Should You Breast-Feed After an Augmentation?

Just because you opt to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, doesn’t mean that you can’t, or shouldn’t, breast-feed. Right? Well, it depends who you ask and where you live.

Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that one in five women who undergo breast augmentation may be unable or unwilling to breast-feed their infant children. We went to an expert to set the record straight. 

San Diego plastic surgeon Joseph Grzeskiewicz, MD, says that while the effects of breast augmentation on breast-feeding are certainly a theoretical concern, it’s highly unlikely that an augmentation alone (without breast lifting) will hinder a woman’s ability to breast-feed. “The chances of an issue happening with breast-feeding may also depend on the way in which the implants are placed. Basically, any surgical procedure on the breast could potentially affect breast-feeding, and sometimes there are reasons why that we don’t understand.” 

In some patients, the stretching of the breast tissue and milk ducts, or other trauma incurred during or after surgery to those parts of the breast, could potentially lead to problems down the road. “This may be true in cases in which the implants are placed via an incision around the nipple,” says Dr. Grzeskiewicz. “Also, in patients with small or short nipples who get large implants, the nipple projection can be affected and there may not be enough tension on the breast, preventing the baby from being able to properly latch on.”

“The bottom line,” says Dr. Grzeskiewicz, “is that although we always discuss the risks of breast surgery, in reality, when we study the actual incidence of breast-feeding problems after breast augmentation, it doesn’t seem to be any more common than in those without implants.”

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