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Breastfeeding And Breast Implants


You may be able to breastfeed if you have breast implants. It depends on the type of implants, the placement of the implants, and the way the surgery was done. You may worry that chemicals in your breast implants will mix with breast milk. Some breast implants are filled with saline water. Caregivers see no harmful effect if saline water mixes with breast milk. Some breast implants contain a chemical called silicone. Some caregivers say it is okay to breastfeed if you have silicone implants. Tell caregivers if you have silicone implants and ask if you should breastfeed.


Breastfeeding problems after breast implant surgery:

Nerves, milk ducts, and milk glands can be damaged during implant surgery. Injured nerves can decrease the feeling in your nipple area. This may reduce your let-down response. This is when milk is released from the glands to the milk ducts so that it is available to your baby. Damaged milk ducts can decrease the amount of milk made by your breast. Implants can also pinch milk ducts, block the flow of breast milk, and make your breasts swell.

How the types of breast implant surgeries affect breastfeeding:

  • An incision made around or across your areola (dark circle around the nipple) can damage the nerves. This may cause a decrease or loss of feeling in your areola and nipple. Incisions under the breast, in the armpit, or in the belly button may prevent damage to milk ducts, glands, or nerves.
  • The area where your implants are placed also may affect your ability to breastfeed. Breast implants may be placed in between your breast tissue and chest muscle. They also can be placed under the chest muscle to prevent damage to milk ducts and nerves. Implants placed under the chest muscle will not cause silicone to go into your breast milk. Incisions may be made through fatty tissue under your breast tissue to put the implants in place. This method may decrease damage to breast tissue.

How to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk:

Your baby is getting enough breast milk if he has 6 to 8 wet diapers and 3 to 4 bowel movements each day. Also, your baby is getting enough milk if he is gaining weight and breastfeeds 8 or more times a day. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) for more information on how to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk.

How to increase your milk supply:

Use a breast pump after each feeding to help stimulate your breasts to make more milk. The breast pump also helps you empty each of your breasts completely. Breast massage also may help stimulate your breasts and increase your milk supply. Feed your baby 8 to 12 times each day to increase your milk supply. Ask your PHP for more information on how to increase your milk supply.

For more information:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
    141 Northwest Point Boulevard
    Elk Grove Village , IL 60007-1098
    Phone: 1- 847 - 434-4000
    Web Address:
  • La Leche League International
    957 North Plum Grove Road
    Schaumburg , IL 60173
    Phone: 1- 847 - 519-7730
    Phone: 1- 800 - 525-3243
    Web Address:

Contact your PHP if:

  • Your milk has not come in within 5 days of giving birth.
  • Your baby is 4 or more days old and has fewer than 6 wet diapers each day.
  • Your baby is 4 or more days old and has fewer than 3 to 4 bowel movements each day.
  • Your baby is breastfeeding fewer than 8 times each day.
  • You feel you are not making enough breast milk for your baby.
  • You feel a lump or a hard area in your breast.
  • You have nipple pain while feeding or between feedings.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your baby shows signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, dry skin, fast breathing, or few or no wet diapers. He also may be tired, irritable, or unwell, or he may not be responding to you. He may have a very fast heartbeat.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.