There are many reasons for getting breast implants, but no matter your reason, you may not have thought about the effect it could have on your ability to breastfeed your child. Whether you are thinking about having a child or you’re a proud parent of a recently born child, there are some things you need to know about breastfeeding if you have breast implants. Here are the five most important things mommies with implants should know about breastfeeding their childrens.
1. Yes, You Can Still Breastfeed Safely
The number one thing many moms with breast implants want to know is if they can breastfeed at all. The short answer is yes! There’s still a good chance that you will still be able to breastfeed even if you’ve had breast augmentation, and your milk should be safe for your baby.
If your implants are saline-based, there are no dangers if saline water mixes with your breast milk. And if your implants are silicone-based, most physicians agree that even if they were to leak, the silicone wouldn’t hurt your child. Still, it can’t hurt for you to check with your caregiver before you begin breastfeeding your baby.
2. Your Breasts May Feel a Little More Uncomfortable Than Usual
In most cases, your breasts are going to feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding, implants or not. They will become temporarily engorged, causing some discomfort. If you notice engorgement lasting longer than it should be, your implants may be at fault. In addition, the scar tissue from your surgery could cause some pain due to stretching. You are have a greater chance of a cyst developing if you have implants as well. If your breasts aren’t just uncomfortable, but causing pain, contact a doctor immediately.
3. The Implant’s Location May Affect Your Ability to Breastfeed
However, although having breast implants shouldn’t by default limit you from breastfeeding, there is, unfortunately, still a chance that you may not be able to because of where your implants are located. If your implant was placed between your chest muscle and glandular tissue, it could harm the sensitivity of your breast, restricting milk flow.
In addition, essential nerves could have been damaged during the surgery, affecting your milk ducts. If you are still unable to produce milk a week after birth, consult with a doctor.
4. There Are Methods For Increasing Your Milk Supply
Once you are able to produce milk, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to produce enough for your child. Thankfully, there are habits that you can pick up that will help you continue to make milk. After feeding your child, use a breast pump to continues making more milk. This will keep your breasts active and also drain them fully of their milk. In addition, massage your breasts to keep them stimulated.
5. You Should Feed Your Baby 8 to 12 Times Per Day
You can determine whether your baby is feeding enough by counting the numbers of wet and dirty diapers he or she is producing every day. The rule of thumb is that by the end of the first week, the baby should be wetting six or so diapers and soiling three diapers per day.
In addition, your caregiver should be tracking your baby’s weight, which will also indicates if he or she is getting enough milk everyday. If, by the end of the week, you find that you’re not producing enough milk to support your child, it could be an issue with your implants, but it could also be an issue of not drinking enough as well. Check with your caregiver to get the best advice for your situation.
Featured photo credit: Breastfeeding via lifehack.org