One of the most common questions women ask before breast augmentation is whether or not they will be able to breastfeed after surgery. The good news is that most women may still breastfeed just fine, as breast surgery usually does not compromise the areas of the breast involved in milk production and transport.
In order to reduce the chances of breast surgery affecting your milk ducts, you should inform your surgeon before your procedure about your desire to breastfeed in the future.
Under which circumstances will I be able to breastfeed?
First of all, not all women (with or without implants) are able to breastfeed. If you were not able to breastfeed before surgery, you may also encounter difficulties to breastfeed afterwards. If you were able to breastfeed before, you should be able to breastfeed also post-surgery (as long as your milk ducts are not affected by the surgery).
Implants are typically placed behind the milk glands or positioned underneath the chest muscle, to avoid interference with the breast ducts or mammary glands from which milk is excreted. Incision placement is important, surgeons often opt for an incision in the inframammary fold, which is the fold under the breast, for this reason. Other incisions like an incision around the areola or in the armpit could cut milk ducts and impede breastfeeding.
Will the breast implant affect milk production? Will the silicone of my breast implants migrate to the milk?
Milk production can be slightly reduced after breast augmentation surgery. Make sure you inform your healthcare provider that you have breast implants, so he or she can make sure your baby is getting enough milk supply.
There is no evidence that silicone from silicone implants can leak or migrate into breast milk. Moreover, silicone is safe, widely present in the environment and used in several products for babies such as pacifiers. Silicone drops are commonly used to treat infants for stomach gas, or colic.
I haven’t had breast surgery yet – should I wait?
Some surgeons recommend patients to wait until after they have finished breastfeeding, since breastfeeding can enlarge the breasts and lead to sagging, which can change the results achieved in surgery.
However, this is just a recommendation and the decision is entirely up to you.
At your initial consultation with your surgeon, talk about your desire to expand your family and breastfeed in the future.