Can you Breastfeed With Breast Implants?

By: Dr. Robert Kenevan

Copyright (c) 2008 Dr. Robert Kenevan

Breast Augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure that enlarges your breasts using either saline-filled implants or silicone-gel implants. Breast implants can give you the breast size you have always wanted.

They can possibly boost your self-esteem and make you feel confident, but what happens when the baby arrives?

Breastfeeding with implants is one of the common concerns among women considering breast enlargement and future breastfeeding.

The good news is breast implants should not interfere with your ability to breastfeed. How the breast implant surgery is performed, however, makes a difference.

The placement of the implant and location of the incisions play a major role in determining whether breastfeeding after breast augmentation is possible. Breast implants inserted through incisions in the folds under the breasts or the armpit are less likely to disrupt milk production and delivery.

Procedures using the peri-areolar, or "nipple" incision, are more likely to sever milk ducts, and affect important nerves responsible for triggering milk production and release.

In these cases, a woman's breasts may produce a full milk supply, but the milk is not able to pass through damaged ducts to the nipple or be released from the nipple. While breastfeeding with implants is definitely possible and encouraged, new moms may experience insufficient milk production.

According to an Institute of Medicine study, women with implants may have a 28%-64% drop in milk production. But it's important to note that insufficient milk production does not mean a woman has to forgo breastfeeding with implants altogether.

A breastfeeding mother with implants needs to keep a close watch on the amount of milk her baby is receiving and possibly supplement breast milk with bottles of formula.

Another concern is question of what happens if your breast implant leaks. There is no reason be too worried about material from your implants winding up in your baby's body. Breast implants filled with saline are safe; even if leaking does occur saline poses little risk to a baby.

Silicone implants should not create a breastfeeding risk either. The silicone molecules used in implants are too large to easily pass into a mother's milk. In fact, it's been reported that similar amounts of silicone are found in the breast milk of women with silicone implants, women without breast implants, cow's milk, and baby formula.

If you are considering having a breast implant surgery and you are planning to breastfeed with implants, it is essential to talk to your surgeon so he or she will be able to work to preserve as much of your breast tissue and milk ducts as possible.

If you already have breast implants, you should speak to your baby's doctor about the benefits and risks of breastfeeding. A lactation consultant can also be a valuable resource for a woman who chooses breastfeeding after implants.

Motherhood
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Motherhood
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles