Can I breastfeed with breast implants?
As with all nursing women, breastfeeding success depends, first and foremost, on having the correct information about good latch, positioning and breastfeeding management. Knowing how to make more breast milk and wanting to succeed are also important. In fact, even without an implant, many women have struggled and faced disheartening disappointments. It’s a concern that all mothers have before and after the baby arrives, whether they have breast enhancements or not.
While some studies found out the women with enhanced breasts are more likely to encounter challenges in breastfeeding than those who have kept it natural, the odds are in their favor. Women might need to put in more effort and face more challenges than those without implants, but yes, they can still accomplish their breastfeeding task at hand!
So if women are hoping to breastfeed their baby, here are a few things that will help determine if the odds are in their favor, some things they may experience, as well as some tips to increase their chances of success.
12 Implants Won’t Harm The Baby
First things first – your breast implants will not pose any “danger to you or your baby if you are breastfeeding, even in the rare event that your implant ruptures”, says New York City board certified plastic surgeon, Matthew Schulman, MD.
Salt Lake City board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. York Yates, adds that there is no need to stress about implants harming your baby. The main thing that will affect your desire to breastfeed and nursing is worrying too much.
“There have been no studies to suggest that there is any danger to the baby, even with silicone implants,” says Yates.
Unless you had some problems or complications during your augmentation, and if you still have feelings in your nipples after the surgery, then your milk factories should be working well. You will still be able to breastfeed just fine, even if the sensations have not yet returned completely within 1-2 years after your enhancement.
11 And The Baby Won't Harm The Implants
Most women with implants who have lost their desire to nurse their babies are the women who have concerns that breastfeeding will change the appearance of their implants. Tamara, who had implants when she was 19 years old, found out that this myth was not true.
In fact, her breasts were still up after pregnancy when most women who do not have implants suffer from sagging breasts after nursing. Amber Nicole Smiley of Youtube got breast augmentation in 2007. Seven years later she got pregnant and after giving birth, she was happy the way her breasts went back down.
However, it is different for each woman and it is impossible to say how much change will occur. The changes in shape and size of your breast after breastfeeding can be permanent, but it will not affect your implants. The implants will hold their shape and stay in place. However, the rest of your breast may look different.
10 Size Can Increase Or Decrease Mom's Chance Of Nursing
If you choose smaller-sized implants rather than going bigger, your chances of being able to breastfeed your bundle of joy is greater. Douglas J. Mackenzie, M.D., FACS says, “A very large implant in a woman with fairly tight skin, no matter how it is placed, could conceivably diminish breast milk production by the pressure on the overlying breast tissue.”
Your breasts will also grow bigger when you are pregnant, so you should expect your already enhanced breasts to grow even bigger. Once your baby comes and breast milk starts to come in, you may have exaggerated breast engorgement, which can be very uncomfortable.
If you are in the planning stages of getting your breasts enhanced, you could opt for a smaller-sized if you are planning to have a baby and breastfeed in the future.
9 Always Choose A Bra That's 1 Cup Bigger
Aria Phillips of Youtube wanted breast implants since she was 15 when all her friends got theirs. She got her implants when she was 22 years old and went from an AA cup to D cup. She breastfed her firstborn daughter, Eden and it did not affect her ability to nurse.
She did not experience any issue related to breastfeeding, such as thrush, clogged ducts or mastitis. Now on her second child, Caleb, she is also breastfeeding well and her breasts are abundant with milk. On most days, Aria says she even forgets that she has implants. Her only issue was choosing the right bra size.
“When you have breast implants, you have initial support on your breast, so when you wear a bra that is smaller, then it will push your breast and make them fuller compared to women without implants. The bra would push your breast out of the bra. Measure your breast according to the recommendation of the manufacturer then buy bras that are 1 cup larger,” she said.
8 Expect Swelling And Pain
Souljagurlsha of Youtube wanted to breastfeed her first child, but her breast became so incredibly engorged and painful that she just wanted it to be over with and didn’t even try to nurse.
So on her second time around, she tried harder, after giving birth to her second baby on October 11, 2015. He latched on quickly, but when she was discharged, things changed.
The day she was discharged, they grew larger, and by the end of the day, they were 2 sizes larger. She said, “my back was so sore from them being so heavy. They weigh like 110 pounds, but it was easier because I was pumping and that has made the world of difference. And the engorgement started going down 10 days later.”
7 Pumping Encourages More Milk
It is important to breastfeed your baby a lot during the first few weeks after your baby arrives. The sucking will send signals to your body to get the milk started and going. In case your baby does not latch immediately, you can use a breast pump to start milk production.
“Pumping is also a good backup plan. Supplementing with formula and pumping, especially when you have a problem with the baby latching or if your nipples are getting raw, sore, or chapped”, Souljagurlsha, a mother of two with implants, said.
