Ever wondered about breastfeeding with implants? Some mothers with breast implants can breastfeed without an issue, but others run into problems. A lot depends on the incision, the placement of your implants, and the type of implants you have. One concern many mothers have is that the material in the implants will mix with the breast milk. Some implants have saline filling, which is safe to mix with breast milk. Silicone implants may pose a health risk, but they aren’t an automatic health hazard. If your implants are silicone, you should tell your doctor and ask if they recommend breastfeeding or not.
Potential Problems from Breast Implants
Not everyone with implants will have issues. But the surgery can cause damage to milk glands, milk ducts, and nerves. If your nerves are injured, you may have decreased feeling in your nipples. This can in turn decrease your body’s ability to release milk when it senses that the baby is latched. Meanwhile, damaged milk ducts may not be able to produce as much milk as undamaged ducts. Your implants have the potential to pinch or compress your milk ducts, cause swelling in the breasts, and block breast milk from flowing.
Different Surgery Effects on Breastfeeding
The kind of incision that your surgeon made can have an effect. If the incision was made across or around the areola, the nerves in your nipples might be damaged. Incisions that are less likely to cause damage are ones in the armpit, belly button, or underneath the breast. By avoiding vital breast structures, the risk of damaging nerves, glands, and ducts is minimized.
Your area of implant placement can affect breastfeeding. Some implants are placed between breast tissue and chest muscles, while others are placed underneath the chest muscles. If your implant is below the chest muscle, it won’t interact with breast tissue or cause silicone to mix with your milk. To place the implants without damaging breast tissue, your surgeon can create incisions through the fatty tissues found underneath your breast tissue.
There are a few pointers to keep in mind when helping your baby to latch. Move your baby’s head until it can reach the breast. Then hold the nape of the baby’s neck to provide support and touch your baby’s top lip with your nipple. Wait until they open their mouth. The chin and lower lip should touch your areola first. You should help your baby get more of the areola in their mouth. Your baby should feel firmly attached to your breast. Latching correctly is important because it allows your baby to get enough milk. Your baby should feed for however long they’re able.
When Your Baby Is Latched Correctly
- You’ll hear audible swallowing
- Your baby will be relaxed and taking deep mouthfuls
- Your nipple and breast don’t hurt
- Your nipple hasn’t changed shape when your baby finishes
- Your breast isn’t dimpled or wrinkled where your baby latched on
If you plan on breastfeeding, make sure you discuss your options with your board certified plastic surgeon. To learn more about your breast implant options, contact our office and schedule your consultation with Dr. Ellen today.