One of the most important functions of the breasts is breastfeeding. Therefore women, who wish and plan to have breast augmentation or any other breast surgery, are concerned whether they will be able to nurse their babies after the procedure or not. This ability after surgery depends upon various factors but the answer to the question is “yes” although you should be aware of all the possible complications and risks.
Firstly, there was a huge concern in the early 90’s with the reports of a so called silicone illness. People and professionals feared that silicone from the breast implants could leak into a mother’s milk and thus affect a baby’s health. However, later studies showed that there was no base to think so, since the silicone molecule was too small to get into the milk ducts.
Now most professionals use saline implants in breast augmentation surgery. They are said to be safe and have no harm to health. Even though there is no evidence that saline solution could pass into the milk ducts, there is no danger since this solution could not harm mother’s or baby’s health.
Some professionals claim that breastfeeding after the procedure could depend upon the type of the surgery and the incision site. Peri-aeroral, made around aerola, incision is believed to be the most risky of all. Nerves and vessels could be damaged during the surgery and then nursing and lactation would be affected. Therefore surgeons mostly choose to insert an implant through the incisions made under the fold of the breast, through the armpits or trans-umbilically (through the belly button) in order to escape possible troubles in baby nursing.
The effeciency of breast feeding
The efficiency of breast feeding depends very much upon the implant placement. Most breast implants are placed under the muscle so that the milk ducts would be not harmed during the surgery.
However, you should understand that breast augmentation is a surgical procedure, which, as any breast surgery, can affect the function of milk ducts. Studies have shown that any type of breast augmentation procedure affects lactation, independently from the incision site, type or placement of an implant. Specialists say that women, who have breast implants, are three times more likely to have insufficient milk supply.
Inadequate milk supply after breast surgery is explained due to the pressure of breast implants on the milk ducts, which then are not able to produce enough milk to nurse the baby. Another reason might be due to the surgery. During the procedure milk ducts can be damaged, especially through peri-aeroral incision, resulting in inadequate milk supply after pregnancy.
An additional problem is that women, who have breast implants , fear to nurse their babies because they somehow believe that breast implants are harmful to the babies. Some women avoid breastfeeding because they are afraid of possible complications due to breast implants. What you should know is that these fears are unreal and should be ignored. Besides, American Academy of Pediatrics state that breastfeeding is a preferred method to nurse the baby and therefore encourages women to breastfeed their babies.
In addition, please note that breast augmentation could result in certain complications, such as mastitis (infection of the milk ducts) and galactorrhea (milk production in a woman who is not pregnant). These complications are rare but you should be aware of them before having the surgery, since they could affect lactation and nursing.
Do not be afraid of breast augmentation surgery even though you still plan to have babies afterwards. Most likely breastfeeding problems are minor due to breast implants. But you should be informed and aware of them so that you can evaluate the ratio of risk and success of this particular procedure. And finally, do not forget to discuss these problems and your future breastfeeding plans with your doctor. With his/her help, you will be able to escape all possible risks and complications in the end.