Can You Breastfeed With Implants? The Truth Revealed

about breastfeeding with implants Dr Nick Masri MD

Many women decide to take charge of their bodies and embrace medical innovations to increase their self-confidence. And one popular plastic surgery option women rely on is breast augmentation.

Also known as augmentation mammoplasty, breast augmentation is a procedure that results in fuller, rounder, and bigger breasts. Women get this surgery to enlarge their breasts, restore breast shape and size, and achieve breast symmetry.

In 2020 alone, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recorded over 190,000 breast augmentation procedures done in the United States during the pandemic. It’s also one of the most in-demand procedures in Dr. Nick Masri’s cosmetic surgery clinic.

While there are several ways to augment the breasts, the most common method used until now is breast implants. Available in silicone and saline variants, breast implants are inserted into the breasts to make them bigger and fuller.

You can get implants anytime… but what if you decide to have a baby after you’ve had your implants? You might have questions about breastfeeding with implants and how they might affect the quality of milk your child will ingest.

This article will give you a quick rundown of the facts about breastfeeding with implants, its safety, and aftercare tips for your child while breastfeeding.

Can You Breastfeed with Implants?

Short answer: Yes, you can breastfeed even if you have implants.

But you still have to consider a few things, like the implant type and placement.

Breast implants don’t affect the ducts—the parts of the breasts responsible for milk production. And even if a silicone implant breaks, it’s unlikely to leach into breast milk.

Research has also shown that saline water accidentally mixed into breast milk produces no harmful effects on the child if you have saline implants.

However, before you breastfeed your child, you need to look into three essential areas of the overall procedure.

Four Considerations Before Breastfeeding 

Although it’s generally safe to breastfeed while having implants, it is important to consider that each body is unique, and circumstances may vary.

To make sure that you can breastfeed without any hitches, here are the things you must consider:

The reason behind your breast augmentation

Did you choose to get breast augmentation for breast enlargement? If you’ve had breast implants for cosmetics-related reasons, there’s a big chance you can breastfeed safely.

However, if you choose to get breast implants to restructure, realign, or reshape your breasts, there might be a possibility that you’re lacking the glandular tissue required to produce milk.

The location of the incisions

Knowing the location of the incisions is essential in determining whether your surgeon has saved major nerves on your breasts.

If the incisions go across your nipple or areola, then your milk ducts and nerves connected to it are cut.

But if the incisions are made underneath the breasts or adjacent to your armpits, you still have intact breast ducts that can produce milk.

The location of the implants

Breast implants inserted under chest muscles are ideal for breastfeeding. The nerves and tissues that produce milk are unlikely to be damaged from the procedure.

For implants located under the glands, this placement may affect milk production.

The sensation on your nipples

It’s normal to have reduced nipple sensation after your breast augmentation surgery. In fact, it can persist even up to two years after your surgery.

But if you’ve had implants for more than two years and still can’t feel anything in your nipples, this may indicate that you’ve also lost your ability to breastfeed. It might also be helpful to consult a plastic surgeon like Dr. Nidal Masri and get yourself checked.

Problems You Might Encounter While Breastfeeding

Each body reacts differently to breast augmentation surgery. The overall process may vary depending on the results you want.

Milk glands, ducts, and nerves may be damaged during implant surgery. These damaged nerves may result in a decreased sensitivity in the nipple area.

Decreased sensitivity may affect your breasts’ let-down reflex, which makes breastmilk flow. Without it, milk won’t be released from the glands to the milk ducts even as your baby tries to trigger your let-down reflex.

Breast implants may also damage milk ducts that decrease the amount of milk produced.

They can also make your breasts swell, block milk flow, and pinch milk ducts.

Tips for Breastfeeding with Implants

Despite the concerns you may encounter when breastfeeding with implants, this shouldn’t stop you from providing the best nourishment to your child.

The risks can be resolved with the guidance of an experienced and double board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Masri.

You can also follow the tips below to make breastfeeding easier and safer for you and your child.

Learn the correct way of helping your child latch to the breast. 

First, move the child closer to your breast. Then, touch their upper lip with your nipple and wait for them to open their mouth.

Make sure their mouth covers much of your areola, and try to check if they cannot be easily separated from your nipple.

While latching, allow your child to breastfeed as long as they can.

Check for signs of proper latching. 

Aside from your child not being easily tugged away from your nipple, there are telltale signs that they latched on correctly.

While breastfeeding, you can hear them swallow as your child takes slow and deep mouthfuls of milk.

Check your breasts as well. Your nipples shouldn’t hurt while breastfeeding. There should also be no visible wrinkling or dimpling on the breasts while your child is latched on.

Observe if your child is getting enough breast milk.

An infant breastfeeds an average of 8 to 10 times a day.

A common observation that may indicate your child is getting enough breast milk is when they have 3 to 4 bowel movements a day. They may also gain weight as time passes by.

Final Thoughts

African American mother singing lullaby for infant to sleep
Breast implants are not a hindrance to breastfeeding. With the latest innovations in implant technology, any woman can fulfill her maternal obligations and feel empowered with her body.

Contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions about breast augmentation and breastfeeding.

You may also ask for guidance from licensed plastic surgeons like Dr. Nidal Masri on how you can breastfeed with implants.

Leave a Comment