Can women with breast implants breastfeed?

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There are many reasons why women choose to get breast implants. Maybe it’s because they want to feel more confident about their bodies. Perhaps it’s to reshape them after surgery. But in any case, many women wonder whether they’ll be able to breastfeed with their fake breasts if they experience a pregnancy afterward. Even celebrity pregnancies share this concern, most notably those of Kim Kardashian and Playboy model Kendra Baskett. So what’s the deal?

Is breastfeeding possible with fake breasts?
It’s definitely possible for women with implants to breastfeed their babies after delivery. While some moms might have to supplement their breast milk with formula – which even women without implants sometimes have to do – most of the incisions commonly used in breast surgery don’t impact the milk ducts or nipples. Whether the implants are made of silicone or saline doesn’t impact the successfulness of breastfeeding, either.

When isn’t it possible?
Some types of breast surgery make it less likely that a woman will be able to breastfeed. Surgeries with nipple incisions can disrupt the milk ducts, or accidentally cut milk ducts or the nerves that signal the brain to produce milk. It can also make the nipples a lot more sensitive, which could make breastfeeding more problematic for mothers. However, if the implants are put in under the breast crease or under the muscle of the chest wall, breastfeeding likely won’t be a problem.

Can the implants leak?
Myths have circulated that babies who breastfeed might run the risk of drinking leaked silicone or saline from the implants. However, recent research has shown that these types of implants don’t risk leaking, so you don’t have to worry about it when getting ready for baby.

How else can implants impact pregnancy, and vice versa?
In most cases, breast implants aren’t impacted by pregnancy and pregnancy isn’t affected by implants. While there have been rare cases of hardening or deflation of the implants during a pregnancy, normally there are no complications. As with a normal pregnancy, the size of your breasts will increase, but this shouldn’t have a negative effect on your implants. And, there may be a slight upside to having breast implants when it comes to breastfeeding and pregnancy: They’re less likely to lose their volume and shape than natural breasts after the process is complete.

Of course, if you have more questions about breastfeeding and breast implants, don’t hesitate to take them to your doctor!

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