Everything You Need to Know about Breastfeeding with Implants

"Can I breastfeed my baby if I have breast implants?" At Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates in Missoula, MT, this is a question we hear often, and understandably so. However, while the surgical techniques and implant placement can affect milk production and flow, it is perfectly safe for mothers to breastfeed after implants. Here, we will explore how and why breastfeeding with implants is entirely possible. No matter what your concerns, Dr. Stephen P. Hardy and his team are here to walk you through every step.

Research-Based Evidence

Child nursing. At our practice, we center all treatment and recommendations around research-based evidence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. and the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. have both released reports stating that there is no reason to suspect that breast implants represent a threat to breastfeeding. In fact, experts have noted that the levels of silicone present in baby formula and cow’s milk are actually higher than the levels found in breast milk from mothers with silicone implants.

How Incision Patterns Affect Ducts and Glands

While implants themselves do not affect breastfeeding, nipple sensation does play an important factor in the process. One of the nerves that detects sensation in the breast activates the reflex that produces and releases milk. If this nerve is severed, it can significantly undermine breastfeeding.

Consequently, patients who wish to breastfeed in the future should seek surgeons who can perform a surgical technique that does not require incisions around the areola or nipple. By pursuing more conservative treatment, you increase your chances for successful breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor to determine the surgical technique that is right for you.

The Importance of Implant Positioning

Implants increase the amount of pressure placed on the ducts and glands of the breast. If an implant is placed between the muscular layer and the glandular tissue of the breast, it is more likely to interfere with milk production. Therefore, placing the implant underneath the muscle is preferred for women who plan to breastfeed.

You will not know precisely how your surgery affects milk production and flow until you actually try to nurse.

Choosing the Right Technique

A number of breast augmentation techniques are available to every patient, each of which affects milk production and flow in different ways. The two most common that accommodate breastfeeding are the inframammary and axillary techniques, both of which leave the nerves and glandular tissue intact.

Should I Wait to Get an Augmentation?

Most women who undergo these types of procedures have little to no difficulty breastfeeding. However, it is important to note that you will not know precisely how your surgery affects milk production and flow until you actually try to nurse. For this reason, some women prefer to postpone their breast augmentation procedure until after they have weaned their youngest child. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Our team is here to help educate you, so you can make a well-informed decision.

Discuss Your Options with a Professional

If you are considering breast augmentation, but you are not sure how it will affect your ability to breastfeed, our team at Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates can help. To learn more, contact us online or give us a call at (406) 728-3811.

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