Can I breastfeed with breast implants?

Breastfeeding with implants - Transcript

I think you might be really encouraged to know that many mothers have successfully breastfed with breast implants. The amount of milk that you make can certainly vary from person to person – some women produce a full supply, others a little bit less than that, and some a lot less than that, so it is quite variable.

Please remember that any amount of breast milk is good for your baby, and supply can also be boosted too, by many different means. Breastfeeding is so much more than just about the milk. It’s also about building that relationship with your baby, so any amount of milk is good.

Even if you find yourself in a situation where you haven’t produced that full amount of milk, it’s still possible to feed at the breast using what they call a ‘Supplemental Nursing System’ – this will enable formula to be given to your baby alongside your own milk, while all the feeding is at the breast.

You might be asking why some women may not produce that full supply, because of breast implants? One of the reasons can be because there may not have been enough glandular tissue within the breast initially – even before surgery – which might have been the reason why you have breast implants in the first place. Glandular tissue is really important for making milk.

Another factor that can impact on getting that full supply can be the actual surgery that was performed when you had the breast implant. It might be that the surgeon cut around the areola area, and cut into some ducts or nerves, which could impact on that full supply. If the incision is actually near to the areola, this can cut into nerves which can affect the letdown of milk, and also affect supply.

Another factor to consider if you’ve had breast implant surgery is where that implant has been put. Now, if it is above the pectoral muscles, this can sometimes put pressure on the milk making tissues as well, and affect supply that way. So, in this situation, not only could the breast implant inhibit the growth of the milk making tissue in the breast, but it could also put pressure on the milk ducts, preventing milk from coming out of the breast – and therefore preventing your breast emptying as well as it could do.

Bear in mind, if your implant is above the pectoral muscle, it might be that you experience a little bit more engorgement than some others may, so its good to have a look at the videos about how you prevent and treat that.

If, however, your breast implant has been placed beneath the pectoral muscles, you’re far less likely to experience these things.

I just want to reiterate that even if you have had this augmentation surgery; an incision was made near to the areola, the implant is actually above the pectoral muscle, it’s still possible that you may be in a situation where you produce a full supply and you don’t experience any of these potential situations.

Review dates, references & further resources

Review Dates

V1 published June 2017. Next review date: April 2020

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