Breast Reduction is a Valid Choice Too

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Breast Reduction is a Valid Choice Too

Panel 1

[Image] A woman with shoulder-length brown hair outside a door. One hand is holding an umbrella, and the other hand is on the doorknob

[Caption] It starts now, but I know the worst is yet to come.

Panel 2

[Image] The woman sitting in a chair, across a desk from a man in a doctor’s coat. She looks concerned.

[Caption] My doctor warned me that the comments and prejudice will get worse if I have a child.

Panel 3

[Image] The woman, still sitting in her seat, picking up her umbrella. She looks a little sad, but resigned.

[Caption] You see, I’ve had a breast reduction.

Panel 4

[Image] A different woman with long hair, with a concerned expression, facing the reader.

[Caption] I’ve been told I’ll get this:

Long-haired woman: I worry about your future child…

Panel 5

[Image] An angry-looking woman, with her hair in a bun and wearing nurse’s scrubs. She is pointing.

[Caption] and this from nurses…

Nurse: How could you be so selfish! You can’t make milk now!

Panel 6

[Image] A closeup of an older, white-haired woman, looking shocked and concerned.

[Caption] And for the rest of my life I will be called a horrible mother. But really, the fact that the doctor had to warn me, means it’s already started. I’ve already had a taste of this from older women who look at me completely appalled. Maybe I don’t want kids? Maybe my own health and happiness has value too?

Panel 7

[Image] A man with a shocked expression on his face.

[Caption] Then there are the men.

Man: WHAT? Why would you REDUCE your breasts??

Panel 8

[Image] The man, still looking shocked, with his arms raised in a shrugging motion. He is surrounded by question marks.

[Caption] The idea of a woman not basing her decisions about her body on what men want doesn’t seem to compute.

Panel 9

[Image] The woman, walking away fro the reader, holding her umbrella above her head.

[Caption] I know the worst is yet to come, especially when I make a decision about having kids or not. But whatever may come, I’m happy with my decision about my own body.

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Full story

My experience starts now, but really I know the worst is yet to come.

If I do have a child, that’s when I’ll most likely experience the worst of the prejudice.

You see, I’ve had a breast reduction and might not be able to produce a single drop of milk.

Or I might produce two drops. Or one breast might work and not the other. I don’t know.

My doctor warned me I might get awful questions about how I could be so selfish, or I might even be called a horrible mother.

Even the nurses caring for me and my newborn future child might look at me judgmentally and get frustrated with me and my lack of milk.

Not to mention that people might express ‘’their worries’’ about my future child being ‘‘less intelligent’’ than others.  As if every child raised on formula has no future at all.

But really, the fact that the doctor had to warn me, means it’s already started.

It’s now two years after my surgery and I have already had a taste of that future experience, mostly it’s very maternal and older women that are appalled at my decision to do such a thing to my future children, making my present life better at their cost; they don’t even consider for a second that maybe I don’t want kids to begin with. Or that maybe my health and happiness has its own value.

Similarly, when my younger cousin, who has the same problem (overly big breasts) asked her, female, doctor about the possibility of a reduction (although it was when she was about 14/15 years old) she got the answer ‘Don’t even think about it until after you’ve had kids’. The kids are assumed, and already her experience, like mine, tells her that she is less of a woman if she doesn’t want kids, and even less than that if she reduces before those kids are born.

When it’s not the concerned motherly types or doctors making assumptions, it’s mostly guys getting dumbfounded that a girl did not want to have the biggest boobs she could. The idea of a woman not basing her decisions about her body on what she thinks men want doesn’t seem to compute.

I think that women who’ve had a reduction are quite a hidden group. It wasn’t until I started talking about my upcoming surgery that I found out about a bunch of women around me who had already had it themselves!  But at the same time I have yet to meet a woman unwilling to talk about it when asked. We need to talk more about this.

I feel like it´s seeing a dark storm cloud looming on the horizon: I might feel a few raindrops but the full force of the storm has yet to hit, either when I have kids, or publicly decide not to. Whatever may come, I’m happy with my decision about my own body.

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7 responses to “Breast Reduction is a Valid Choice Too”

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  1. Anne says: |
    November 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    This all the way. I hate having large breasts, and I hate that people refuse to accept that I hate it. It’s especially strange coming from men. They don’t have this problem, so how can they judge? It’s like guys think boobs are like these magical creatures, so it’s fun for them to talk to each other about boobs in their magical boob-dom, frolicking with the rainbows and unicorns, but when a girl comes along and mentions how hard it is to sleep on boobs or run with boobs, suddenly they don’t want to hear it.

  2. Nella says: |
    May 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I had a breast reduction for the same reason (overly large breasts causing pain and health problems), and I am extremely grateful that the surgeon I found to do the procedure was both thorough and unbiased. When he discussed the pros and cons of the procedure with me, he said, “If you have a child in the future, you might have difficulty breastfeeding them or you might not be able to breastfeed them.” Nothing about how bad a mother I might be for making this decision (a decision that, two years on, I don’t regret for a minute). It’s upsetting to see that understanding people seem to be so few and far between when it comes to this one procedure.

  3. Christina says: |
    May 16, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    My mother got her breast reduction when I was in high school. She had me and my brother, and my dad had already gotten a vasectomy shortly after my brother’s birth because they figured two kids was enough.

    My mother also never breastfed either of us. It wasn’t for lack of trying, however. There was too much boob for a baby mouth to be able to deal with. A baby needs to be able to grab onto not just the nipple, but a good amount of aureole. And there was just too much boob for either of us to get a good grip. Basically, this throws the whole “Think of your children!” argument right out the window.

    In any case, as pointed out in your story, not every woman wants to have a child. This is her decision, and no one else’s business.

    My mother lost ten pounds just for having her breasts reduced. That’s a lot of extra weight to have hanging off of one’s torso, and makes it difficult to find bras that fit without spending a fortune. Any woman who has issues with someone getting a reduction should be made to wear weights attached at the torso before opening their big mouths. My mom couldn’t be happier when all that weight was gone.

    As a side note: I was mercifully spared inheriting her large bust. 🙂

  4. beate says: |
    May 25, 2015 at 11:33 am

    give this people my address – i got raised on formula completely, mom had health issues – and i´m highly talented and very intelligent. as tests say.
    i´m 47 and never had a child, but i feel much more complete as a woman and happy then most mothers i met. ignore the ignorants. it´s your life!
    beate from germany xx

  5. Angela says: |
    May 25, 2016 at 12:01 am

    I had a reduction from a J cup to an A (was aiming for a B but aw well). Before I had it done I told folks it was coming up since I would be out of the office for a few weeks and miss some social engagements, and come back looking very different. Number one comment immediately after hearing about it? “What does your husband think about that?” Luckily for me he thinks it is my body and my decision, but really? That’s the first thing that pops in your head??

  6. Sharon says: |
    November 25, 2016 at 1:39 am

    I have been considering having a breast reduction for quite a while now (I am in a J cup) and one of my concerns is about being able to breastfeed. I want to have children and I would love to be able to breastfeed. I am also scared that my breasts are too large to do that safely (nightmares of smothering a child with my breasts). Thank you for this and from the other comments, I may really have to talk to my doctor about this. My sister, who had a smaller bust than I, got the surgery tells me to do it too, but she has had kids already, which keeps me going in a circular argument about whether I should get it done or not.

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