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Can you breastfeed with breast implants?

Many women have breast augmentation surgery before becoming a mom. Is it possible to breastfeed with implants and will the breasts change during pregnancy? We answer your questions.

Most of the time, cosmetic surgery is not medically necessary. They simply allow a person to change their appearance if they want or feel they need it. The reasons that motivate people to resort to this type of intervention are many and varied and everyone has the right to do as they see fit.

In France, one of the most popular cosmetic surgery operations is breast augmentation. According to the most recent figures from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), no less than 47,510 such procedures took place in the country in 2016. A poll conducted by Harris Interactive in 2010 already highlighted the desire of some women to have their breasts restored: they represented 37% of those questioned.

When breast augmentation occurs before pregnancy, many women wonder if they will be able to breastfeed with their implants. This is a question that Dr. Philip H. Zeplin, a specialist in cosmetic breast surgery at a German clinic, agreed to answer.

Can we breastfeed after this operation?

The answer is yes, according to our expert. "Only about 2% of patients with breast implants complain of loss of sensitivity in the nipple, which can make breastfeeding difficult or impossible", he says.

Rest assured, breast implants are not harmful to the baby and do not constitute an obstacle to breastfeeding. The implant is inserted under the gland or even under the muscle and thus does not affect the actual function of the breast, i.e., the ability to breastfeed, "It is not directly related to the milk-producing gland and the milk ducts", explains the specialist.

Moreover, breastfeeding has no negative effects on breast implants: “Breast implants are not damaged by breastfeeding. Studies also show that pregnancy or breastfeeding does not increase the risk of developing capsular fibrosis later ”.

Can the appearance of breasts change?

Some women who have had breast augmentation also wonder if the shape of their breasts will change during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Again, the answer is yes. Breasts change during pregnancy whether or not a breast implant has been inserted. This is due to changes in hormone production and the body's natural changes to accommodate the baby and allow it to grow. In most cases, the result is an enlargement of the breasts and the skin of the breast may stretch.

After the breastfeeding period, the breast tissue shrinks and narrows. The previously stretched skin is no longer completely filled and is therefore a little more sagging than before pregnancy. Some women find this worrisome and consider having a breast lift or breast augmentation with implants after giving birth. Breast implants can hide changes.

If you have had breast augmentation before, the changes that occurred during and after pregnancy may be somewhat obscured. However, there is no guarantee that the breasts will be just as firm after pregnancy. So, if you are planning to have a baby in the next three years, it would probably be a good idea to wait for breast augmentation. It is up to you to decide if, when and why you are planning breast surgery – the main thing is that you feel comfortable. Note that for a post-pregnancy intervention, you must wait a minimum of six months before having the operation.

Read also:

10 questions to know everything about pregnancy stretch marks

Pregnancy: all of those changes in your body that you should expect

Breast engorgement: how to spot and avoid it?

Video by Loïcia Fouillen