Breastfeeding with Breast Implants 101

The mommy makeover doesn’t have to wait till you’re a mommy.

It's a sad fact. Women often want to change something about their bodies. And after childbirth, the number of “flaws” new moms find tends to skyrocket.

WHAT'S A MOMMY MAKEOVER?

If you haven’t heard of the mommy makeover, it’s basically a plastic surgery tune up – a breast lift or augmentation and/or a tummy tuck.

Real Housewives of Atlanta alum Kim Zolciak made the procedure famous when she allowed Bravo TV cameras to capture her surgery after she gave birth to 4 children (including one set of twins) in less than 4 years.

BREAST IMPLANTS

But what about breastfeeding if you’ve already had breast augmentation surgery?

Well, mamas, it is doable. But there are some issues to take into account: 

  • During any breast surgery, there’s a possibility that ducts or nerves could be severed. If that happens, a woman’s milk supply could be significantly reduced. 
  • The location of the incision could also impact milk production. For example, if the surgeon cuts into the areola, there will likely be less feeling in it. That, in turn would affect milk ejection (the let-down reflex) and cause a lowering of milk production. Instead, an incision in the breast crease is recommended.
  • Placement of the implant itself also plays a role. If an implant is placed under the chest muscle, mom has a better chance of nursing than if it’s inserted under the glandular tissue.

The good news though is that the type of implant doesn't matter. Both saline or silicone will allow for breastfeeding.

Studies also show that women who’ve had breast implants, don’t need to worry about nursing causing their boobs to sag. Doctors say that the most common cause of sagging is related to breast changes postpartum when the hormones that enlarged the breasts during pregnancy are not being produced.

Zolciak and other celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian and former Playboy Bunny Kendra Baskett have successfully breastfed with implants. Still, it’s important to note that real women get implants for a variety of reasons.

Among them is to be proportionate. Some mamas have drastically different breast sizes. This can cause them to feel very self-conscious in and out of clothes. Nursing tops and pumping shirts can help hide disproportionate breast sizes, but for some women, they want to have it surgically altered. And that's ok!

So isn’t it nice to know that a decision a woman might make even before the thought of having children has entered her mind won’t have a negative impact on her future as a breastfeeding mom? We say yes.

 

The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.