Do nipple piercings affect breastfeeding?
Nipple piercing and breastfeeding
Throughout the centuries it has been a common practice to have body piercings. I’m sometimes asked by women, “Is it possible to breastfeed if you have a pierced nipple?”
The good news is that nipple piercing and breastfeeding can be successful for many women.
Some studies, however, show that for some women, milk ducts can sometimes become obstructed, and this may cause some difficulties for breastfeeding mothers.
It may potentially prevent some milk from coming out of the breast when the baby is feeding, or when pumping milk, but often there is no issue at all.
The most important thing that you can do is to start breastfeeding and see how things go. Go forward without expecting negative things to happen.
If you do have an issue, then seek out skilled support – there’s no reason why breastfeeding can’t continue.
You may be encouraged to know that it’s possible to breastfeed just from one breast.
This means that even if you do experience difficulties on one side because of the nipple piercing, your body can make all the milk that your baby needs on the other breast.
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, because of the choking risk to your baby.
So, just to reiterate, if you have nipple piercings, yes, it is certainly possible to breastfeed and to do that successfully.
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Version 1.1 published in March 2019. Next review date: Jan 2022
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