If you’re wondering whether you can breastfeed after breast surgeries, you’re not alone. As more people choose to have breast augmentations, reductions, and lifts, patients are seeking out more information about breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding with Breast Implants
Let’s start by exploring breastfeeding with breast implants. With breast augmentation surgery, breast implants are inserted under the skin to enlarge the breasts. So, can you breastfeed with breast implants? The answer is that yes, it’s possible. But the implants may affect a woman’s ability to hold a full milk supply. Getting breast implants doesn’t mean that you can’t breastfeed. But it’s important to know that there is no guarantee that the mother will have a full supply of milk. Factors that can affect the milk supply and ability to breastfeed with implants include:
- The type of surgery and the amount of damage to the nerves and breast tissue
- Whether there is any scarring on the milk duct
- The amount of functional milk-making tissue left after the operation
- Location of the incision
- Size and position of the implant
- Changes to nipple sensitivity after the procedure
Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction
There are different types of breast reduction techniques. The likelihood of breastfeeding is much higher in those where more of the nipple and milk ducts are left attached. It’s important that you speak to your surgeon about breastfeeding before your surgery. Amazingly, severed milk ducts can reattach, but there is no guarantee of how much milk you produce. The longer the time between your breast reduction and pregnancy, the better. As this gives your body more time to heal.
Breastfeeding and Breast Lifts
In general, a breast lift doesn’t have an impact on breastfeeding. Plastic surgeons usually find that patients who could breastfeed before a breast lift can breastfeed after the surgery as well. This is because a breast lift doesn’t usually affect the milk supply and breastfeeding function. With any type of breast lift, there is a risk that breastfeeding function may be affected.
Breastfeeding can be hard at the best of times. It requires a great deal of patience and time. Often, there’s a steep learning curve, and it can be very frustrating. It’s a good idea to discuss breastfeeding with your surgeon. A one-on-one consultation can help to clear up your concerns, answer any questions, and help you determine if breast surgery is suitable for you.
Although most patients with breast implants are able to breastfeed, there are a few exceptions. Whether you can breastfeed also depends on the original state of your breasts before your procedure and the type of incision used, amongst other factors. It’s essential that you talk about the risks of any surgery with your plastic surgeon so that you can mentally and physically prepare for your breast surgery.