Pregnancy after Breast Cancer

I’m now 26 weeks into my pregnancy and I feel pretty great most of the time. it’s been a bit easier than with Evie, in spite of the five years difference and two bouts of breast cancer.

The one thing that has been pretty entertaining has been the experience of being pregnant after a single mastectomy. I’ll be pretty candid here (why change my personality now!? haha) I’m extremely lopsided. For those of you who don’t know, women’s breasts can change completely in the first trimester, so much so that by around week 23 you’re ready to begin breastfeeding.

This lopsidedness has caused a bit of back problems due to the extra weight, and some interesting conversations with Evie, who has noticed the difference! She asked me the other day why I have one boob that is small and one that is big. I laughed and told her that many women have different sized ones, but as she’s getting older she doesn’t really let you off with easy answers anymore! Elliott explained to her that I had been sick and it caused one of mine to stay smaller, but that I’m fine now. She accepted that and moved on, and I could have probably been upset about it, but instead I felt privileged to have been able to bear witness to the conversation in the first place. Elliott doesn’t like it when I say it, but I never, EVER thought I’d get this far. I never thought I’d get to see 40 years old, let alone 2020. I never thought I’d get to see Evie at 5, or even to be pregnant again? It’s absolutely overwhelming to me and I spend much of my time lately in a funny stupor, feeling so humble about this experience. It probably helps me to forget about the terrible heartburn I have day and night! 😉

But with only 14 weeks until my due date I’ve started getting a little bit anxious about breastfeeding. I was so happy to be able to feed Evie until she was about 8 months old, I really would love it if I could breastfeed exclusively with this baby as well. I have heard that Mums of twins do it, but even in their situation they could switch to another side if there were any issues, and I won’t have that luxury.

I’ve been reading about how to increase milk supply with one side but funnily enough there’s not really any literature for how to feed on one breast after a single mastectomy!! I’m not going to buy formula or bottles or any of that stuff at the moment because if we need to supplement we can easily get those items. I’ll probably get a new breast pump though so I can increase supply in between feedings, but it’s a bit daunting of a task! I want to give it my all though, for some reason I really want to put the effort in and not give up. Fingers crossed I can make it work!!