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What About My Mammograms

While I Am Re-Lactating?

Personal Accounts:


A Letter from a Grateful Lady:

      I can honestly say that if I had known before what I know now, I wouldn't have spent so much time worrying about it. I started down the road to inducing lactation in January 2010. After four months of diligent stimulation to my breasts, I can honestly say there have been no apparent changes to my breasts to date. As my yearly mammogram approached, I was getting myself worked up into being a good worry wart. Both Ken and DrJim have emphasized letting the technicians know that you are  re-lactating because if they see changes showing up in your x-rays, they need to know the reason why.

      I considered not telling anyone, as I am nowhere near producing milk yet, so I figured: "Why even bring it up?"  But in all honesty, because my mom had breast cancer, and I am diligent about having my mammograms, I figured I needed to let them know that I am inducing lactation, and it is by choice. In case they saw some sort of changes from my previous mammogram, I needed to be upfront about it. So, how do I explain what I am doing? I decided to take a clue from how things went at my annual OB/Gyn visit, where I was up-front about it and wound up discussing my lactation program with my doctor.

      The day for the mammogram arrived and after getting registered, I was led to the imaging department where a wonderful female technician (who I had the previous year) went over my paperwork with me. I took off my top and bra, and decided to get the whole thing off my chest...so to speak! As the technician was getting ready to place my breast on the paddle for the first image, I took a deep breath and told her that I should let her know about something going on with my breasts. I had her full attention.

      I briefly explained that for the past four months I had been doing nipple stimulation to help me control my periods. There! It has been said.  The technician? Well, her eyes popped open, as well as her mouth, as she tried to process what I had just said! She admitted that she had never heard of that before. She wondered if it had made any difference with my periods and was very interested in hearing more.

      I told her that previously I had gotten very sick with migraine headaches during my period each month. Since starting the nipple stimulation, my period sort of surprises me and just shows up, without the migraine and the nausea, which is wonderful. I'd rather NOT be sick to my stomach in bed with the shades drawn.

      She eagerly took all this information in and then asked me if it made my breasts bigger? I told her that it had not yet, but that it could! She was VERY interested in learning how she could make her breasts bigger naturally, with stimulation.

      So, this all led  to some very interesting conversation and I tried to enlighten her with as much information as possible. The subject of adult nursing never came up, and it never had to. That is a private topic for my husband and me. But I have to admit, it is a great way to let them know they MAY see changes or differences on my mammograms. By explaining to them what I am doing to control my periods, no one questions that explanation.

      My mammogram went fine. Because of our conversation, the technician showed me my images from the previous year, and compared them to the ones of this year. They showed that my breasts were a bit less dense, thus making it easier for the radiologist to read them. I was grateful she took the time to show me the difference. I have fibrocystic breasts, and I hope over time to make them less so, by inducing lactation.

      So all in all, I had no reason to get so worried over my mammogram visit. I feel good that I was honest with letting them know I was doing something that may change the makeup of my breast tissue, in case it looked alarming to them on the images. But, it was great to simply blame it on my monthly period and how that was my method to get it under control and make me less sick and my period lighter. Sure was a great excuse!

A Grateful Lady
 

 

If you would be willing to share with everyone your experiences with your first mammogram after you started to re-lactate, I would love to post your story. I would be glad to help you write it if you would like that, and you will always maintain editorial control over it, even to the point of removing your story from the site.
Please feel free to contact Ken at BreastNotes.com with any questions or thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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