If you have concerns about whether you can still breastfeed after getting breast implants, the answer is yes. There is no evidence showing that the presence of silicone in the body is harmful to a breastfeeding baby. However, the success of breastfeeding depends upon a few factors, and each case is different.
A few of those factors are:
Type of Incision
Breast implants can be inserted through different locations on the chest. It is most commonly done through the inframammary fold, or the breast crease, but can also include the armpit or the areola. Making the incision in the inframammary fold or armpit keeps the tissue and nerves intact.
Incisions around the areola are the most likely to cause nerve damage, which in turn can cause changes to the milk supply. If you can still feel sensation in your nipples after surgery, your nerves are likely undamaged.
Reason for Surgery
The condition of the breasts pre-surgery can have an effect on breastfeeding. If the procedure was just to give your already symmetrical breasts a lift for cosmetic reasons, the likelihood of breastfeeding complications is slim.
On the other hand, some breast implants are done for medical reasons, such as reconstruction after recovering from breast cancer. Mastectomies can remove breast tissue and possibly damage nerves essential to lactation. In these cases, the patient might be at risk of a reduced milk supply.
Breast implants can be placed either between the breast tissue and the chest wall or beneath the layer of muscle. Depending on the placement, it is possible that the implant can impact milk production.
While breast implants won’t stop you from breastfeeding, they may reduce the amount of breast milk some women produce. This can occur if a nerve in the nipple or breast was severed during the incision, such as around the areola.
Implants placed directly against the tissue are also a factor. The pressure can crowd the milk ducts or mimic the feeling of engorgement. This interferes with the signals that tell the body to either start or stop producing milk, leading to reduced flow.
Tips for Breastfeeding with Implants
Breastfeeding can be difficult for new mothers, breast implants or not.
There are ways you can help your body promote milk production, though, including:
Reach out to a lactation consultant.
Properly latching can help your baby benefit more from feedings. If they have trouble latching, consider a lactation consultant. A consultant can give you feedback on how to improve the experience for both you and your baby.
Be cautious of infections.
One side effect of breast augmentation is more intense engorgement, which can increase the likelihood of contracting mastitis. Mastitis is an infection in the breast tissue that causes the area to become swollen and red from inflammation.
Feeling Your Best After Pregnancy
Hess & Sandeen can help you love your body after pregnancy. Breast implants are part of our mommy makeover procedure, which is a combination of plastic surgeries that address the areas of the body affected by pregnancy. We do typically recommend waiting until you are done having children to undergo this procedure since additional pregnancies can undo the results.