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How Long After DDD Breast Reduction Can I Lift My Child?

I am 36DDD and considering a BR. I have 2 kids (1 = 6 years and 2nd = 20 months). How long will it be before i will be able to lift my 2nd kid? 20 month old and 28 lbs. Please suggest recovery timeline.

Doctor Answers 14

Recovery after breast reduction

You can lift your child a few weeks after a breast reduction as long as you are not experiencing any pain and your  incisions are healing well. Since a breast reduction does not involve any dissection of your chest muscles, your recovery will be much smoother than a breast augmentation for example.

Consult with your plastic surgeon for more specific recommendations.

Best wishes,


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 226 reviews

9201 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Lifting toddler after breast reduction

I ask my patients to avoid lifting anything over 20 pounds for 4 - 6 weeks.  There are two issues here.  You don't want to put any strain on your incisions or subject your breasts to any pinches or kicks (ouch) from a squirming toddler.  Also, you don't want to pick up your child, feel a sharp pain and then drop him/her.  I tell my patients to change the baby on the floor, get someone else to put them into the crib (or move the child to a toddler bed) and for a nice snuggle, let your child crawl up into your lap.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

1101 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3508

2 weeks

I tell my patients two weeks is what is needed for recovery after breast reduction.  You can lift you child after that and increase your level of activity as tolerated.  Of course the more time you have the easier your recovery will be but 2 weeks is enough.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

120 South Spalding Drive, Suite 233
Beverly Hills , CA 90212

Lifting Kids after Breast Reduction- Recovery Timeline



Recovery in terms of lifting kids after breast reduction varies, but you should be able to lift your 20 month old that weighs about 28 pounds about 1-3 weeks after surgery.  Small weights, like 5 pounds or less, can be lifted pretty quickly after surgery, typically about 1 week later.  More weight takes time, and everyone is different, but it should take 2-3 weeks after your procedure.  Of course, you should talk to your plastic surgeon about this, since your type of breast reduction, amount of breast tissue removed, your overall strength, and other factors may have a role.


Of course, this assumes that your child is not squirming.  I don't have any recommendations for moving, screaming, or hard-to-handle kids!


A Father of 3 Squirming Kids,


Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

220 Montogomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

Breast Reduction recovery

1- Three weeks of no lifting.

2- After three weeks you can start exercize including lifting you child.

3- two months of a supportive bra then you can relax.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

170 East End Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Breast reduction recovery time

For most surgical procedures it takes six weeks for the wounds to become strong.  Be particularly cautious with your movements during this period.  Avoid things such as stretching and vigorous exercise. Ask your surgeon for  recommendations in your particular situation.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

4640 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Breast Reduction - How Long Until I Can Lift My Kids?

Hi natasha0220,

There are no absolutes BUT I usually advise about a week of no lifting at all, and then waiting three weeks before starting any exercise.  Most people, in fact, don't really feel like exercising before then, so that timing works out pretty well.

The issue of raising (ie, lifting!) kids is a little more complicated.  You have to be careful - you need to let your body heal and your overall recovery time will be MUCH longer if you have a setback of some kind than if you planned out enough time to let yourself heal.  I would advise that after a week you can do some careful and gentle lifting IF (and ONLY IF) you really feel okay. 

And that's not a Clean-And-Jerk.  That means bending at your knees and using your whole body to stand up, not just your arms.  And you have to listen to your body.  If it's taking a little longer, it's taking a little longer.  Your PS will be available to help you through this time.

So - a week of basically nothing, then gradual resuming of light activity and, if you feel like, starting more significant activity at 3 weeks.  You should, of course, clear all of this with your own PS.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

122 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10065

Breast reduction and lifting

I usually have patients limit their exertional acitivity after breast reduction surgery.  This usually means no aerobic activity for about 3 weeks and no heavy lifting ( kids included) for about 6-8 weeks.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

1049 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10028

Lifting After Breast Reduction

Unless there are mitigating medical problems, it sounds as if you would be a good candidate for breast reduction.  I would want you to avoid "dead lifting" 28-30 pounds for 3-4 weeks following your surgery.  This generally is not feasible so I ask my patients to have their toddlers walk into their arms while stooping and then use their legs, not arms, to lift.  It would still be advisable to have some assistance for the first several days.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

4001 Kresge Way
Louisville, KY 40207

Recovery after Breast Reduction

Thank you for your question.

For my patients, I ask them to watch lifting their kids or anything over 15-20 pounds for 4-6 weeks.  I would suggest that you speak with your surgeon and follow his/her recommendations.

Best Wishes!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,051 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.