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Breastfeeding with Breast Implants: What You Need to Know

What Are Breast Implants and Why Are They Required ?

Breast Implants are prosthetics that are used to alter the shape, size, and contour of the breasts. Medically known a Breast Augmentation Surgery the use of Breast Implants has increased exponentially over the years. While this surgery is forced on some females who are diagnosed with breast cancer other females are just not happy with the size and shape of their breasts and undergo this surgery. [1, 2, 3, 4]

While breastfeeding with Breast Implants is possible for some women it may not be that successful in others. There are several factors which determine the success of breastfeeding after breast augmentation surgery which includes the type of implant, where the implant is placed, and the technique used in carrying out the surgery. [2, 3, 4]

However, it is important to note here that having Breast Implants does not mean that you cannot have a successful breastfeeding and neither does it mean you will always have a successful one. As there are many factors at play here it is best for women with Breast Implants to consult with their healthcare providers to get the best advice and allay all their fears.[2, 3, 4]

Can You Still Breastfeed If You Have Breast Implants?

What Are Some Of The Common Concerns That Mothers With Breast Implants Have About Breastfeeding?

Mothers with Breast Implant often have concerns and doubts with regard to the effectiveness of breastfeeding. These concerns include

Reduced Milk Production: The most common concern among mothers with Breast Implants is whether they are able to produce enough milk to feed their child properly. [2]

Milk Duct Damage: Anther concern that many women have is whether the implants may cause damage to the milk ducts thereby affecting the ability of the mother to effectively breastfeed their baby. [2]

Milk Release: Another common worry among mother with Breast Implants is whether the implant may interfere with smooth flow of milk through the ducts causing pain and discomfort and decreasing the effectiveness of breastfeeding. [2]

Implant Rupture: Some mothers also fear that the implant may rupture and cause problems with effective breastfeeding. [2]

Pain: Some mothers complain of pain while breastfeeding their baby after a breast implant surgery which is also quite a valid concern. [2]

What Are The Different Types Of Breast Implants What Is Their Impact On Breastfeeding?

There are two main varieties of Breast Implants, the Silicone Breast Implant and Saline Breast Implants and both have their own effects on Breastfeeding. Saline Breast Implants are considered less likely to affect breastfeeding as they are filled with sterile saltwater solution. [3, 4]

The Silicone Breast Implants are filled with silicone gel which is quite similar to natural breast tissue. Despite various studies showing that Silicone Breast Implants are safe for mothers with regard to breastfeeding in actuality the presence of silicone gel may have an impact on the effectiveness of breastfeeding when compared to Saline Breast Implants. [3, 4]

Another factor that may impact breastfeeding is the placement of the implant during surgery. It has been observed that if the implants are placed above the muscle then the ducts and the surrounding tissues may be adversely impacted resulting in reduced milk production. Other than that the ducts and tissues remain relatively unaffected by the Breast Implants. [3, 4]

Thus it is advised to consult a physician for any concerns regarding breastfeeding while having had a Breast Implant as it is extremely vital to discuss all the possible risk, complications, or any apprehensions associated with breastfeeding with Breast Implants. [1, 3, 4]

What Are The Different Techniques Used And The Type Of Incisions Made During A Breast Implant Surgery and Its Effects On Breastfeeding?

The surgical technique used for carrying out a Breast Implant Surgery plays a role for effectively carrying out breastfeeding. The type of incision and most importantly the placement of the implant are crucial to avoid any damage to the milk glands, ducts, and nerves thus paving way for successful breastfeeding. [3, 4]

Type of Incision: The incision type used during surgery for Breast Implants can affect the ability of a woman to breastfeed. If an incision is made along the edge of the areola known a periareolar incisions then the glands and ducts that produce milk become vulnerable and can get damaged leading to decreased production of milk. [3, 4]

To avoid this, most surgeons use a trans-axillary or inframammary incision that is in the armpit or breast crease which significantly decrease this risk of the implants interfering with breastfeeding. [3, 4]

Implant Placement: Breast Implants are placed either above or below the chest muscle. Implants placed below the muscle do not affect the milk ducts or glands thus not impacting breastfeeding. However implant placed above the muscle carry a chance of damaging the ducts and glands thereby affecting breastfeeding. [3, 4]

As every experience of a woman is different with respect to a Breast Implant it is extremely vital for them to have a detailed discussion with their treating physician and surgeon to come up with the best course of action. The surgeon should use the implant as preferred by the patient. [3, 4]

The type of incision that needs to be made should be explained in detail to the patient along with any risk that it may or may not pose to breastfeeding. An experienced and a skilled surgeon increase the likelihood of having a successful Breast Augmentation Surgery without having any effect on the ability to breastfeed. [3, 4]

What Are Some Of The Common Problems Faced By Women With Breastfeeding After Breast Implantation and What Can Be Done About It?

