In this Ask an Expert, we ask Dana C., professional IBCLC and instructor for our Breastfeeding 101 course, about breastfeeding with breast implants. Don’t forget to check out our FREE breastfeeding course, as you prepare for your breastfeeding journey.
Question: Can I Breastfeed if I Have Breast Implants?
Dana’s Answer: In short: yes, you can breastfeed with breast implants. However, it’s a good idea to let your health care team know you have a history of breast augmentation so they can monitor you and your baby, but plan to proceed as “normal.”
It is possible, however, that your surgery may have an impact on your milk supply depending on what surgical technique was used. Mainly, if the implant is placed above or below muscle and where the incision was made, but many parents with breast implants successfully breastfeed their little ones.
Breast augmentation or not, the best practice recommendations to ensure a successful breastfeeding journey always remain true:
• Practice skin-to-skin with your newborn as soon as possible after birth: Skin-to-skin contact is the practice of placing an unclothed newborn on a parent’s bare chest directly after birth to ease baby’s transition to life outside the womb. Skin-to-skin has a tremendous number of evidence-based benefits, including helping increase breastfeeding success in the long run!
• Watch for feeding cues and let baby lead the way when they’re ready: Early feeding cues can include baby smacking their lips, sticking their tongue out, bobbing their head, rooting, and sucking their hands. Feed them as soon as you see one of these cues. You don’t have to wait for your baby to cry - crying is actually considered a late feeding cue.
•Put baby to breast at least every 3 hours in a 24 hour period. Newborns typically nurse 8-12 times a day. The more you breastfeed, the earlier and stronger your milk initiation will likely be. Remember, there’s no such thing as overfeeding a breastfed baby!
If you’re wondering how to get started on your breastfeeding journey or want even more pro breastfeeding tips, check out our online course Breastfeeding 101: From Prenatal Prep to Pumping to learn how often baby needs to eat, how much milk baby needs, how to troubleshoot when problems arise, and more! Watch this course on your own time, and get handy checklists to refer back to at any time.