Do nipple piercings affect breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding with a nipple piercing – Transcript

I’m sometimes asked by women, “is it possible to breastfeed, if you have a pierced nipple?” and body piercings have actually been quite common across the world and across cultures for centuries. The good news is that breastfeeding certainly can be successful for many women with a pierced nipple.

We do know, however, that there are some studies showing that, in this situation, milk ducts can sometimes become obstructed, and that can cause some difficulties for breastfeeding mothers, preventing a degree of milk from coming out when the baby is feeding, or if she’s pumping her milk.

But really, the most important thing that you can do is to see how breastfeeding goes, go forward without expecting negative things to happen. If you do have an issue, then seek out skilled support (why do women struggle video) – there’s no reason why breastfeeding can’t continue.

You might be encouraged to know that it’s possible to breastfeed just from one breast (how breastfeeding works video) So, even if you were experiencing difficulties on one side because of the nipple piercing, your body can make all the milk that your baby needs on the other side, and many women have breastfed for months, just on one side, for various different reasons – so that’s always an option.

If you are breastfeeding your baby with a nipple piercing, please remember from a safety point of view, to take the nipple jewellery out while you’re feeding your baby – just because of the choking risk, really.

So, just to re-iterate, if you have nipple piercings, yes, it is certainly possible to breastfeed, and to do that successfully.


Review dates, references & further resources

Review Dates

Version 1.1 published in March 2019. Next review date: Jan 2022


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