Nipple Piercing use while Breastfeeding
Medically reviewed on August 4, 2017.
Nipple Piercing Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Although controlled studies have not been performed, piercing of the nipples seems to not interfere with lactation in most cases, although poor latching, and milk leakage from the infant's mouth have been reported. Some breast jewelry may pierce the areola as well as the nipple. Reversible hyperprolactinemia and galactorrhea has occurred in two individuals who developed infections of the nipple and mastitis. A theoretical concern is aspiration of the nipple jewelry by the nursing infant and injury of the infant's mouth and gums. Although these complications apparently have not been reported, nipple jewelry should be removed before nursing, and preferably during the entire duration of breastfeeding.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Nipple piercing has caused mastitis in nursing and nonnursing women and at least one man. In some of these patients, hyperprolactinemia and galactorrhea resulted. After removal of the jewelry and treatment of mastitis, hyperprolactinemia and galactorrhea subsided. However, in a study of 11 individuals who had pierced nipples for an average of 4 years (range 2.5 to 12 years) without mastitis, serum prolactin values were in the normal range. Nipple piercing has also been associated with decreased lactation in nursing mothers caused by duct obstruction and milk leakage through the piercing tract.
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Nipple Piercing Identification
Body Modification, Non-Therapeutic
LactMed Record Number
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