Breast augmentation is always an interesting topic when I’m talking to pregnant moms. Many moms to be have had some sort of augmentation and are leery of whether they can breastfeed or not. I’m here to tell you that it totally depends, so let’s go through the things you need to know.
First, having breast implants does not mean that you can’t breastfeed. It depends on how they were put in and why you got them to begin with.
If you got breast implants because you had very small breasts with almost no breast tissue or you had cone shaped or empty breasts you may have what’s called IGT or insufficient glandular tissue. Breasts being very far apart and/or one larger than the other are also other signs of IGT. Unfortunately IGT makes it very difficult to breastfeed, especially if there were no signs of breast changes during pregnancy, but having IGT doesn’t mean you can’t breastfeed at all. You will most likely have to supplement with donor milk or formula for a full daily feed, but breastfeeding can usually still be done successfully.
If you got breast implants simply because you had small breasts or wanted what you had a touch larger or even much larger you still have a very good chance of breastfeeding. It all depends on how they were implanted. Those that had their implants inserted through a small incision under the breast and placed under the muscle are the best candidates for breastfeeding their babes. If you had your implants inserted by removing the nipple and reattaching may have a harder time. This is not to say it can’t happen but physically the nipple has been removed which severed the internal structure of the lactiferous sinuses. As you can see in the image below the lactiferous sinuses are the avenue for the milk to get from the ducts to the nipple. Sometimes those are able to be reattached and reform but many times they are not capable of being fully repaired.
If you’ve had a breast reduction, you may experience the most trouble trying to breastfeed. It’s an amazing, life changing surgery but most times moms are not able to breastfeed after. The surgery is one that removes so much of the internal structure to reduce the size of the breast that it typically can not reform the ductal system. You can always use donor milk if breast milk is something you’re passionate about.
Always let your lactation professional and doctor know if you have had breast augmentation so they are able to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals as best they can.