Breast augmentation patients frequently ask us about nursing with implants. They often worry that the procedure will interfere with their ability to breastfeed their children, and sometimes they express concern about whether the implants might pose a risk to the health of the baby. We’re happy to put both of those fears to rest.
The vast majority of women with implants have absolutely no problem with breastfeeding. Under normal circumstances the surgery itself doesn’t interfere with the milk glands and doesn’t disrupt the connection between the milk ducts and the nipple. To minimize any possible risk, Dr. Buford does recommend that the implant be placed under the muscle and that the periareolar incision be avoided because of any possible effect on nipple sensation.
There is always a small percentage of women who are unable to breastfeed, whether they have implants or not, but unless you are in this subset, a breast augmentation shouldn’t interfere with nursing a baby. Women with implants experience the same changes in the breast that any nursing mother would during the time they are lactating.
Many studies have been conducted on augmented women to determine if there are negative effects to the breastfeeding infant. None of them have shown any danger to the baby, even studies that focused on women with silicone gel implants. In fact, it’s been shown that commercial formula contains more silicone than milk from a woman who has breast implants.
Breastfeeding is always encouraged for newborns, as it provides the perfect nutrition for the baby and creates a strong bond between mother and child. A breast augmentation performed by an experienced, board certified Plastic Surgeon shouldn’t interfere with this important activity.