One of the many concerns of women who opt for a breast augmentation surgery is their ability to breastfeed. There are some women who are still able to breastfeed their child, others may need some additional help in producing more milk, and there are also others who can’t. This will all depend on the breast augmentation surgery that was done.
For safety purposes, most healthcare professionals would prefer if the breast implants used are filled with saline solution. But this doesn’t mean that those who have silicone-filled implants cannot breastfeed. There are still some healthcare providers that say it is okay to breastfeed with silicone implants as long as they are not leaking or ruptured.
In some mothers who had breast augmentation surgery, breastfeeding still feels and goes through as it would without the breast implants. In this case, the breast augmentation surgery didn’t really damage much of the milk glands, milk ducts, and the nerves. This enables the mother to still breastfeed just like a mother without breast implants would.
There are also cases when the mother is still capable of breastfeeding, but the amount of milk is not enough. In this situation, the mother needs help in instructing the body to produce more milk.
Even if the health care provider clears out a woman to breastfeed her child, there are still some women who have problems breastfeeding. Due to the breast augmentation surgery, it is possible for the nerves, milk glands and milk ducts to get damaged. This can negatively affect the “let-down” response of the breasts. The “let-down” response is the reaction of the breast to release the produced milk while the baby is nursing. If the milk ducts or milk glands are damaged, there can be a decreased amount of milk that is produced. It is also possible that the milk ducts get blocked or clogged because of the additional pressure given by the breast implants.
There is no way of telling whether the woman would still be able to breastfeed or not after the breast augmentation surgery. Surgeons cannot predict whether the augmentation can cause problems with breastfeeding; however, there are some precautions that can be made.
One of the precautions that can be done is to avoid having the incision made across the nipples or areola. By making the incision at that site, there is a high risk that the milk ducts and nerves will be damaged. It is advised to have the incision near the armpits or underneath the breasts to reduce the risk of major damage to the nerves and milk ducts.
Having the implants under the muscles rather than under the glands is also more preferred if breastfeeding is a concern. If the breast implants are located under the glands, it can put much pressure on the glands. This can negatively affect the production of milk.
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