Because breast augmentation is often a procedure sought by younger patients, concerns about breastfeeding after augmentation are common. Women want to know if their breast surgery could impact their milk supply or make their milk unsafe for their babies. The good news is breast augmentation rarely affects a woman’s ability to nurse, provided she takes a few precautionary steps prior to her breast augmentation surgery.

Factors Affecting Breastfeeding

Before moving forward with breast augmentation surgery, it is helpful to understand the factors that could impact breastfeeding overall. Women with underdeveloped (hypoplastic) breasts or tubular breasts often have a reduced milk supply with or without surgery. Since these women are also more likely to consider breast augmentation, it is important to understand that breastfeeding problems after surgery may not have anything to do with the surgery itself, but the condition of the breasts prior to the procedure.

Protecting the Milk Ducts

The milk ducts are an important consideration in breast augmentation when the ability to nurse is a concern. Leaving as many milk ducts intact as possible during the surgery will improve the odds of successful breastfeeding later. Most of the time, this can be accomplished by placing the incision for breast augmentation under the breast, rather than around the areola. In addition to preserving milk supply, this incision choice decreases the risk of reducing nipple sensation, which can also affect breastfeeding.

Placement of the Implants

Another option in breast augmentation is the placement of the implant. For women concerned about breastfeeding in the future, the best placement choice is often underneath the chest muscle, known as the sub-pectoral region. However, if your surgeon feels placement above the chest muscle is a better option for you, it is likely breastfeeding will not be compromised.

Potential for Breast Changes

Some women opt to wait until after having children to move forward with breast augmentation, due to their concerns over changes to the breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Studies have shown implants do not increase breast sagging after pregnancy, but the problem can occur simply due to the way hormone fluctuations alter breast size during and after those nine months. A breast lift can take care of any sagging after breastfeeding is complete. Some women may opt for a change of implants as well, to accommodate their new breast size and shape.

Breast augmentation is a procedure that can improve a woman’s confidence and self-esteem. If you are putting off your procedure due to concerns about your ability to breastfeed, talk to your plastic surgeon. You may find many of your concerns are unfounded and you can enjoy the results of breast augmentation today and parenting responsibilities in the future. To learn more, contact Ocean Plastic Surgery at (732) 255-7155.