How Do Breast Implants Affect Breastfeeding?

*Consult your doctor before planning to breast feed with implants.

Breastfeeding your infant is a wonderful experience during which the two of you can bond, your child can get many helpful hormones and growth factors and both of you can de-stress. While formula feeding is also appropriate for many babies, most mothers these days prefer to breastfeed for a time at least. If you are looking into breast implants but are still planning on becoming pregnant and breastfeeding in the future, there are some important questions that you must consider before you can determine whether this will be possible for you.

Where Were the Incisions?

There are a variety of locations for breast implant incisions, and these will be determined by the wishes of your surgeon and by the size and type of implants that you will be receiving. In general, the best incisions for breastfeeding are those that are made in the armpit or under the breast. Circular Incisions made around the areola and nipple can injure nerves and glands necessary for breastfeeding.

Where Were the Implants Placed?

Implants placed on top of your chest muscle and directly under your breast fat are most likely to cause issues with breastfeeding. Ask your surgeon about placing the implant underneath the chest muscle by using an incision through the fatty tissue. Silicone implants that are close to the surface are most likely to leach silicone into the breast milk.

Were Glands and Ducts Injured?

The most important question in all of this is whether the vital glands and ducts that make breast milk and deliver it to the nipples were injured. If these glands are injured, if ducts are cut or if nerves leading to any of these areas are injured, you may not be able to create any breast milk or may not be able to make enough breast milk for your baby.

What Is the Best Solution?

You have two good options for ensuring that you can breastfeed while enjoying a breast augmentation. The first option is to wait until you are done with childbirth and lactation before undergoing this procedure. This will also help your breast tissues return to normal and may allow you to see the best results. The other option is to have an honest and open conversation with your surgeon. During this discussion, you should tell him or her that you still hope to breastfeed, and ask the surgeon how you can best meet that goal.

If you are unable to create your own breast milk or cannot make enough breast milk after your procedure, you can always supplement with infant formula. While many hold that it is not as amazing as human milk is for nourishing your baby, it still has all of the necessary calories and nutrients that your little one needs. In addition, your doctor may recommend that you use a breast pump to stimulate your breasts to create more milk.