The majority of women undergo breast enhancement surgery for aesthetic reasons; whether that is to give them breasts that look larger, more even, more in proportion with the rest of their bodies or more lifted. However, as well as having aesthetic value, breasts also serve the practical function of breastfeeding. For many women, the question of whether breastfeeding is still possible with breast implants is very important. This page will address the issue, along with other common questions relating to breastfeeding and implants.
Can I Still Breastfeed After Having A Boob Job?
It is a common assumption that breast implants somehow ‘get in the way’ of a woman’s ability to produce milk, and feed that milk to a baby. As explored elsewhere on this site, complications relating to breastfeeding is one of the known risks associated with breast augmentation surgery. However, this risk is a lot smaller than a lot of people think. In fact, the majority of women who have breast implants can breastfeed as normal. It is recommended that women wait at least 10 months after having the surgery before attempting to breastfeed, as the breasts are still technically healing during this time.
What Factors Affect My Chances of Breastfeeding With Breast Implants?
One main factor that can affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed following a boob job is where the incision was made. If the implant was inserted underneath the breast fold, or via the armpit, then the chances are high that a woman will be able to nurse as before. However, if the incision was made around the nipple, then there is a higher chance that the milk ducts could have been damaged or cut completely during the procedure. While some women opt for nipple incision as the scars can be less obvious, it is worth bearing this risk in mind if you would like to breastfeed in the future.
Some surgeons also claim that having implants placed underneath the muscle will make it more likely that you will be able to breastfeed successfully, as there is even less chance that the mammary gland will be affected. However, not all surgeons agree on this point, and many claim that those with implants over the muscle have just as much chance as those with implants underneath.
Can Breastfeeding With Implants Cause Any Harm to My Baby?
A common concern of new mothers with breast implants is whether the presence of the implants will impact in any way on the milk that the baby receives. However, research has shown that the milk produced by women with implants contained no more silicone than milk produced by women without them. Therefore, nothing unnatural or ‘bad’ can be passed onto the baby via breastfeeding due to the implants.
Will My Breast Implants Look Any Different After Breastfeeding?
Breast augmentation is an expensive procedure, and so of course some women worry about whether the work could be ruined if they breastfeed. Thankfully, the rumours of breastfeeding causing enhanced breasts to sag or change in any way are unfounded, and research has shown no evidence that it affects the appearance. However, it is of course important to remember that your breasts will go through a lot of changes during pregnancy and after childbirth anyway (as will the rest of your body). There is therefore no guarantee that your breasts will remain in the same condition once you have given birth; however, breastfeeding won’t have any further negative effect by itself.
What Other Problems May I Face If I Breastfeed With Implants?
Although the majority of women who have had breast enhancement surgery can breastfeed, there are a few challenges that they may face as a result of the implants. For example, it can simply be more difficult to hold the baby comfortably if your breasts are larger. Some women find that they have to hunch over, which could lead to back pain or discomfort if breastfeeding for a long period. Similarly, breasts with implants in are firmer than natural breasts, and so can’t be adjusted in the same way that natural breasts can.
Some women counteract these problems by supporting their baby with a pillow to ensure the baby can access the milk and they can remain comfortable. There are also certain slings and harnesses available on the market that can help.
To conclude, the vast majority of women who have had breast enlargement surgery will be able to breastfeed perfectly well. While some women with implants may struggle, it is also important to remember that a lot of women without implants find it difficult or impossible to breastfeed too. If you do ever find that you struggle to breastfeed after the operation, then it is not necessarily because of your implants. As with all potential risks associated with breast augmentation, the surgeon will be able to talk you through the impact that implants can have on breastfeeding – and vice versa – at your consultation.