Dr Amira Sanki, Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ Board Member and Plastic Surgeon at Southern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, says a common question she is asked by patients who have not yet had children when they are considering breast augmentation, is whether or not they’ll be able to breastfeed.
Can you breastfeed after a breast augmentation?
Breastfeeding can be a challenge for a woman regardless of whether or not they’ve had breast implants. It’s a misconception that breast implants will affect breastfeeding. There are thousands of women who successfully breastfeed with breast implants and there are thousands of women who have never had them but are still not able to breastfeed.
The effect on a mother’s milk supply due to breast augmentation would only occur if the milk ducts were damaged during surgery. Otherwise, the supply should not be affected. Having poor milk supply can be attributed to a variety of reasons, regardless of whether or not a woman has had breast implants.
A common fear among women is that their breast implants may be toxic to their baby whilst feeding. There is no research to date that supports this theory. If you were worried about this being the case, you can arrange to have an MRI performed to check on your implants. However, this would be an extreme measure.
Nipple Sensation after Breast Augmentation
With regards to a loss of sensitivity of the areola or nipples, it is possible that some women will experience this following breast augmentation. For most women who experience it initially, many will regain sensitivity over time. So depending on how soon after you’ve had your surgery you were planning on falling pregnant there may still be some loss of sensitivity.
Generally, if pregnancy is on the cards for a patient in the not too distant future, it may be advisable to hold off on the surgery altogether as the changes in the breasts during and after pregnancy can alter the shape and size of the breast dramatically. Once childbearing is complete, a patient may even consider the option of combining breast augmentation with a tummy tuck to restore their stomach muscles which may have been damaged during their pregnancy.
Having your breast augmentation performed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon means your surgeon will take the time to ensure the surgery is done as safely as possible. This is achieved through the selection of the right implant, positioning in the best place that suits your body shape and size, and taking time to get to know you and your lifestyle so that the result is both aesthetically pleasing and functionality of the breast ducts remains intact.
If you are now pregnant and concerned about the impact your breast implants may have on breastfeeding, you can contact a breastfeeding counsellor or a lactation consultant. Attending a Breastfeeding Education Class while pregnant can be helpful too. This can help to dispel some fears and also help to make a breastfeeding plan.
Most mothers who have had breast surgery can breastfeed, at least to some extent. Some mothers find that they:
- Can breastfeed fully without the need to supplement.
- Can partially breastfeed with the need to top up with formula.
- Find medications and supplements such as a galactagogue help to boost milk supply.
Generally, there is no real way of knowing before the birth of a baby if a woman is going to be able to breastfeed.
For further visit the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s website.