Breastfeeding with Implants: What You Need to Know
Women seek out breast enhancement procedures at different stages in their lives. Sometimes it is to improve the way clothes drape over them in their 20s and 30s. Other times it is to refresh their look after pregnancy and weight loss take away the firm, perky breasts we used to enjoy. Whatever the case, we often hear a common question about Breast Augmentation and getting breast implants as it relates to motherhood – “Am I okay breastfeeding with implants?” The short answer: YES!
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What exactly is Breast Augmentation?
Breast Augmentation is a popular plastic surgery procedure that uses breast implants to enhance the look and feel of the breasts. Your plastic surgeon places silicone or saline breast implants either above or below the pectoralis major muscle (here’s why you might choose one or the other). This is the primary muscle that you use for push-ups and many yoga poses.
See a “Before and After” set of images and the natural results that can be achieved with Breast Augmentation surgery.
Dr. Tannan guides you in picking the size and placement of the implants to maintain a natural look. As a board-certified female plastic surgeon (who also happens to be a breastfeeding advocate!), she uses surgical techniques that maximize future potential for breastfeeding after breast implants.
Breastfeeding with implants: technique is critical
Success of breastfeeding, with or without breast implants, is dependent primarily on two things: 1) the mother’s milk production, and 2) the baby’s ability to latch and suck well. During breast enhancement surgery, to maintain your ability to potentially breastfeed in the future, your surgeon must include incision and implant placement techniques that are most conducive to preserving nipple sensitivity. This plays an important role in the feedback loop during milk letdown. Proper surgical dissection maintains the functions of your lactiferous (milk) ducts and breast glands.
Some surgeons use an incision across the nipples and the pigmented skin around it, also called periareolar incision. Dr. Tannan prefers a different approach. Instead, she places the implants via a well hidden incision at the lower, outer part of your breasts also known as the inframammary fold (the part where the underwire on your bra supports your breast). This is a well established approach favored by plastic surgeons for many reasons. Not only does this technique hide the minimal scarring, but in contrast to periareolar incision, it also reduces the risk of nerve damage and scarring of the lactiferous (milk) ducts.
What about above vs below the muscle placement of breast implants and impact on breastfeeding? While breastfeeding with implants placed above the muscle is possible, women who hope to breastfeed with breast implants often choose to go below the muscle to maximize future breastfeeding potential.
Breastfeeding with implants is safe
In case you are worried about how breast implants may affect your baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding, know that silicone and saline breast implants are incredibly safe. In fact, sources show that the silicone levels in cow’s milk and baby formula are actually higher than from the breast milk of mothers with implants. Furthermore, the saline in your implants is the same as the IV fluids you get in the hospital – quite safe.
Regardless of whether the breast implants are placed above or below the muscle, breastfeeding with implants is safe. Have an open, honest discussion with your board certified plastic surgeon about your thoughts about future breastfeeding. You should be able to safely choose either saline breast implants or silicone “Gummy Bear” implants for your Breast Augmentation.
The silicone levels in cow’s milk and baby formula are actually higher than from the breast milk of mothers with breast implants.
Choosing the best plastic surgeon for your breast implant procedure
Breast Augmentation surgery is a highly personal decision but one that will also impact your family if motherhood is in your future plans. To maximize your success for breastfeeding after breast implants, always choose a board certified plastic surgeon that can relate to your particular needs.
Dr. Tannan helps you navigate the variety of options and take the guesswork out of how we achieve natural results. Furthermore, as a mother who has breastfed her two kids, she also understands first hand the importance of making sure you maintain your conscious choice to breastfeed. Her experience as a board-certified plastic surgeon and working mother enables her to have your best interest at heart.
Read more about Breast Augmentation and other breast procedures, including Breast Lift and Mommy Makeover, offered at Tannan Plastic Surgery. Don’t forget about our incredibly useful resources, the Cost Calculator and Recovery Calculator to help you plan your budget and recovery timeline. When you are ready, schedule a consultation so we can reveal your most beautiful and confident self!