“Breast is best.” It’s the mantra of new mothers and medical professionals alike.
The benefits of breast milk have been well documented, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of a baby’s life.
But if you’re considering breast augmentation, or you already have breast implants, you may have some concerns about whether you’ll be able to provide your baby with breast milk. So let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at San Diego Body Contouring about breastfeeding after augmentation.
1. Can I breastfeed with breast implants?
In most cases, yes. Many women successfully breastfeed their babies after undergoing breast augmentation. The implants themselves are compatible with breastfeeding, and a knowledgeable surgeon will know how to perform the procedure with minimal impact to your major nerves and milk ducts.
It’s important to discuss your desire to breastfeed with your doctor before your breast augmentation so your surgeon can help make it possible. For example, the location of the incision can affect your ability to breastfeed. Incisions made under the fold of the breast or beneath the armpit are associated with higher levels of breastfeeding success, while incisions made around the areola can reduce sensation in the nipple, hindering the release of milk.
The position of the implant is also important. If an implant is placed too close to the gland, it can place pressure on the tissue and impede milk flow. Implants situated behind the chest muscle are much less likely to have an impact on your milk supply.
2. Will breast implants affect my milk production?
With proper insertion and placement, breast implants should in no way impact your milk production. However, the condition of your breast prior to augmentation is the best predictor of whether you will have a successful breastfeeding experience. If your breasts were undeveloped, tubular-shaped, or asymmetrical before you received implants, then you may lack sufficient glandular tissue to produce enough milk to feed your baby. The best way to find out is to speak with your doctor.
3. Can the implants leak into my breast milk?
Whether you opt for saline or silicone, there is no risk of your baby ingesting the implant material. In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared that there was no evidence to suggest breast implants were unsafe for breastfeeding infants. In fact, they also stated there are higher concentrations of silicon in infant formula than there are in the milk of lactating mothers with silicone breast implants. So even if you’ve undergone breast augmentation, breast milk is still best for your baby.
4. Will breastfeeding change the appearance of my implants?
Studies have shown breastfeeding is not a significant risk factor for sagging, drooping, or other cosmetic breast changes. The bigger risk factor is pregnancy itself, and this is true for women who’ve undergone breast augmentation as well as those who have not. While the shape and structure of the implants themselves will remain unchanged throughout the course of pregnancy and breastfeeding, ultimately, there is no way to predict whether or how your breasts will change in appearance after you’ve given birth – but we do offer breast lifts and Mommy Makeovers to address your cosmetic postpartum concerns.
5. Are there any risks involved?
There are risks involved in any surgical procedure. It’s possible to experience damage to the nerves, glands, or ducts, which could have a negative impact on your ability to breastfeed. Prior to undergoing a breast augmentation, you should discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
The bottom line is that breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do for the health and wellbeing of your baby. Breast implants shouldn’t prevent you from having this rewarding and nourishing experience.
Have more questions? Call us!
If breastfeeding is in your future, San Diego Body Contouring can help you decide which type of breast augmentation is right for you. Dr. Sarosy has performed thousands of surgical procedures, and with over 17 years of experience and an extremely high rate of patient satisfaction, you can trust him to support you in your journey toward a beautiful body – and a healthy baby.