She pumped since she got home from the hospital and was able to get around 2-4 ounces of breast milk, pumping for 10 minutes on each breast. She used a double-breasted pump, but when she set up both at the same time, the pressure is not as great, so she pumped 10 minutes with one breast at a time.
She adds that you can try taking the suction cup off and putting it back on to pick up the breast milk again.
6 Implants Should Be Placed Strategically
Implants that are placed under the chest muscles give you a good chance for breastfeeding. There is very little surgical trauma to breast tissue, mammary glands, and milk ducts when your implant is placed behind the muscles. This means, that there is more healthy glandular or breast tissue available for milk production.
Tamara had her breast implants when she was 19 years old, she told her doctor she wanted to breastfeed in the future. The doctor placed her implants behind her breast muscles and she went from cup A to D cup. A decade later, she had her son and nursed him for 15 months.
On the other hand, a breast job placed on top of your muscle chest, under the glandular tissue, or between the muscle layer and glandular tissue of your breasts, will exert pressure on the glands and ducts and may reduce milk production and interfere with milk flow. In this case, you may need to make extra steps to help with nursing.
5 Milk Shortages Can Happen
Some women will have trouble breastfeeding, whether they have implants or not.
“You need to understand that you do not have to feel guilty if you experience any problems with nursing after your decision to have breast augmentation,” New York City board certified plastic surgeon, Matthew Schulman, MD said. He added that you should not mistakenly blame your breast implants.
Most women have no trouble producing milk, but some will have a shortage of milk supply, particularly for their first baby. If you are not making enough milk to supply the needs of your baby, you can increase milk production by using a pump.
Every drop of milk you can make is tremendously beneficial for your baby. Breast massages and hot pads in the shower increase milk production, as well as feeding your baby 8-10 times a day and eating foods that help lactation.
4 A Woman's Reason For Implants Is Crucial
You should be able to nurse your baby if you simply wanted larger breasts and wanted your implants for cosmetic reasons.
However, if you had breast implants because your breasts are spaced far apart, your breast tissues are never developed, or if your humps are symmetrical or tubular in shape, then you will experience some difficulty producing milk, which has nothing to do with your implants.
If your augmentation was not for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons and the above reasons describe your pre-implant breasts, it is possible that you do not have enough glandular tissues needed to make milk.
One study revealed that women with the above breast conditions are 25 percent more likely to have experience breastfeeding problems and 19 percent will likely need to supplement. Don’t give up just yet! A certified lactation consultant can help you breastfeed successfully once your bundle of joy arrives.
3 The Surgical Incision Can Cut Milk Ducts
Aesthetically, the incisions that go across the nipples or the areola provides excellent results. The scars heal the best and any scar is generally camouflaged quite well – sometimes so well that the cuts are virtually invisible - because of the darker color and the texture of the areola border.
However, there’s a big chance that your nerves and milk ducts were cut during augmentation, so breastfeeding might not work. On the other hand, there is a good possibility that you can still nurse.
Locah2 of the BabyCenter community, a mother from Cape Cod, MA, who had her breasts cut around the nipples 8 years before she had her first son, was able to breastfeed both her first and second son without any problems with a periareolar incision.
If your incision was made near the armpits or underneath the breast, you would have no problem producing milk for your baby since this type of incision saves major nerves from being cut.
2 Always Keep Back-Up Formula
Whether you have an implant or not, you won’t know exactly how your breast augmentation has affected your milk supply until you attempt to nurse. If your breast milk is low, you will definitely need to grab supplemental milk or get your baby’s need from donor breast milk.
Souljagurlsha, a mother of two, says it is a good idea for moms with breast implants to have a can of formula in case you have a feisty baby or in case the milk hasn’t come out yet. Every experience and baby is different.
She keeps bottles of pumped breast milk and formula at the same time. She adds that if you pump at least every 2-3 hours, you will have a steady supply or breast milk. If you get behind, feel, sleepy, and lazy, then you can give the baby formula. Even if the baby doesn’t want the breast, he’ll have pumped breast milk ready.
1 Take Good Care Of The Bosoms
“Nipple cream can make the world of difference, especially when your nipple starts to hurt sometimes,” says AngelaMarieBeauty of Youtube. She adds that massaging the breast is particularly beneficial for women with implants.
“Massage the whole area to get the juice flowing by stimulating the nerves. Massaging also helps prevent clogged ducts. To prevent clogs, put your pump and baby on the boobs as much as possible, and massage. Get hot. Anything hot will help your milk flow and keep it coming if you have implants.
You can get more stretch marks so get the bio oil ready,” she tells. When it comes to breastfeeding when you have an implant, AngelaMarieBeauty, advice fellow mothers with implants is to not listen to the people who tell you that you can’t do it.
Sources: Richardjbrownmd.com, Surgery.org, Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Babycenter.com, Pregnancyandbaby.com, Breastfeeding.support, Community.Babycenter.com, Youtube.com