Whether you've already had a boob job, or are still considering getting breast implants, one question you might have is 'Is it okay to breastfeed if you have implants?'. You may equally be curious to know whether or not your implants could be affected by breastfeeding.
We asked Justine McNulty, Best Milk's in-house midwife to explain.
Is it safe to breastfeed if you have implants?
Probably - but not in all cases, says McNulty. "Most woman are still able to breastfeed following breast augmentation surgery, but the success can depend upon the implant size, location, and type of surgery," she explains. "There may be issues that arise, such as engorgement and mastitis, but these are issues that can be common in all breastfeeding mothers and are often resolved with prompt professional advice."
She adds that there have been no studies to suggest that breastfeeding after a boob job is unsafe.
Will implants make breastfeeding more of a challenge?
Breast implants are generally placed under the chest muscle behind the milk glands, McNulty explains. "If the implants have been inserted from under the breast or through the arm pit, there should be less of a challenge, but if the surgery was due to insufficient glandular tissue, or if there has been reconstructive surgery on or around the areola, this could pose more of an issue."
For some, the size of the implant may cause discomfort for an engorged breast which, in turn, can affect and stretch the delicate breast tissue, which can also be a challenge, she adds.
What can you do if you’re struggling to breastfeed?
McNulty advises that "any woman struggling to breastfeed should contact her midwife or healthcare professional to rule out any medical problem" in the first instance. She says there's also the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 (which is available 9.30am - 9.30pm every day), who are on hand to offer advice.
"For women who are still struggling or who choose not to breastfeed, there is now an alternative to formula too," she adds. "Best Milk is a private milk bank who can provide 100% pure breastmilk for families who need it, delivered fresh to your door. There's more information on Best Milk's website."
Many women struggle to breastfeed and if it's a challenge you're currently facing, you're not alone – and support is out there. There's also no shame in using formula if that works better for you either.
Will breastfeeding affect your implants?
Breastfeeding will not affect your implants, but as for all women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, hormones can affect the breast tissue around your implants, says McNulty. "The tissue will contract and expand which can cause it to weaken and affect how your breasts look following pregnancy and breastfeeding."
And remember if you ever have any concerns around breastfeeding, or any other aspects of motherhood, don't be afraid to speak to a midwife or your GP.
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