Can I Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation?
December 28, 2020 | 3 minute read
Women of all ages undergo breast augmentation for a variety of reasons. From women who are unsatisfied with the size and shape of their breasts to those who want to address changes due to aging, breast enhancement can give them the look they desire and allow them to feel more confident.
But some women are hesitant to undergo breast augmentation if they are planning on having children. They are concerned about the impact that implants may have on their ability to breastfeed. The good news is that many women are able to breastfeed their babies after having breast augmentation surgery. If this is something that you are concerned about, talk to your surgeon and let them know that you plan on breastfeeding in the future.
Protecting Breastfeeding Through Breast Implant Placement
Breast implants are placed in one of two places: either behind the breast ducts and mammary glands or under the chest muscles. This placement reduces the potential impact on the milk ducts and surrounding nerves. The milk ducts remain intact, and milk is able to reach the nipple as the baby latches and suckles.
Incisions that are made along the breast fold can further reduce the risk of disruption of milk production because of the distance from the mammary glands and associated nerves. There is a slightly increased risk when incisions are made around the areola, as there are milk ducts and nerves in this area. If these are severed, it can reduce the stimulation that triggers continued milk production as the baby nurses. However, not all ducts and nerves are impacted, so many women find that they are still able to produce enough milk to meet their baby’s needs. In addition, milk ducts can re-form and develop new pathways over time.
Does Breastfeeding Affect Implants?
Your breasts will likely change size and shape during pregnancy and breastfeeding as your body changes, but this does not affect your implants. They remain intact in the same place, though the appearance may differ from before you became pregnant. Once you are no longer breastfeeding, breasts often involute and the appearance can change from their pre-pregnancy state. Furthermore, studies have shown that having silicone implants does not put infants at increased risk for problems.
When breastfeeding after breast augmentation, you will want to make sure that your baby feeds from both breasts and that your breasts are fully drained each time. If your baby does not consume all of the milk, you can pump the excess, so your breasts are no longer full. This can help reduce the risk of developing mastitis, or inflammation of breast tissue. If mastitis occurs, this can cause scar tissue to tighten around your implant, which can be painful.
Prepare for Breast Augmentation By Talking To Your Doctor
If you are thinking about getting breast augmentation, talk to your doctor about your lifestyle and future plans. Let them know if you plan on becoming pregnant and breastfeeding, as they can work with you to create a surgical plan that fits your needs.
The doctors at Town and Country Plastic Surgeons in Houston are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about breast enhancement and breastfeeding.