Many women may want to undergo a breast augmentation, but are concerned that the procedure will interfere with their ability to have or care for their children in the future. Luckily, most of these concerns are unfounded. Women with breast implants can safely breastfeed their children, even if a few considerations should be taken into account.
Dr. Edelstein talks about the impact of breast augmentation on breastfeeding
Complications and Notes on Breastfeeding and Augmentation
Research is currently being conducted that looks at whether mothers with cohesive silicone gel-filled implants should breastfeed their children. The primary concern regards the possibility of trace amounts of silicone passing through the milk ducts and mixing with the milk. Reports looking into this issue have demonstrated that there is no risk involved when breast feeding with implants, the Institute of Medicine committee concluding “cows’ milk and infant formulas have a far higher level of silicon, a silicone component, than mothers’ milk.”
While research demonstrates that breastfeeding after augmentation is perfectly safe, there are still a few additional factors worth considering.
Milk Production Problems Following Breast Augmentation
Women with breast implants may experience a slower rate of milk production than those with natural breasts. If you’re preparing for augmentation, but would like to breastfeed in the future, please inform your Plastic Surgeon of this fact.
Your surgeon can adjust certain elements of the procedure in order to minimize breastfeeding complications, such as selecting another incision site. Some implants are placed through peri-areolar incisions, and using this site may increase the probability of breastfeeding issues.
The production of breast milk is greatly affected by the nerves and milk ducts of the breast. Since the breasts’ nervous system is responsible for communicating with the brain and triggering the release of chemicals that start milk production, nerve damage can interfere with this process. The milk ducts work to carry milk to the nipple and facilitate feeding. If these ducts or breast nerves are damaged or cut during augmentation, they can limit a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
A FINAL NOTE
It is safe — and beneficial — to breastfeed a baby, even with implants. Just the same, patients who are trying to conceive or who are currently pregnant should hold off on breast augmentation. The surgery could put unnecessary stress on a growing baby and it’s important to let the breasts fully recover before attempting breastfeeding.