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If you have breast implants, can you still breast feed?

By March 15, 2009 - 9:37pm
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Hello everyone! Tonight after dinner my mother-in-law and I got to chatting once everyone else cleared away from the table, and somehow the subject of breast implants came up (you all know how that goes when 2 women get together--all sorts of things can come up in conversation!)

Since neither of us have them, we were sharing some mutual questions about them and my MIL asked me "can women with implants breast feed?" I replied, "you know, I'm not sure!" and then immediately thought of EmpowHer! I said "I'll find out for you though!" So here I am...and does anyone know the answer? I just know someone on here can answer this!

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Hi, Nancy Drew Fan, great question!

First of all, remember that some women just have trouble or cannot breastfeed anyway. It's probably impossible to know in some cases what the problem is, whether a woman has implants or not.

Some of the issues with implants:

-- If you have implants (silicone or saline), your nipples may be more or less sensitive than normal.

-- Once you've had a baby and your milk has come in, you may experience exaggerated breast engorgement with pain, fever, and chills that are more intense than usual.

-- The type of surgery you had to get your implants makes a difference. If your incision was made under the armpit or under the fold of the breast, it shouldn't cause a problem. If your incision was made around the areola, it's possible that some nerves were cut or injured. Damage to those nerves can interfere with breast feeding because they are what tells the brain to release prolactin and oxytocin, two hormones that affect milk production.

Here's some information:

One study cited by the National Research Center for Women and Families said that any breast surgery, including that for breast implants, makes it about three times more likely that a woman will have trouble breastfeeding, due to insufficient milk supply. Here's an indepth summary of those findings:


These answers related to implants that simply enlarge the breast. Implants that take the place of a breast removed during a mastectomy, of course, are a different matter; a woman will not be able to nurse on that side.

March 16, 2009 - 10:10am

I have a cousin who breastfed with implants. I don't know any details, but apparently she accomplished it just fine.....

March 15, 2009 - 10:40pm
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