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Breast Augmentation and Breastfeeding

Breast implants have become very common these days, especially among young women who are still in the childbearing phase of their life. Consequently, this has triggered a sweeping debate about the effectiveness of breastfeeding with breast implants. Some women who have breast implants even refused to breastfeed their newborns for fear of feeding them with the substances found in the implants.

But is their fear based on facts or myths? Is it safe to breastfeed if you have breast implants? This article will answer these and other related questions.

Effects of Breast Implants on Breastfeeding

Although breast implants are placed under your chest muscles or behind your milk glands so that they do not affect your milk production and supply, their position and the depth of the cut can affect your ability to breastfeed properly. It is also important to ensure that the breast augmentation surgery doesn’t affect your areola (the dark part around your nipples, because it contains nerves that are necessary for breastfeeding.

When your baby sucks your nipples, they stimulate the nerves, increasing the level of prolactin and oxytocin hormones. The prolactin hormone stimulates the production of breast milk, while the oxytocin hormone triggers the letdown. If these nerves are damaged during breast augmentation, the sensation that arouses these hormones will be lost, affecting your milk production and letdown. To avoid interfering with the nerves around your nipples, your plastic surgeon should consider making the incisions under your breasts or through your armpits.

Is It Safe to Breastfeed with Breast Implants?

Since most of the latest breast implants are made of silicone gel, most people fear that this substance might find its way into breast milk. However, it is important to note that even breastfeeding mothers without breast implants have a component known as silicon. This component is found in silicone.

According to a recent study done by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the levels of silicon found in women with breast implants are not higher than those in women with no implants. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that recent studies haven’t found problems in babies being breastfed by mothers with breast implants.

However, it is important to mention that breast implants can pose several risks, including the need to have additional surgeries to correct errors or remove the implants, capsular contracture, loss of nipple and breast sensation, pain in your breasts, and rupture of implants. If you have further questions about breastfeeding with breast implants, don’t hesitate to reach out to Associates in Plastic Surgery.