If you’ve had a breast augmentation procedure and are now either pregnant or wanting to start a family, you may be concerned about whether you can safely breastfeed. First, it’s completely safe for your baby to breastfeed with breast implants, but for a more in-depth look, our renowned, board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, Dr. Ortiz, is sharing what you need to know about how breast augmentation may affect breastfeeding success.
Is It Safe to Breastfeed with Breast Implants?
Whether you have saline breast implants or silicone implants, it is safe to breastfeed. Because the implant is behind the glands, the ducts and glands are rarely affected. The silicone used in modern implants is unlikely to leach into breast milk and if a saline implant ruptures, you’ll know immediately when it happens.
Does Breast Augmentation Affect Breastfeeding?
While it is safe to breastfeed, and the surgery itself shouldn’t affect your ability to do so, it’s important to look at how the implant is placed to determine if it may affect milk supply.
First, let’s look at the two ways an implant may be placed:
- Submuscular, meaning the implant is placed below the glands and under the pectoral muscle.
- Subglandular, meaning the implant is placed below the breast tissue but over the muscle.
In both cases, the implant is placed behind milk ducts, so this shouldn’t affect supply or ability to nurse successfully.
The greater factor to affect breastfeeding outcome is where the breast augmentation incision is located. Most breast augmentation procedures are performed with an incision along the inframammary fold, which is the crease, or natural boundary where the breast and chest meet. The incision is below the breast and the implant is placed from there, completely bypassing the parts of the breast associated with nursing.
However, if the incision is made through the areola, the nerves and ducts may have been separated, and sometimes this can block the letdown reflex that tells your body when to release breast milk. Women who have lost sensation in the nipple are more at risk for this complication.
While a majority of women with breast implants successfully breastfeed after their procedure, if you do have difficulties with supply or the letdown reflex, a lactation consultant can often help you with these challenges.
Does Breastfeeding Affect the Look of Implants?
In addition to wondering how breast augmentation affects breastfeeding, many women wonder how breastfeeding affects the look of their breast implants. Pregnancy and nursing can cause changes to breast tissue, including the size and shape of the breast as well as cause sagging. The good news is that a study performed by Dr. Jeffrey Salomon, an assistant clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine found no differences in measurement or sagging caused by breastfeeding in women with implants versus women with implants who didn’t breastfeed after pregnancy.
Every woman’s body responds differently to pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you do experience changes to your breasts and you feel your implants don’t suit your post-baby body, or you are concerned about sagging or excess volume, Dr. Ortiz can assist you with an implant revision or implant removal that will lead to an outcome you are comfortable with.
Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Breast Augmentation or Implant Revision Today
If you are considering breast augmentation but have additional questions, or you have had augmentation in the past but would like to have your implants removed, we can help. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ortiz today at 919-891-1582 or complete our easy-to-use online contact form below.