Breast Implants and Breast Feeding
Plastic Surgery in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Glendale and surrounding areas in Arizona
If you are considering getting breast implants, you may be concerned that they may impact your ability to breastfeed. This is a possibility. Every woman has a risk she will be unable to breastfeed. Breast implants have not been shown to increase this risk, but at least one study suggests it's possible. You may also worry that breast implants may not be good for a breastfeeding infant. This is not a concern. Breast implants have never been linked to any health condition in children. Studies of breast milk have shown that the milk from women with and without breast implants seem to be equally safe. Overall, studies of breastfeeding with breast implants have shown that babies gain weight at about the same rate as children whose mothers do not have implants.
If you are considering breast implants, this page has some basic information, but the best way to get all your questions answered is in a personal consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Bryan W. Gawley. Dr. Gawley will help you understand the process, risks, and benefits of breast augmentation so you can make an informed decision. To talk to Dr. Gawley, please schedule your consultation today.
Breast Implants Don't Stop Breastfeeding
Breast augmentation is a very popular procedure, with 10 million or more performed worldwide since the 1960s. In the US alone about 300,000 women have this procedure every year. Considering the frequency of this procedure, if there were a major problem with breastfeeding and breast implants, it would likely have come to light.
According to the FDA, breast implants may reduce the chance you are able to breastfeed. No large scale studies have been done to demonstrate the actual relationship between breastfeeding and breast implants. One small study has suggested that milk insufficiency may be associated with breast implants placed via the periareolar incision. The study was too small to eliminate confounders such as the obvious one: women had breast augmentation because their breasts were underdeveloped in the first place. Changes in nipple sensation are a risk associated with breast implants, and this may affect your ability to breastfeed.
Our experience has been mostly positive. Women are happy with the results of their breast implant surgery, including their ability to breastfeed. Recently, two celebrity moms, Kendra Wilkinson and Kourtney Kardashian successfully breastfed their babies. The keys to successful breastfeeding--both with and without implants--are:
- Try with a positive attitude
- Have a good support structure
- Be patient
- Don't be reluctant to supplement if necessary
If you have implants and are considering breastfeeding, we can get you in touch with a good breastfeeding support group.
Breast Implants Don't Hurt Babies
Breast implants have not been associated with any harm to breastfeeding babies. Although platinum from breast implants seems to appear in breast milk of women with implants, it has not been associated with any health effects. Based on the scientific data, the FDA says that the platinum is likely in a neutral (unreactive) state, and therefore reasonably safe. There is no way to track silicone, but its elemental component silicon has been tracked, and the amount of silicon in breast milk from women with implants is not statistically different than that in women without implants, and far less than is found in cow's milk or baby formula. This means it is unlikely that silicone is found in breast milk and may be passed on to an infant.