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What is Involved in Breastfeeding with Implants?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Breastfeeding with implants is much like breastfeeding without them, although some women who have had their breasts augmented may experienced a decreased milk supply. This can occur if the surgery is done incorrectly and milk ducts are damaged, or if the nipples are cut during the incision. If nerves within the nipples are damaged, they may not be stimulated enough to tell the brain to make more milk. This could lead to an insufficient supply in some women, although this can often be overcome with sufficient treatment.

As with any woman, those who will be breastfeeding with implants should begin the nursing relationship as soon after birth as possible. This will allow the mother and child to begin breast stimulation right away to help bring in the mother's milk. Infants should be fed on demand rather than on a rigid schedule because the more a baby nurses, the more milk the mother's body will produce. Those who have had implants which involved an incision through one or both nipples may need extra stimulation if nerve damage is present.

Most women with breast implants do not experience any difficulties with breastfeeding.
Most women with breast implants do not experience any difficulties with breastfeeding.

Many women who attempt breastfeeding with implants will have no issues at all. Those who do have significant nerve damage may need added support to stimulate milk production. Nursing more often, taking prolactin stimulating herbs or drugs, and ensuring a proper latch are all important for establishing a good milk supply. Most women can benefit from the advice of a board-certified lactation consultant, a person who is trained in breastfeeding techniques, difficulties, and solutions.

A lactation consult who specializes in helping women with breastfeeding with implants may be the best choice. She will be able to determine whether a baby has a correct latch, if the mother is holding the baby in the right position, and if the baby is being nursed often enough. She'll also have knowledge about herbal remedies and other tactics which can be used to stimulate milk production. A good lactation consultant will also be able to detect if a baby is not getting adequate nourishment based on diaper output, weight gain, and other health factors.

Occasionally exclusive breastfeeding with implants is not possible. In these situations, mothers are advised to give babies as much milk as possible and then to supplement either with donated breast milk or infant formula. Breast milk is advised by many health organizations, but formula is considered a suitable alternative for when this is not available.

There is no indication that having silicon or saline implants has any negative health effects for the nursing mother or her baby. Neither material has been known to leak into breast milk. In the rare event that a leak did occur, there is no proof that either substance would be harmful to the breastfeeding infant.

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    • Most women with breast implants do not experience any difficulties with breastfeeding.
      By: Kzenon
      Most women with breast implants do not experience any difficulties with breastfeeding.