Breast augmentation is one of the most common forms of cosmetic surgery in the United States, with What To Expect noting that over 300,000 women have the operation performed every year. While there are naturally a variety of concerns that should be addressed before having the surgery, one of the few that’s surprisingly overlooked is the issue of breastfeeding after an implant. Women that do consider the topic may also find that there’s very little information about whether or not they can breastfeed after undergoing the procedure. This may cause them to worry somewhat, although this shouldn’t be the case.
This is because the majority of women should still be able to breastfeed after undergoing breast augmentation (though you should hold off on it if you’re currently breastfeeding, says breast augmentation expert Jason I. Altman, of PSI Miami). This is primarily when the surgery has been done correctly; though mistakes are rarely made, these may play a role in whether or not you’re able to do so. Outside of this, however, there are a few factors that play a vital role in whether or not you can breastfeed your child after receiving an implant.
Factors That Affect Breastfeeding After An Implant
Where The Incision Was Made
Where the incisions were made can play a vital role in whether or not you can breastfeed, as there are various areas where a cosmetic surgeon may cut through. One of the more prominent of these is across your nipple and areola, which means that your nerves and milk duct may be affected by the surgery. Should this be the case, then breastfeeding may not be a viable option for you after the operation. However, there is an effective alternative to this, as a medical professional will be able to make the cut either near your armpits or underneath your breasts. By doing so, they’ll be able to avoid damaging any of the areas that will play a role in feeding your child.
Where the implant has been placed can also play a major role in this. Similar to the incision site, there are various options available, some of which may affect your ability to breastfeed. When possible, you should aim to have the implant placed under your chest muscle, which shouldn’t affect your breastfeeding. One of the only other options available is under your breast’s glandular tissue, which will interfere with milk production.
With both of those in mind, you should consult your cosmetic surgeon before undergoing the operation and discuss the options that are available to you. If you’re planning on having children and breastfeeding, then they will be able to operate in a way that shouldn’t affect your ability to do so. If you’ve already undergone the procedure, and done so in a way that affects milk production, then you may need to have another surgery to fix the issue, although this depends on your specific case.
Why You Received The Implant
While many women undergo breast surgery for cosmetic purposes, this isn’t always the case, as there can be a few other issues at hand. In many cases, this can be because of underdeveloped breast tissue or their breasts are spaced far apart. In these circumstances, you may not be able to breastfeed, although this mightn’t be a result of the operation itself; in fact, it may be because you may not have enough glandular tissue to make milk. In this case, you may need to have a different form of surgery to be able to breastfeed, although many have recommended skipping this and choosing a formula instead.
Tips For Breastfeeding With Implants
Many experts have noted that breastfeeding with implants is much the same as breastfeeding without them, as you’ll need to do many of the same things either way. However, many new mothers may not know what to do to ensure that their child is getting enough milk while their sucking. There are a few tips that you should be aware of when doing so, with many applying even after augmentation surgery.
The first of these is to ensure that your baby is latching, which is often one of the more complicated parts of the process. First, you should guide your baby’s head to your breast while holding the nape of their neck. Once this has been done, you should then guide their mouth toward your nipple until they touch, at which point their mouth should open. After this, you should encourage them by putting as much of your areola – the dark skin around your nipple – into their mouth, at which point they should latch on and begin suckling.
You should know that they’ve latched on correctly when they’re relaxed and taking slow, relaxed mouthfuls. Many women may also be concerned about whether or not their baby is getting enough breast milk during the day. As Kids Health has noted, you should be breastfeeding between eight and 12 times a day for the first month, while this number will naturally reduce over time as you begin using formula. To know if they’re getting enough milk during this period, you should note how many wet nappies and bowel movements your child has daily, with four to six wet diapers being a healthy range.
Should your baby seem irritated, isn’t producing too many wet diapers or seems hungry often, then you may need to feed them more often, or for longer periods.
By keeping each of the above in mind, you should be able to ensure that you’re able to breastfeed your child as effectively as possible. Should you be considering breast augmentation and plan on having a baby in the future, then you should discuss this with your cosmetic surgeon. Parents notes, by doing so, they’ll be able to operate in a way that shouldn’t affect your ability to breastfeed. This will primarily be done by addressing the factors that we mentioned above, especially where the incision is made and where the implants are placed. As such, you shouldn’t have to worry about how the procedure will affect you in the future.