Can I breast feed with breast implants? Is it safe?

breast-augmentation-23aThe value of breast feeding for the developing infant is well known. In general, women who consider breast augmentation are of child bearing age, so this comes up fairly frequently. Women are understandably concerned that choosing to have a breast augmentation will affect their ability to breast feed or that it may be dangerous for the child.

The truth is that breast feeding can be affected by breast implants, although unlikely. The inframammary (crease) incision does not involve division of any milk ducts or glandular tissue and these risks can be minimized with this incision choice. The incision around the nipple involves the division of some of the milk glands and is more likely to be a problem. That said, with either incision breast feeding is very likely to be successful with breast implants.

Studies have looked at the risks to the baby with breast feeding with breast implants. This has been aggressively studied and no risks have been identified. I can safely say that it is safe to breast feed with breast implants.

I have found that some women with breast implants choose not to breast feed. I suspect this percentage is higher than that of the general public. My assumption is that there is fear that breast feeding will “ruin” the results. It is true that pregnancy can cause droop of the breasts. This can occur whether on not the patient has had an augmentation. However, there was an interesting study about 3 years ago that determined that pregnancy affected the breasts similarly with or without breast feeding. My experience would suggest otherwise, but an interesting study nonetheless.

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