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Breastfeeding with Breast Implants – What You Need to Know

If you have breast implants, you’ll be happy to know that you can probably still breastfeed your baby. The important thing is to learn all you can about breastfeeding, find a lactation consultant you can work with, and be patient with the process.

The success of breastfeeding will depend on the nerve connections in your breast, as the stimulation of the nerves stimulates milk production. Consequently, if your breasts have lost sensitivity due to a breast augmentation, you may have difficulty producing milk. If your sensitivity is normal, you likely won’t have any problems. You should remember, however, that the nerves involved in physical sensations and the nerves involved in producing and letting down milk aren’t all the same.

They state of the nerves in your breast will have a lot to do with the manner in which the implants were placed. Generally if the incision was made in the fold under the breast or in the armpit, there will be less nerve damage. If the incision was made in the areola, you may have more nerve damage. However, having surgery in the areola isn’t necessarily a bar to breastfeeding. Every woman is different – you’ll just have to try to see if breastfeeding works for you.

It’s also important to note that neither saline nor silicone from your implants can leak into your breast milk. Typically, scar tissue forms around the implanted pouch, holding it separate from the rest of your breast tissue and your milk ducts. But even if it did, it wouldn’t harm your baby. In fact, the silicone used in breast implants is very similar to the silicone used to treat babies who are experiencing gas.

If you chose breast augmentation because your breasts were under developed – as opposed to not large enough – then you may face difficulties breastfeeding, but that will be from your breasts themselves, not the implants. In this case, you’ll want to do everything you can to stimulate milk production, including using a hospital grade breast pump on an aggressive schedule.

It’s also important that you work with a lactation consultant if you have breast implants. A consultant who’s helped other women with breast implants before would be helpful, but more importantly, you need a lactation consultant who has experience helping women develop and maintain their milk supply – most professional lactation consultants qualify in that regard. The time to find a good lactation consultant is before delivery – not afterwards, when you’re already having problems. Talk with her about ways to stimulate milk production and how to see that your baby is getting enough milk. Also, talk with her about how to provide supplemental feedings in a way that won’t cause nipple confusion.

If you take away one piece of information from this article, let it be that women with breast implants can successfully breastfeed their babies. You won’t know if you can succeed until you try – you and your baby will both be glad you did.

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