Can I Breastfeed with Implants?

August 22, 2014 Scott Newman

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With August being National Breastfeeding Month, let’s reflect on the age-old way of feeding and nourishing babies, breastfeeding. We’ve heard of countless benefits that come to babies, and even mamas, when breastfeeding is a part of the baby’s daily ritual.WomensHealth.gov reports that breastfeeding helps infants to stay healthier and can even prevent some illnesses as breastfed babies grow up. Any woman who has breastfed one or more infants will likely tell you she lost the baby weight faster. Then there’s the bonding aspect, not to mention the fact that it’s free and available on demand. Breastfeeding is a natural and wonderful way to feed and bond with your infant, so it’s not surprising that so many women are wondering whether breastfeeding with implants is possible.

Many women opt for breast implants before their children are even a sparkle in their eye. They improve their self confidence and their body image, increasing their happiness and they start feeling great about themselves on a daily basis. As the years fly by, women may start to think about a family and then the question comes to mind—can I breastfeed with implants?

What You Need to Know about Breastfeeding with Implants

During a consultation, experienced plastic surgeons address questions from patients ranging from recovery time to the lifetime of the breast implants and everything in between. Patients may not even be thinking about starting a family yet, but it’s still an important consideration when you’re considering a breast augmentation. Be sure to speak with your surgeon about your wishes prior to your procedure.

Breastfeeding with implants is very possible, but certain surgical techniques allow for a more successful go at it than others. A skilled plastic surgeon who knows you eventually want to breastfeed will be able to focus extra carefully on preserving the nerves and the milk ducts in the breast during surgery. Incisions made under the breast crease and from beneath the armpit typically diminish the chances of nerve damage or disturbance to the milk ducts. This technique is preferable to an incision placed around the areola when possible future breastfeeding is in the picture. Dr. Newman practices very careful surgical precision to ensure women who want to breastfeed their young will have the best chance possible when the time comes. Many women who got implants during their young adulthood and wished to breastfeed have successfully done so without complications due to milk production or nursing in general.

When performed by a skilled surgeon, the placement of breast implants should not impact the chances of breastfeeding and many women are proud to prove it. Reality star Kourtney Kardashian and former Playboy model and reality star Kendra Baskett are just two celebrity examples of breastfeeding success following a breast augmentation. No known safety issues exist with breastfeeding and implants, regardless of the type of implant placed, silicone or saline.

In a perfect scenario, breastfeeding with implants should be a successful and rewarding experience for new moms. If it doesn’t work out, implants aren’t always to blame. It is important to remember that breastfeeding is a very personal process and each woman’s body responds differently. Some women—regardless of breast implant status—are not able to breastfeed for one reason or another. Sometimes a new mom’s milk might be delayed or might not come in at all—this happens frequently with preemies. Other times a mom may get sick, requiring her to go on medication that stunts or even dries up the milk supply. Some newborns have a tough time latching on, and numerous other factors can also come into play. Meeting with a lactation consultant can often get to the root of breastfeeding issues early on, enabling new moms to try new breastfeeding techniques and stimulate higher milk production in the earliest days of an infant’s life. This can improve chances that breastfeeding will continue successfully.

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