also have one that is slightly bigger and one that sags more. You can't hardly tell the difference thanks to bras. Just make sure that you find a nice bra. The ones I find I have to throw away because they start stretching and not holding me up.
If you get alot bigger then you were, you might have to try different nursing position with your baby. Your baby might have a hard time latching on with just trying the cradle hold. Just remember, nursing comes just as easy for big breasted women as it does for small breasted women.