Every year, many women choose to get breast augmentation surgery. If you’re one of them, it’s normal to wonder is whether you can breastfeed after getting implants. Although it’s ideal to wait until you’re finished having children before opting for breast augmentation, it can be helpful to know your options as you schedule your consultation. Here’s what to know about breastfeeding with implants.
Generally, most women can breastfeed their babies even when they have breast implants. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Often, the ability to breastfeed depends on the condition of your breasts prior to surgery and sometimes, the incision used in your procedure.
The amount of milk you are able to produce may be affected by breast implants. For some women, this isn’t an issue at all.
In general, breastfeeding is not adversely affected by implants. Of course, pregnancy and breastfeeding will impact the size and shape of your breasts no matter what. For this reason, it’s best to wait until after nursing to have breast augmentation.
Most often, breast implants are implanted under the pectoral muscles, behind the milk glands. While this itself doesn’t affect your milk supply, the location of your incisions and their depth may impact your ability to nurse your baby. If your surgery involved incisions around the areola, it might affect breastfeeding.
If the nerves around the nipples are affected, you might have trouble breastfeeding. Sensation is important while the baby is nursing as it allows for the release of prolactin and oxytocin, two hormones that allow for breastfeeding. If the nerves are affected, sensation is impacted.
Incisions under the breast, in the armpit, or within belly button areas are better if you’re planning to breastfeed.
Many women who get implants opt for the silicone-filled type. The good news is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it’s safe to breastfeed with breast implants.
While there aren’t any means for detecting levels of silicone in breastmilk, a 2007 study showed that there were not higher levels of silicone in breastmilk from moms who had silicone implants versus those who didn’t have them. There is also no evidence that babies who nurse from women with silicone implants are at greater risk of birth defects.
If you have implants and want to breastfeed, you should use a few tips to help. They include the following:
• Breastfeed often: Breastfeed your baby around eight to 10 times per day to maintain good milk production. You may want to use both breasts as it can help improve your milk supply.
• Empty your breasts regularly: Use a breast pump to regularly empty your breasts. You may also pump milk into a bottle to feed your baby if they won’t take your breast.
• Ensure your baby properly latches: When your baby properly latches onto your breast, they get the most out of your milk. Their mouth should be wide enough and should go over your areola. You can aid them by holding your breast with thumb and forefinger behind the areola.
• Supplement with formula: If your implants are causing you to produce too little milk, discuss using formula as a supplement with your pediatrician or lactation consultant.
Keep an eye on your baby’s weight. If you don’t have a good supply of milk, babies can lose around seven to 10 percent of their weight within their first two to four days of life before they start to gain. Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about their weight and your milk production.
Breast augmentation is an excellent option for women looking for a boost after pregnancy and childbearing. To meet with Dr. Zieg and learn more, we invite you to contact our Evansville office by calling or filling out our online form.