Many women choose to have breast surgery for health or aesthetic reasons. One of the most common plastic surgeries done worldwide is breast implants. When done correctly, breast implants can make a woman feel self-confident in their appearance.
Mothers may get breast implants to make their breasts appear youthful and less saggy. As the breast changes in shape and size during pregnancy, it can leave them appearing saggy because of the loose skin. Implants can make the breast appear full again.
However, many moms might wonder: if you have breast implants, can you breastfeed? Do breast lifts and implants get in the way of breastfeeding your baby? And what are the potential risks?
Can You Breastfeed with Breast Lift?
Some women might choose to get a breast lift to enhance their appearance. A breast lift is a procedure that involves lifting the breast up with implants to make them appear firmer, higher, and rounder. A breast lift is a generally safe procedure done by many surgeons across the globe.
Factors such as the type of surgery and the placement of implants matter. If your implants are placed under the breast or armpit, then it should not affect breastfeeding. However, incisions around the areola can cut the milk ducts and affect breastfeeding.
Fortunately, if done correctly, most mothers can breastfeed their babies after breast implants. However, the surgery might impact your milk supply, particularly if the nipples and areolas are affected.
For some mothers, milk supply remains the same after breast surgery. Meanwhile, others experience a dip in production and may require support. All mothers, including those with breast surgery, can produce some drops of colostrum.
What are the Risks of Breastfeeding with Implants
Like any surgery, breast implants come with risks. Depending on your surgery, the impact of your implants on your breastfeeding might end up being unnoticeable or problematic.
You may experience a loss of function and nipple sensation after a breast lift. Other mothers report having a reduction in their milk supply after surgery. However, you will not identify these issues until you start breastfeeding.
Your breast will also change in appearance, even with the added implants. Breasts naturally grow bigger while pregnant and will eventually shrink after breastfeeding. This can cause loose skin. Your doctor may recommend having surgery once you have finished having children.
It is recommended to wait before getting pregnant to let your breasts recover from surgery. You may also speak to your health provider about breastfeeding before getting an implant or breast lift to better understand the risks.
Severed milk ducts can heal and regrow, and nerves can regain functionalities. However, this might take some time.
You can significantly increase your supply by producing as much milk as possible during the first two weeks of breastfeeding. Your baby’s latch can help keep your milk rolling, so aim to feed them at least 8-10 times daily.
Another way to continue milk production is through manual pumping. If your baby does not latch on immediately to your breast, you can express milk through a pump and collect them in a food-safe container.
Some herbs are believed to help increase milk production, such as fennel, milk thistle, and fenugreek. While there is little research done about the effectiveness of herbal galactagogues, there is no harm in trying.
You may discuss using milk supplements with your health provider if you believe you are not producing enough milk. Formula feeding can help feed your baby if you have an inadequate milk supply.
Will Breastfeeding Ruin my Implants?
Some moms might be concerned that breastfeeding will ruin their implants. Fortunately, breastfeeding will not affect your breast implants. The implants are placed within the breast tissues (and sometimes in the chest muscles) and are too far away for a baby to reach and bite.
The research behind breastfeeding with breast implants is limited at best. Fortunately, there have been no cases of a baby experiencing problems after breastfeeding from a mother with breast implants. The American Academics of Pediatrics (AAP) does not have enough evidence to show that breastfeeding with breast implants is dangerous.
Can You Breastfeed with Breast Reduction?
A breast reduction surgery, as the name suggests, is a procedure that removes extra fats and tissues from the breast to decrease its size. Many women may consider breast reduction surgery for comfort and appearance.
Unlike a breast lift or implants, breast reduction surgery can cause issues for mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. However, it is still possible if a surgeon carefully preserves the milk ducts and nerves.
Like breast implants, incisions under the breast or armpits will cause fewer issues. The nerves in your breasts are responsible for milk production. Any damage to the nerves during breast reduction can affect the milk supply.
Some problems you may encounter with breast reduction include nipple sensitivity and low milk supply. You may talk to your health provider about how to feed your baby if your surgery has affected your milk production.
Can You Breastfeed After Areola Reduction?
Areola reduction is another type of breast surgery women can have. Women can choose to reduce the size and circumference of their areola. This procedure can take place along with breast augmentation and lift.
An areola reduction can affect breastfeeding, similar to other types of breast surgery. However, if your surgeon can preserve the nerves and milk ducts, then there should be no problem when it comes to breastfeeding your baby.
What kind of breast implants can you breastfeed with?
Breast implants underneath the breast or the armpit are generally safe and allow you to breastfeed.
Will breast implants sag after breastfeeding?
Breast implants do not increase the likelihood of sagging after breastfeeding. Changes in the breasts are a result of pregnancy and not from breastfeeding.
Can you pump milk with implants?
You can safely pump breast milk with implants. Your pump will not damage the silicone inside of the implants.