Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic procedure in the United States, and grows more common every year. Women turn to breast augmentation for a variety of reasons, including restoring breast volume after pregnancy and wanting to feel comfortable with their body.
Any cosmetic procedure is worth carefully considering beforehand, including breast augmentation. One of the largest concerns we hear about breast augmentation regards breastfeeding: can you still breastfeed after a breast augmentation procedure?
The short answer: Probably, but it’s still best to wait.
The long answer: most approaches for breast augmentations don’t hinder breastfeeding. However, there are still complications. Although you will probably still be able to breastfeed, there is a good chance your breastfeeding ability will be affected in some way. For example, many patients report greater or less sensitivity with their nipples than before.
How breast augmentation procedures can affect breastfeeding largely hinges upon two aspects of the surgery:
- The type of incision. An incision near or across your areola (the circle around the nipple) can damage nerves. Incisions under the breast, in the armpit, or in the belly button are less likely to affect your milk supply.
- The area where your implants are placed. Breast implants may be placed between your breast tissue and chest muscle or under the chest muscle. The former may damage breast tissue, milk ducts, and milk nerves, while the latter is most likely to avoid this damage.
Some mothers report that they are only able to partially breastfeed, meaning they have to supplement to some extent. Breast augmentations are less likely to cause milk supply problems than breast reductions, but it is a possibility. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly how your breast augmentation will affect breastfeeding until you have given birth.
Another concern is that breasts are likely to change significantly during pregnancy and nursing. As a result, it’s best to wait until after you are done breastfeeding before considering any breast augmentation procedures.
In summary, it’s best to wait until you have weaned your last child before receiving any breast augmentation procedure. Sure, most mothers are still able to breastfeed with breast augmentations, but there is a greater chance of complications. Additionally, the changes to your breasts during pregnancy and nursing may detract from the final result of your procedure.
For the best odds of successfully breastfeeding and long-lasting breast augmentation results, it’s best to wait it out.
If you’re considering a breast augmentation procedure, call Dr. Mucci today at (248) 283-1115.