If you have breast implants, you may be wondering if you can breastfeed. You may also be wondering if nursing will cause your augmented breasts to sag, like so many claim it will. Whether you’re considering breast augmentation, or already have breast implants, there are a few things that you should know.
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1. Yes, You Can Breastfeed
Can you breastfeed with fake boobs? Yes. However, the type of surgery you had and your nipple sensitivity will have an effect on nursing.
If incisions were made through the armpit or underneath the fold of your breast, then you should have no issues breastfeeding. Some women have trouble nursing if incisions were made around the areola.
2. Implants Can Affect Milk Production
Any breast surgery, be it breast augmentation, reduction or even a biopsy, can affect milk production. Many women find that after breast augmentation, their milk supply is inadequate.
Medical experts are still unsure of why this happens, but they suspect that the milk ducts are damaged during surgery. Pressure from the implants may also be an issue and may damage breast tissue.
If you’re considering breast augmentation and plan on breastfeeding in the future, consider a surgery that places the implant underneath the chest muscle. Placing the implant in this location may prevent milk duct damage and can also prevent silicone from entering your breast milk.
3. Nipple Sensitivity May Make Nursing Difficult
Breast augmentation surgery can affect the sensitivity of your nipples. For some women, sensitivity is greatly decreased, while others experience heightened sensitivity.
Women who have lost all feeling in their nipples may not be able to nurse. If you still have some nipple sensitivity, you should be able to breastfeed, and your chances of producing a full milk supply are much higher.
4. Using A Breast Pump Can Improve Milk Production
You already know that breast implants can reduce your milk supply, but is there anything you can do improve production?
Many doctors recommend using a breast pump to stimulate milk production, and ensure that both of your breasts empty completely.
If you prefer not to use a pump, breast massages can also help stimulate milk production.
If your baby has 3-4 bowel movements and 6-8 wet diapers each day, then he or she is getting enough breast milk. If your baby is nursing at least 8 times per day and gaining weight, you can be confident that he or she getting enough milk. Again, it’s important to stay in close contact with your doctor to ensure that your baby is gaining weight appropriately and that you’re producing enough milk.
Be sure to feed your baby 8-12 times per day, or as often as your doctor recommends, to increase your milk supply. Your doctor may also offer other recommendations on how to boost your milk supply if necessary.
5. Breastfeeding Will Not Alter Your Breast’s Appearance
Many women with implants shy away from breastfeeding because they’re afraid their breasts will sag or change shape. New studies show that neither breastfeeding nor breast implants have an impact on breast sagging after childbirth.
The true cause of sagging breasts is the decrease in hormones that cause the breasts to enlarge and engorge during pregnancy. After giving birth, these hormones level out, and cause the breast to sag.
In some studies, no significant difference was found between women with implants who breastfed and those who did not.
When You Should Worry
Most women with implants have no issues breastfeeding. Inadequate milk supply is usually the biggest issue, and there are some things that you should be on the lookout for as a new mom. If you experience any of the following, contact your doctor or caregiver right away:
- Your baby has fewer than six wet diapers a day and is over four days old.
- You are not producing milk within five days of giving birth.
- Your baby isn’t nursing at least eight times per day.
- Your baby has fewer than 3-4 bowel movements each day and is more than four days old.
- You feel a hard area or lump in your breast.
- You suspect you might not be producing enough milk.
- You experience pain in between feedings or during feeding.
If your baby exhibits any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical care:
- Sunken eyes, fast breathing, dry skin and few or no wet diapers. This is an indication of dehydration and is a very serious medical issue. Get to the emergency room right away.
- Tired, irritable, quick heartbeat and general malaise.
Whether you’re considering implants or already have them, it is possible to breastfeed. Be sure to let your doctor know about your surgery, so adjustments to your care can be made and your doctor can keep a close eye on your baby’s weight. If you’re not producing enough milk, a breast pump may help, or you may need to switch over to formula.