Many women considering getting a breast augmentation worry about how new breast implants will impact their ability to breastfeed. Several factors can affect your ability to breastfeed and the amount of milk you can produce. Another concern is the effect breastfeeding can have on your breast implants. During pregnancy and after pregnancy, it’s normal for breasts to change in shape and size. However, breastfeeding won’t affect breast implants.
The good news is that a breast augmentation surgery doesn’t involve the areas of the breast involved in milk production. Typically for a breast surgery such as a breast augmentation, an incision is made in the inframammary fold. The implant is placed behind the pectoral muscle or under the muscle. In this case, the implant is placed away from the breasts. Therefore, any ducts that were there, to begin with, remain untouched.
However, the location and depth of the incision can vary for each breast surgery. In some cases, an incision is made around the areola for cosmetic reasons. Incisions around the areola affect the sensation of the nipple and can hinder the let-down reflex, which can affect the milk supply. Placing the implant over the pectoral muscle could also interfere with the ability to breastfeed and even interfere with ducts, which is rare.
Another factor to consider is the reason for getting a breast augmentation in the first place. If you had smaller breasts and wanted implants simply for cosmetic reasons, then breastfeeding should be unaffected. However, if you chose to get a breast augmentation because breast tissue never developed or because the breasts were far apart, then the chances of breastfeeding may be lower.
While there is no guarantee that a breast augmentation could impact the ability to breastfeed, the chances of that are relatively low. Voicing your concerns to your plastic surgeon allows them to formulate a plan to best preserve as much of your milk-making tissue, milk ducts, and the nerves around your areola.