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Can Mothers with Benign Tumors in the Breast Breastfeed?

Various questions circulating in the community about breast tumors. One of them is that women with breast tumors can breastfeed? This is of course related to the baby’s nutritional intake as well as the risk to the mother’s health.

Can Mothers with Benign Tumors in the Breast Breastfeed?

Types of Breast Tumors and Their Risks in Breastfeeding Mothers

Tumors are tissues that grow abnormally. If the tissue grows in the breast, it is called a breast tumor. This lump will be felt if the breast is touched in a circular motion.

Breast tumors can also occur in nursing mothers. This is due to unstable hormone production. Breastfeeding mothers are usually more responsive to the presence of a breast lump.

Tumors themselves are not the same as breast cancer. Breast cancer originates from a malignant breast tumor that develops massively and becomes dangerous.

Benign tumors in the breast have several different types, including:

Types of benign breast tumors that are often experienced by women in the age range of 15-35 years. The cause of the appearance of this benign tumor is the influence of hormones in the body. Generally, this type of benign tumor will disappear on its own without treatment.

Usually these fibrocystic tumors disappear and appear according to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Generally experienced by women in the age range of 20-50 years.

Also Read: 6 Types of Exercise to Lower the Risk of Breast Cancer

Breast cysts are lumps filled with fluid and appear in one or both breasts. These lumps are not cancerous. Generally experienced by women in the age range of 35-50 years.

The difference between benign tumors and malignant tumors lies in their texture and development. Benign breast tumors grow slowly. The texture is supple, soft and movable. The shape also tends to be perfectly round.

Meanwhile, a malignant tumor that has the potential to become cancerous has an irregular shape. The texture is dense, hard and immovable.

This tumor must be watched out for because it develops very quickly. Pregnancy and breastfeeding will actually make it very active.

Can Mothers with Benign Tumors in the Breast Breastfeed?

Benign breast tumors (fibroadenomas) usually go away on their own within a few months. With hormone therapy, drugs, and can also consume the right herbs.

Because growth depends on hormones, often benign tumors will appear just before or during menstruation, then disappear or shrink when menstruation is over.

Actually, a new tumor during the breastfeeding period is very rare. However, if a mother has previously had a benign tumor, then it is fine to continue breastfeeding. Tumor cells will not be transferred to the baby through breast milk.

Benign tumors do appear influenced by hormones, but not the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. Both of these hormones affect the amount of milk that comes out.

The baby’s suction while breastfeeding will also trigger these two hormones to appear more and pump more milk too. The process of breastfeeding does not affect the incidence of benign tumors in the mother’s breast.

However, if the mother is undergoing radiation therapy for her benign tumor, breastfeeding should be postponed first and consult a doctor about this. The doctor will further check the condition of the tumor before giving permission for the mother to breastfeed her baby.

Also Read: 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Breasts During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tips for Preventing Breast Tumors in Breastfeeding Mothers

Breast tumors—even benign ones—can be bothersome and painful. Towards menstruation usually tumors can cause pain, the breasts feel pulled and tense, and throb when touched.

Therefore, for women who do not have breast tumors, it is very important to take preventive steps by doing BSE or self-examination of the breasts.

BSE is effective enough to find out whether there is a tumor in the breast, as well as to help give an idea if there is a breast tumor whether it is permissible to breastfeed the baby. Consult a doctor if you find symptoms of a tumor or breast cancer accompanied by unusual breast pain.

  1. Gala, Nicole. 2018. Is there a link between breast-feeding and breast cancer? (Accessed November 18, 2021).
  2. Medela US. 2021. Breast Cancer and Breastfeeding: Facts to Know. (Accessed November 18, 2021).
  3. Murray, Donna. 2021. If You Find a Breast Lump While Breastfeeding. (Accessed November 18, 2021).

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