Can I Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation?
The answer is yes. You can breastfeed after breast augmentation.
It’s a question that comes up a lot, and it’s not just because of the increased risk of infection from surgery and anesthesia. It’s also because breastfeeding is so important to many new mothers and babies, and we want to make sure everyone has the best chance at success.
Breastfeeding is important for you, too—it helps you lose weight faster, staves off postpartum depression, and gives you an excuse to lie around in bed all day watching Netflix with your baby (my favorite).
So how do you make sure that you’re ready for this life-changing experience? Here are some tips:
can i breastfeed after breast augmentation
Breastfeeding with breast implants
Most women with breast implants are able to breastfeed, though there are a few exceptions. Whether you’re able to breastfeed depends on the original state of your breasts before surgery and possibly the type of incision used.
Breast implants may affect the amount of breast milk you’re able to produce. But in some, milk supply isn’t affected at all.
You may also worry about the effect breastfeeding will have on your implants. It’s normal for your breasts to change in shape and size during pregnancy and after breastfeeding. Breastfeeding won’t affect your implants, but the size and shape of your breasts overall may be different.
Read on to learn more about breastfeeding with implants.
Implants are usually placed behind the milk glands or under the chest muscles, which doesn’t affect milk supply. However, the location and depth of the incision used for your surgery may affect your ability to breastfeed.
Surgery that keeps the areola intact is less likely to cause problems. The areola is the dark area around your nipple.
The nerves around your nipples play an important role in breastfeeding. The sensation of a baby suckling on the breast increases the levels of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin triggers the production of breast milk, while oxytocin triggers the letdown. When these nerves are damaged, sensation is reduced.
Incisions made under the breast or through the armpit or belly button are less likely to interfere with breastfeeding.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source, there haven’t been any recent clinical reports of problems in babies of mothers with silicone implants.
There are no methods for accurately detecting silicone levels in breast milk. However, a 2007 study that measured silicon levels didn’t find higher levels in breast milk in mothers with silicone implants compared to those without. Silicon is a component in silicone.
There’s also no evidence of increased riskTrusted Source of birth defects in babies born to mothers with breast implants.
Breast implants do pose some risks to the person, though, such as:
- possibility of needing additional surgeries for corrections or removal
- capsular contracture, which occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant causing squeezing
- changes in breast and nipple sensation
- breast pain
- rupture of implants
There are things you can do to help increase your milk production and help your baby get all the nourishment they need.
Here are some tips to help you breastfeed with implants:
1. Breastfeed often
Breastfeeding your baby 8 to 10 times per day can help establish and maintain milk production. The sensation of your baby suckling your breast triggers your body to produce milk. The more often you breastfeed, the more milk your body will make.
Even if you’re only able to produce a small amount of milk, you’re still providing your baby with antibodies and nutrition at each feeding.
Breastfeeding from both breasts can also increase your milk supply.
2. Empty your breasts regularly
Emptying your breasts plays an important role in milk production. Try using a breast pump or manually expressing milk after feedings to increase milk production.
A 2012 study found that pumping both breasts simultaneously resulted in increased milk production. It also increased the calories and fat in breast milk.
You can also hand-express or pump into a bottle to feed your baby breast milk if they won’t latch.
3. Try herbal galactagogues
There are certain herbs believed to helpTrusted Source naturally increase breast milk production, such as:
- milk thistle
There’s a lack of scientific evidence to back up the effectiveness of herbal galactagogues. Some studiesTrusted Source have found that fenugreek may help increase milk supply, though.
Some people also use lactation cookies. These can be bought online or made at home to try to help increase milk production. These cookies often contain ingredients such as:
- whole oats
- flax seed
- brewer’s yeast
- wheat germ
- herbal galactagogues
Research is limited on the effectiveness of lactation cookies on increasing breast milk production, though. The safety of these for infant exposure has also not been rigorously studied.