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 15

Recovery after breast reduction

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 reviews

Lifting toddler after breast reduction

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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 77 reviews

Lifting Kids after Breast Reduction- Recovery Timeline

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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

Breast Reduction recovery

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast reduction recovery time

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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

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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

Breast reduction and lifting

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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
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Lifting After Breast Reduction

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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

Lifting little ones after breast reduction

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Thank you for your question. You definitely want to follow your own surgeon's post-op activity instructions. This is a general guide I give to my patients as to the recovery
Week 1) Discomfort and tightness level progressively decreases with each day. Swelling decreases a great deal after one week. Most people return to work in some capacity.
Week 2) Unlikely to need any narcotic support except maybe at night. Swelling and tightness continues to improve compared to week 1
Weeks 3-6) May need tylenol or ibuprofen for intermittent discomfort. Swelling completely resolved. Tightness may continue as the implants over an additional few months into their final position.

As far as activity, here is a safe guide:
1) No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks.
2) Resume walking at a leisurely pace right after surgery (e.g. 2 mph)
3) At 2 weeks, you can walk 2 miles at 2mph
4) At 3 weeks, you can walk 3 miles at 3mph
5) At 4 weeks, you can walk 4 miles at 4mph
6) At 5 weeks, you can jog 5 miles at 5mph
7) At 6 weeks, you can resume all activities, but listen to your body and use discomfort or tightness as a guide so you don't over do it.

So as far as the little ones, I would recommend having help for basic needs like lifting into the car seat. You can cuddle with them while you are sitting down, but you should avoid the tendency to multitask with one child in your arms while you are busy doing other tasks.

Recovery after Breast Reduction

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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!

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.