If you have had a breast augmentation and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you may have some anxiety about your future ability to breastfeed. This is a completely natural concern, and you are not alone! Millions of women get pregnant, whether planned or unexpectedly, at some point after breast augmentation and have questions about how their implants will affect nursing – and vice-versa. Fortunately, the majority of these women are still able to successfully breastfeed their babies. Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. James N. Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev, along with the caring team at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, are dedicated to helping Long Island, NY women look and feel their very best while taking into consideration the demands of each patient’s lifestyle. Whether you have experienced a change in your breast implants due to breastfeeding or are considering breast augmentation and have questions about future pregnancies, Drs. Romanelli and Layliev are here to help.
When can I get pregnant after breast augmentation?
Technically speaking, women can get pregnant immediately after breast augmentation, though it is generally recommended that they wait at least 6 – 12 months after surgery to pursue a pregnancy. This time allows the body to heal properly and completely from the surgery and gives the implants a chance to settle into their final position.
How will getting pregnant affect my breast implants?
As with any pregnancy, the physical changes that each woman experiences can vary greatly from person to person. Age, genetics, and other factors can impact how a woman’s body responds to pregnancy. For women who have breast implants, it can be difficult to predict exactly how a pregnancy will affect the implants. In some cases, particularly with younger women, the appearance of the implants may not be affected by pregnancy at all. However, a large number of women notice a deflated, sagging appearance of their breasts following childbirth and breastfeeding. While the implant itself has not changed, its position and the amount of excess skin present has changed, which can drastically affect the woman’s overall contour.
Can I breastfeed with implants?
It is certainly possible to breastfeed with breast implants, though each woman’s experience may be different. Some factors that may contribute to a woman’s ability or inability to successfully breastfeed with implants include:
- Type of implant
- Position of implant
- Type/placement of incision used during breast augmentation or breast lift
- Scar tissue
Of the variables listed above, the position of the implant and the type of incision used are widely considered to have the highest chance of impacting a woman’s ability to breastfeed and/or produce an adequate milk supply. Many surgeons choose to place breast implants underneath the muscle, which can be advantageous for breastfeeding mothers. Using this technique, there is less pressure placed on the milk ducts and other anatomical structures.
When it comes to the incisions used during breast augmentation in Long Island, NY, women whose procedures required an incision around the areola may have a harder time breastfeeding than those who only had an inframammary incision. When an incision is placed around the areola, such as in a breast lift, there is a higher chance of damaging the nerves that lead to the nipple. In some cases, women may lose nipple sensitivity, either temporarily or permanently, which can interfere with natural nursing sensations that are essential for milk production and milk letdown.
Keep in mind that a number of women may experience difficulty breastfeeding regardless of whether or not they have breast implants. Furthermore, the success of breastfeeding can be drastically different between children of the same mother. If a woman with breast implants has trouble breastfeeding, it may not necessarily have anything to do with her implants.
If a woman has the choice between undergoing a breast augmentation before pregnancy or delaying it until after she has given birth, the latter option is usually the safest in order to ensure the best possible chance for successful breastfeeding.
What if my breast implants start sagging after breastfeeding?
A common misconception about sagging breasts after a breast augmentation is that the implant itself has started to sag. In reality, the structure of the implant will almost never change, with the exception of implant rupture or damage. After the weight fluctuations associated with pregnancy and breastfeeding, however, many women do experience a change in the position of their implants due to stretched out, excess skin. If this occurs, a breast revision and/or breast lift may be a fantastic option for restoring the look you once loved. You may also benefit from a mommy makeover, which often includes a breast lift in addition to a number of other exciting procedures.
If you are considering a breast augmentation and have questions or concerns about how the procedure will alter your natural ability to breastfeed, the best course of action is to schedule a consultation with a highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. Call the state-of-the-art Huntington, NY facility of Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule your one-on-one consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. JamesN. Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev, and learn more about how breast implants can give you the body you’ve always dreamed of – before or after kids!