Women who have breast implants may worry about the impact of nursing on their breasts' appearance. But they shouldn't, experts say.
Researchers surveyed 160 new mothers who'd previously had breast augmentation. The study found that neither the size nor the location of the incision influenced nursing success.
However, 86 percent of the women who thought breastfeeding would hurt their breasts' appearance were unsuccessful at nursing. While repeated pregnancies can cause breasts to droop over time, nursing doesn't alter the appearance of augmented breasts, says the study's lead author, Norma I. Cruz, M.D., of the University of Puerto Rico.
Studies have shown that any breast surgery, including biopsy, reduction or augmentation, may result in inadequate milk supply. Experts aren't sure why augmentation might have this effect, but there's evidence that surgery could cause damage to the milk ducts or that pressure from the implants could harm the breast tissue.
Whether the implants are saline or silicone doesn't seem to affect breastfeeding success. Women whose incision is closer to the crease beneath the breast typically have better success; those with an incision in the nipple area tend to have some difficulty.
Before you undergo augmentation, be sure to let your surgeon know that you want to breastfeed in the future. Also consider postponing the procedure; pregnancy itself may cause changes to the contour and/or size of your breasts.