If you are considering breast implants, and you still want to have children or are of childbearing age, it’s crucial to consider all the factors your implants could affect. These doctors and mothers share some insight about what breast augmentation can impact to help you make an informed decision.
Yes, Implants Can Interfere Milk Duct Connections
In some cases, breast implants can affect breastfeeding and milk supply. This is because the implants can interfere with the way the milk ducts connect to the nipples. This can cause the milk ducts to become blocked, making it difficult for the milk to flow. In some cases, the milk ducts may need to be surgically removed to improve breastfeeding and milk supply.
Yes, But You Can Still Successfully Breastfeed
From my personal experience as a mother of two, I can tell you that breastfeeding with implants is possible, though there are a few things you should know. First, it is important to realize that implants do not affect the milk-producing cells in your breast. However, the surgery can cause damage to the nerves and ducts in your breast, making it more difficult to produce milk or even reducing your milk supply.
I got breast implants after my first child was born, and while I could breastfeed with no problems, I noticed that my milk supply seemed lower than it had been before. You may want to keep this in mind if you are considering implants and hoping to breastfeed.
My doctor told me that the milk ducts and nerves might have been damaged during surgery, causing this problem. But she also said that sometimes the cells which produce milk could grow back, so there’s a chance my milk supply will get greater over time.
I worked on increasing my milk supply with the help of a lactation consultant and by taking supplements. I was also careful to nurse frequently and to pump after feedings. With a little bit of effort, I was able to breastfeed my second child, even with implants, successfully.
Brittany Gerald is a mother, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, and CEO and Founder of My Lactation Navigation.
Yes, Depending on Healing or Position of Your Implants
Yes, breast implants can affect breastfeeding and milk supply for a variety of reasons. When nerve pathways and ducts are severed during surgery, this can impact milk production after. The healing process is also an important consideration; previous infections and scarring can affect lactation.
The good news is that breast ducts and nerves can regenerate over time, and milk production tends to increase with each pregnancy. The location of breast implants can also affect milk supply; implants behind the muscle are less likely to put pressure on the glandular tissue than an implant placed above the muscle.
The issue with the implant putting pressure on the glandular tissue can cause the breast to trigger a ‘full’ message to the brain that says ‘cut back on production’ when in actuality, the breast is not ‘full’ of milk but the implant.
For mothers with breast implants, I highly recommend they feed the baby or express milk frequently to reduce engorgement and ensure the breast is continuously sending the signal to make more milk. I also highly recommend hand expressions early in the breastfeeding journey, massaging the breast, and performing breast compressions to help move the milk. The most important thing to remember about breastfeeding with implants is to move that milk.
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