Is there any way of telling if I will be able to breastfeed with
my breast implants - or is it a wait and see? This will be my
first child. What is your experience with women, breast implants
and nursing. Thank you.
Any woman who has had breast, chest, or cardiac surgery should
check with her surgeon to see if any functional breast tissue
was affected by the procedure. Breast augmentation usually doesn't
involve severing milk ducts or destruction of functional breast
tissue, and is usually compatible with lactation. On the other
hand, breast reduction is a much more invasive surgery that almost
always has an adverse effect on lactation. Anytime a surgeon performs
invasive surgery on the breasts, there is the possibility of damage
to the milk ducts, and some mothers who have had implants do experience
problems with milk supply, plugged ducts, and engorgement. These
problems are usually fairly minor, and rarely prevent the mother
from breastfeeding successfully.
A lot depends
on whether or not the surgeon who performed the procedure made
a deliberate effort to leave the blood supply and nerve pathways
intact. If the incision is made around the areola, rather than
under the breast or armpit, then there is more of a risk of breastfeeding
problems and a loss of sensation.
now are filled with saline rather than silicone. There has been
a lot of concern about silicone implants leaking into the breastmilk,
but studies have shown that the risk is small and the benefits
of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of silicone leakage. There
is about a 1.5% chance that the implants will leak, but since
silicone isn't absorbed into the GI tract, it is unlikely that
it would get into your milk.
have had breast surgery need to closely monitor the baby's weight
gain to establish the potential need for supplemental feedings.
Chances are that you will not encounter serious problems with
nursing, but even if it turns out that enough milk ducts have
been damaged to significantly reduce your milk production, you
can still breastfeed while offering supplements. Nursing is more
than just a feeding method, so your baby can derive the emotional
as well as nutritional benefits even if you don't produce enough
breastmilk to feed him exclusively.
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