Often, a young woman decides on working with a breast augmentation surgeon before she is ready to become a mother. But, when the time comes, she is concerned if her choice means she cannot breastfeed her infant. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee a positive outcome with breastfeeding. Other times breastfeeding is no problem at all. The answer is – no one knows for sure.
The inability to be able to breastfeed is more prominent in women who have breast reduction surgery than in women who have had breast augmentation surgery. When you have a breast augmentation procedure, you do not lose any milk glands. Nothing is removed. The implants are not the issue. The invasion of the breast is the only thing that could be a problem. Those problems are usually due to sensitivity issues and the way your milk comes in after child birth.
It really depends on the type of breast augmentation you had. If your surgeon channeled from under the armpit to place the implant or if he tunneled up through the belly button, you will probably have no problems breastfeeding.
Having the incision under the breast (in the crease) is not usually a breastfeeding problem. However, sometimes there are issues. If the implants were placed by cutting around the nipple, the chances of breastfeeding issues are higher.
What Kinds of Problems?
After breast augmentation, the nipples may become more or less sensitive than they were before. This can lead to discomfort in breastfeeding or a lack of sensation which makes the task difficult to judge. Often the lack of sensitivity in the nipple is an indication of inadequate milk supply which means you will need to supplement your baby’s diet with formula.
After you give birth and your milk comes in, there is more of a chance of having exaggerated engorgement in the breasts. This is painful and not a lot of fun to deal with as you adjust to motherhood.
You also have an increased chance of developing Mastitis. With Mastitis, you will have pain, fever, chills, and overall misery.
What Can We Do?
Of course, having a qualified plastic surgeon is your best chance. They will take your age and your desire to have children in the future into consideration. They will choose a surgery that gives you the best chance of being able to breastfeed.
No doctor can tell you 100% that you will be able to breastfeed after your breast augmentation surgery. They can make an educated guess based on their experience. But they will not know how your milk will come in or the effect it will have on the breast until it does come in and the doctor can examine you.
The fact is, many women cannot breastfeed that have never had breast augmentation. This is just a fact of life. So, use a qualified breast augmentation surgeon and move forward with your plans. Time will tell if breastfeeding will be an option for you. Either way, you are going to be a great mommy!