There is a common misconception that women aren’t able to breastfeed after having breast augmentation surgery. However, this is not always the case. The ability to breastfeed after this type of procedure depends on many factors like the original state of the breasts prior to surgery and the techniques used during surgery. In most cases, women can still breastfeed after having breast augmentation surgery, but there are a few things to know.
Potential Problems of Breastfeeding After Breast Augmentation Surgery
Nipple sensitivity is one potential problem. After having your breasts enlarged, either with saline or silicone implants, you might find that your nipples are more or less sensitive than they use to be.
Exaggerated engorgement is another potential problem. After giving birth, you could experience breast engorgement, which means they are very tender and swollen. This often times results in chills, fever, and intense pain. This can obviously make you unfit to breastfeed during these complications.
The last and most common potential problem is the risk of decreased milk production. Although most mothers are still able to produce their own milk after having breast augmentation surgery, some experience a decrease in the amount that is produced. Thereby, you might not produce enough milk to adequately provide all of the nourishment your child requires naturally. You can speak with a lactation consultant and your pediatrician to discuss the best options for a feeding plan if this happens.
Is My Ability to Breastfeed Affected by the Type of Surgery?
The type of surgery can affect breastfeeding options. Generally, if your milk gland system is left intact, then your chances of breastfeeding increase. Generally, this means that your implant will be placed underneath the chest muscle and behind your milk glands. If you opt for incisions through your armpit or under the fold of your breast, you will most likely experience less difficulty in breastfeeding.
If you opt for incisions around the areolae, there is a higher risk of difficulty in breastfeeding, but this cannot be determined until after the surgery and the extent of the nerve damage is revealed. After all, nerves are what trigger the brain to release oxytocin and prolactin during breastfeeding, which are the two hormones responsible for milk production. If the nerves around the areolae are damaged or cut, you run a higher risk of having low milk production. However, this cannot be fully determined until you attempt to breastfeed.
Does silicone cause harm to the baby while breastfeeding?
Currently, there is no evidence that shows harmful side effects of silicone implants leaking into breast milk. After all, silicone is widely used in the environment, and it has even been used to help treat infants who are experiencing colic, or stomach gas. Saline-filled implants can be a better option if you want to avoid the chance or silicone ruptures.
Will the Shape or Size of My Breasts Affect Breastfeeding?
If you have insufficient glandular tissue, this can be a huge factor in milk production. It can cause a decrease in your overall milk production, meaning you might not produce enough to sustain your infant’s needs. If your breast augmentation surgery was due to having underdeveloped or hypoplastic breasts, you run the risk of producing less milk.
These types of breasts have a lack of normal fullness, seem swollen at the tip, and are very narrow. During pregnancy, these types of breasts grow very little if not at all, and they usually appear to be widely spaced before augmentation. If this is how you would have described your breasts prior to your surgery, then you have a higher risk of producing less milk. Your plastic surgeon can make sure you know what to expect during a consultation.
Schedule a Consultation
The most important step you can take in ensuring you can breastfeed successfully after your breast augmentation is speaking with your plastic surgeon about your options and hopes for nursing. To get started, contact our Allegany office by calling or filling out our online form.