We all want what’s best for our babies, and one of the most important things that young children need is proper nutrition and good health. However, bearing children and giving birth to them can take a toll on the body and can lead to most mothers looking for a way to have their breasts augmented with some implants to restore how they look before getting pregnant. It can make you wonder and ask, “Is my implant going to interfere with my breastfeeding?” also, “Can my baby still get the nutritional content he/ she needs if I have implants while nursing?” In this article, we answer these questions. If you want to know more, then read on!
Breastfeeding with Implants: A Brief Introduction
Most females who have had breast augmentation can still breastfeed, although there are some exceptions. Based on what the incision type you got or the state of one’s breasts even before you get the implant or even before breastfeeding. Getting breast implants can affect the levels of breast milk in the body. There are some individuals though who won’t experience any change in their breast milk production at all.
You may also be a bit worried about how breastfeeding can have the implants affected. It is normal to experience changes to the size and shape of the breasts after breastfeeding and during pregnancy. The implants won’t be affected in general, but the size and shape of the breasts can get altered.
How Do Implants Affect Breastfeeding?
Breast implants are commonly under the muscles of the chest or behind the milk glands. These locations should not have any effect on the supply of breast milk. The incision’s depth and location, during the surgical procedure, may have some effects on breastfeeding ability. A procedure that can maintain the integrity of the areola will commonly result in fewer problems or issues down the line. The dark area surrounding the nipple is referred to as the areola. The nerves that surround the nipple have critical roles in terms of breastfeeding. The baby’s suckling sensation on the breast can lead to an increase in the level of oxytocin and prolactin. According to the CDC or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been no reported problems in terms of breastfeeding mothers with breast implants.
There are no specific detection methods to check on the levels of silicone in breast milk. A study conducted in 2007 showed that mothers with implants did not have breast milk with elevated silicon levels similar to those mothers who did not have any implants. Silicone has silicon as one of its major components. Also, no data is pointing towards birth defect risks in terms of babies born to moms who have had breast augmentation. There are some risks for people who had surgery for breast implants. These include:
- The need for possible additional corrections or removal surgeries
- Capsular contracture can happen due to the formation of scar tissue surrounding the implant that can lead to the sensation of the breast getting squeezed.
- Nipple and breast sensation changes
- Pain in the breast
- Implants getting ruptured
Some Breastfeeding Tips for those with Implants
There are several things that you can do to aid in increasing the production of milk and support your baby to get his or her needed nourishment. Below are some of the tips for better breastfeeding with implants:
1. Increase the frequency of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding the baby up to ten (10) times daily can help in establishing and maintaining the production of milk. Once the body detects the suckling sensation of the baby and will then trigger the body’s milk production. Frequent breastfeeding will also encourage the body to produce more milk.
2. Nurse or empty your breast regularly
Making sure that the breasts are not full or empty can also increase breastmilk production. Breast pumps may be used or have the milk manually expressed to increase the production of milk.
3. You can use herbal galactagogues
There are several herbs referred to as galactagogues that may aid in naturally increase the production of breast milk, which include fenugreek, milk thistle, and fenugreek. There is no solid evidence available for this claim, but some studies have shown how fenugreek can aid in improving milk supply. Other individuals also utilize a lactation cookie, and they can be purchased online, or they can also be made from one’s kitchen. Some of the ingredients found in such cookies include herbal galactagogues, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, and whole oats.
4. Ensure that the baby can latch on properly to the breast
Proper latching can help your baby optimize their breastfeeding session. The secret to latching properly is to make sure that your baby can get enough of the breast area to suckle on. It starts by having the baby’s mouth wide open once they start latching on to the breast. The nipple should be the right distance, so their gums and tongues can have the areola completely covered. The baby should be positioned correctly before leading them towards the breast. Those who may find it hard can seek assistance from lactation consultants.
5. Mixed feeding
For those who can only produce limited amounts of milk, it may be ideal to seek assistance from lactation consultants or the pediatrician of the baby about whether or not it is okay to supplement breastmilk with some baby formula. You should also look for indications that your baby is consuming enough milk. These indications include a change in stool color, soiled diapers (around three soiled diapers and six wet diapers), and sucking that is steady and slow with movements of the jaw while latched on to the breasts. Your baby’s weight can also be an indicator of whether or not your child is getting sufficient or insufficient milk.