While breastfeeding is natural and the best choice for babies, there are some conditions and situations where it may be difficult for a woman to nurse her child. One such circumstance is having surgery such as breast augmentation. But certainly any type of surgery that involves the breasts may affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
From what I have gathered, having breast implants does not automatically mean a woman cannot breastfeed, though some may think that is the case. The tricky part about nursing is that you don’t really know if you can do it until after you give birth and try it. And that’s the case for all of us, breast surgery or not!
A lot of it depends on how the surgery was performed and whether or not any milk ducts or nerves were severed. This is more likely to be the case if the incision is close to the areola. If the milk ducts are in tact, but some of the nerves are damaged, you may still be able to partially breastfeed and supplement by pumping, milk banks, or formula. The nerves are key to the supply and demand process that the body puts into action when it feels the baby suckling.
Women who’ve had breast implants put in may find that their nipples don’t have the same sensitivity as they did before. The might be extra sensitive or less sensitive. When milk come in, they may experience greater engorgement issues and pain. If they enhanced their bust due to having underdeveloped breasts they may not be able to produce enough milk to nurse full-time.
Then comes the issue of safety: is the silicone implant safe for baby? Most say yes, that silicone implants are compatible with breastfeeding because they do not leak into the milk. Again, it’s more about how the surgery was conducted. Be sure your doctor knows though, so together both of you can monitor how the baby is doing. Know what to look for (wet/soiled diapers, growth, etc.) to ensure the baby is receiving an adequate amount of food.
So, yes, breastfeeding with implants can be done. The issue lies more with the surgery itself rather than the implants. However, if you want to nurse your children you may want to delay having surgery until after you are done breastfeeding.
Have you or someone you know dealt with this?