There have been some cases where some women face problems with breastfeeding due to Breast Implants. This makes it very important for women to identify these problems as early as possible and take immediate action to resolve those issues. Some of the common problems faced by mother with Breast Implants includes:

  • Reduced Milk Production: This is perhaps the most common problem faced by mothers with Breast Implants. For this it is important to nurse and pump in between feedings to boost production of milk. Consulting with a lactation expert is also advisable so as to find optimal ways to boost milk production. [2]
  • Milk Duct Obstruction: At times, breastfeeding can become difficult due to pain and discomfort while breastfeeding as a result of milk duct obstruction. The warning signs of duct obstruction include redness, swelling, or lumps or nodules. It can be effectively treated with regular massaging and pumping and get in touch with a healthcare professional or a lactation expert for best advice on how to tackle the problem. [2]
  • Change in Sensation of Nipples: Implant surgery can result in altered nipple sensation, making it challenging for infants to properly nurse. This can cause pain and discomfort during feeding, leading to an irritable baby due to inadequate milk intake. [2] For this, changing positions while feeding is good way to fix this issue. However, it is best to consult the physician or lactation expert on the best way to handle this problem. [2]
  • Capsular Contracture: Sometime Breast Implant can result in capsular contracture. This causes an alteration in the shape and appearance of the breasts and cause significant discomfort. If you experience abnormal breast shape or pain, it may be a sign of capsular contracture. This condition typically requires treatment from a skilled plastic surgeon, including a possible revision surgery by the original implant surgeon. [2]
  • Implant Rupture: Breast implant ruptures have been reported, particularly with silicone implants. The leakage of silicone gel can affect the quality of breast milk and cause changes in breast feel, pain, discomfort, and appearance. If you suspect a rupture, it is best to consult with the original implant surgeon as surgery may be necessary to address the issue. [2]

What Are Some Of The Signs That Suggest Baby Is Getting Enough Milk?

It is vital for a newborn baby to get regular breastfeeding for nutritional and proper development. This information is vital for mothers who have had a Breast Implant. Some of the signs to show that the baby is getting proper nutrition and feeding despite Breast Implants include: [2]

  • Steady Weight Gain: Proper nutrition with breast milk will result in a steady weight gain of the baby. [2]
  • Regular Excretion: A baby being properly breastfed will pass urine at least 5 to 8 times a day and open the bowels at least 3 to 4 times a day indicating that the baby is adequately hydrated. A good colour and tone of the skin is also an indicator that the baby is adequately hydrated. [2]
  • Behavior: a well fed baby will be content and satisfied following feeds. The baby will sleep peacefully, will be less irritable, and indulge in self play when properly breastfed and hydrated.[2]

A mother who has had Breast Implant and is adequately breastfeeding will feel a reduction in breast fullness after each feeding proving that she is producing enough healthy milk for the baby. [2]


Breast Augmentation Surgery or Breast Implantation is perhaps the most popular aesthetic surgery. The long term consequences of Breast Implants has been debatable when it comes to the issue of properly breastfeeding babies but this has not stopped many women especially in their reproductive ages to get the surgery done. [1, 2, 4]

Breast Implant generally does not have any detrimental effect on breastfeeding; however, there have been some cases where females have had problems with feeding their baby. The surgical technique used, type of incision, and the type of implant used all play a role for a successful breastfeeding experience for a woman with Breast Implants. [1, 2, 4]

If any woman faces any pain, discomfort, swelling, or change in sensation or appearance of the breasts while breastfeeding then it is advised to consult with the treating physician or the surgeon to identify the problem and fix it promptly to avoid any complications. In some cases even a revision surgery may be required to correct the problem. [1, 2, 4]


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 8, 2023

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