Addressing Common Questions: Breastfeeding for Moms with Augmented Breasts

Addressing Common Questions: Breastfeeding for Moms with Augmented Breasts

If you’ve had breast augmentation and are now pregnant, you may wonder how the surgery will impact breastfeeding. You may have a lot of questions, and your obstetrician may not have all the answers. A plastic surgeon who has performed numerous breast augmentation procedures will be better prepared to answer those questions. This article addresses some of the most common questions that moms and mothers-to-be have about breastfeeding with breast implants.

Can You Breastfeed with Breast Implants?

The short answer to whether you can breastfeed with implants is “yes.” It is possible to produce milk after you’ve had breast augmentation. An experienced plastic surgeon will make incisions carefully to avoid damaging the milk ducts, which produce milk when you’re pregnant. Anyone who is considering breast augmentation should mention their plans to breastfeed someday to their surgeon prior to the surgery. If you’ve already had implants, you’ll want to know more about what to expect and how to prepare for breastfeeding.

a hand holding two breast implants in an OR

How Can You Prepare for Breastfeeding with Augmented Breasts?

You can begin preparing for breastfeeding even before you have breast augmentation. Surgery that keeps the areola in place will be less likely to cause issues with breastfeeding. The nerves around the nipple provide the sensation your body needs to produce milk. As the baby suckles, hormones are released and trigger milk production. The surgeon will determine the placement of the incision to avoid damaging those nerves. Incisions through the armpit, under the breast, or through the belly button are preferred if you plan to breastfeed someday.

Lifestyle and Dietary Considerations for Breastfeeding with Breast Implants

Many of the lifestyle and dietary recommendations for mothers who are breastfeeding will apply to women who have had breast augmentation. For example, you should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Since milk is partially made up of water, it can help increase production. Regular hydration can help you feel better, which is also good for your baby. Avoid too much caffeine and drinks with excess sugar, such as soda.

You may also need multivitamins even if you eat a healthy diet. Your body requires more nutrients when breastfeeding. You can talk to your doctor to determine which vitamins and minerals you need and how much. Avoid smoking and drinking while breastfeeding because your baby eats and drinks everything you do.

Establish Realistic Expectations

Many women who are able to breastfeed with breast implants find they have reduced sensation. They may not feel the baby suckling as easily as women without implants. They may also produce less milk because of the reduced sensation. In these situations, you can expect to supplement breast milk with formula and a bottle. Your baby is still getting nutrients from your milk, keeping them healthy. It’s also important not to get stressed or discouraged about the amount of milk your breasts are able to produce.

Breastfeeding doesn’t come easy for most new mothers. Regardless of breast augmentation, the first few weeks are the hardest as you and your baby learn the process, so it’s good to give it some time before becoming concerned.

a woman breastfeeding a small baby

Tips to Make Breastfeeding Easier with Breast Implants

You may need to make some adjustments to make breastfeeding easier when you have implants. 

First, you need to breastfeed often or empty your breasts regularly to increase milk production. Even if it’s a small amount, breast milk will help your baby. You can finish off with a bottle.

Second, put the baby in a position to make it easier to latch onto the nipple. If you have trouble getting them to attach, you can meet with a lactation consultant. They can help you find the best position and learn how to get the baby to latch on correctly. Your obstetrician should have a consultant on their team or be able to recommend one.

Consult with a Healthcare Professional

One of the most important steps you can take to make it easier to breastfeed a baby after breast augmentation is to talk to your healthcare professional. Start the conversation with the plastic surgeon who can perform the surgery. If they know that you plan to have a baby and breastfeed in the future, it will influence the decisions they make about your breast augmentation.

After you have the breast augmentation surgery, it’s best to wait a while to have a baby. Allow your breasts plenty of time to heal. Let your obstetrician know that you have breast implants and the lactation consultant you work with.

Studies show that most women who have breast implants are still able to successfully breastfeed their babies either alone or supplemented by formula. Talk to medical professionals and ask questions to alleviate your concerns and enjoy the special time that comes with breastfeeding a new baby. 

Breastfeeding for Moms with Augmented Breasts text with picture of baby breastfeeding

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