It is generally possible to breastfeed with implants, but there are a few things you need to consider. Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding with implants.
If you have breast implants, or you’re thinking of getting them, you might also be wondering, can you breastfeed with implants?
Many women who have had breast augmentation surgery worry that they won’t be able to breastfeed.
But the good news is, most women with implants who want to breastfeed are able to do so!
Here are the basics of breastfeeding with implants.
In this article 📝
- Can you breastfeed with breast implants?
- The risks of breastfeeding with implants
- Side effects of breastfeeding with implants
- Can you breastfeed after breast augmentation? Final thoughts
Can you breastfeed with breast implants?
Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the world.
And breastfeeding after breast augmentation is definitely still an option.
But it does depend on a few factors, including the reason for the surgery, the type of surgery, and where the implant is positioned.
Why you chose you get breast augmentation
The reason for your surgery can play a role in whether you can breastfeed afterward.
If your breasts were fairly symmetrical and typically developed before surgery, there is a pretty good chance you can still breastfeed.
But if you had breast augmentation surgery due to undeveloped breast tissue, wide breast spacing, or asymmetrical or tuberous-shaped breasts, there’s a chance you may not have enough milk glands to produce milk.
But this isn’t a given.
Your doctor or a board-certified lactation consultant can give you more information on your specific situation.
➡️ You might also like: What is the Average Breast Lift Price?
Your type of breast augmentation
The type of surgery can also be a factor.
Incisions across areolas or nipples are likely to have cut milk ducts and nerves, which can interfere with breastfeeding, unfortunately.
The nerves around your nipples are important for breastfeeding.
When a baby nurses, that sensation increases the levels of prolactin and oxytocin, which trigger the production and letdown of breast milk.
If the nerves have been compromised by surgery, that could lessen the sensation, which could mean less milk production.
On the other hand, incisions that are underneath the breasts, near your armpits, or through the belly button are less likely to affect milk production.
Again, your healthcare provider can help answer any questions about your specific surgery type.
The location of your breast implants
Finally, where are your implants located?
Implants that are placed under your chest muscles or behind the milk glands probably won’t interfere with your milk supply.
However, when implants are located on top of the chest muscle, this could make it difficult to breastfeed.
If you’re not sure where your implant is located, your doctor can help.
The risks of breastfeeding with implants
You may have heard that silicone implants can “taint” your milk supply, but luckily, there is no evidence to support this.
Research is limited here, but there’s currently no known risk to the baby when breastfeeding with implants.
A 2007 study found that levels of silicone in breast milk of mothers with silicone implants was no higher than in mothers without.
One other thing to consider when breastfeeding with implants is that your breast size and shape may change after your breastfeeding journey is done.
Pregnancy itself can also cause changes to your breast size and shape.
If maintaining the size and shape of your breasts is very important to you, have a talk with your doctor before pregnancy to discuss your situation.
Side effects of breastfeeding with implants
Women with implants sometimes experience more intense breast engorgement.
This is when your breasts are swollen, full, and feel hard.
Cold compresses and “breast gymnastics” can help with this.
Also, the symptoms of mastitis might be slightly more severe than for women without breast implants.
Keep an eye out for any mastitis symptoms – including redness, your breast feeling hot to the touch, and flu-like symptoms – so you can treat them promptly.
Can you breastfeed after breast augmentation? Final thoughts
It’s difficult to know if your breastfeeding journey will be affected by your implants until you give it a try.
If you’re pregnant and have implants, make sure your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician know about the implants so they can monitor your baby’s milk intake correctly.
If you haven’t gotten implants yet but you’re considering them, it’s a good idea to chat with your doctor or surgeon before the surgery about any plans you have to breastfeed in the future.
Or if you decide to feed your baby exclusively with formula, that is also a great option.