Breast Augmentation and Breastfeeding: Can You Still Breastfeed After Surgery?
Are you pregnant or planning to have children and considering breast augmentation? If so, you’re probably wondering if it’ll interfere with your breastfeeding ability.
Understanding how breastfeeding after a breast augmentation surgery might work and the complications involved is critical in making an informed decision about how best to feed your child.
In this article, we explore the issues around breastfeeding after breast augmentation to help you decide whether or not to pursue this procedure when expecting a child.
How Breast Augmentation Surgery Works
During a breast augmentation procedure, the surgeon may place breast implants in two ways:
- Submuscular: The surgeon places the implant below the mammary glands, under your pectoral muscle.
- Subglandular: The surgeon places the implant below your breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle.
In both situations, the implants don’t interfere with mammary glands or milk ducts. While your surgeon will remove some glandular tissue during breast reduction, adequate tissue often remains to ensure milk production after the surgical procedure.
Breast augmentation surgery may not interfere with your ability to breastfeed, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll have an optimum milk supply. A major factor that affects breastfeeding ability is the type and location of the breast surgery incision.
Breast augmentation surgeons often cut along the inframammary fold — the meeting point of your breast and chest muscles. This incision doesn’t interfere with any part of the breast that facilitates the breastfeeding process.
However, if your surgeon makes the incision through your areola, it may cause the nerves and milk ducts to separate. This process can interfere with the letdown reflex that commands the body to produce breast milk.
You’re at a higher risk of this problem if you’ve lost sensation around the nipple. While most women can breastfeed comfortably after a breast augmentation, you should contact a lactation professional for help if you experience any issues.
Can You Safely Breastfeed with Breast Implants?
You can safely breastfeed with all types of breast implants, including silicone implants or saline implants. The implants rarely affect the glands and ducts as they’re behind the glands. Modern implants have silicone with minimal risk of leaching into breast milk.
Side Effects of Breastfeeding with Breast Implants
You may experience some side effects after having breast implants, including intense breast engorgement. You may also get mastitis, which can be painful with a severe fever. If you experience any unusual symptoms after breast surgery, don’t hesitate to seek medical help.
Many women also wonder if breastfeeding can affect the look of their implants. A study by Dr. Jeffrey Salomon of Yale University School of Medicine revealed that breastfeeding might not affect the appearance of implants. The study showed no difference in breast shape or size after breastfeeding in women with breast implants as compared to women with implants who didn’t nurse after pregnancy.