I have had a boob job and added silicon implants many years ago, before getting married. I am now pregnant and wondering if I can still breastfeed with implants?
Answer: About 1,000 women in Singapore go for a breast augmentation yearly and most go on to breastfeed with implants normally.
For most women who have had breast augmentation, breastfeeding may be slightly more difficult with implants than without. Some women do report that their nipples may be more or less sensitive than normal. Mums with breast implants may also have exaggerated breast engorgement and experience mastitis, with pain, fever, and chills that are more intense than usual.
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With regards to your child, no studies have shown the adverse effect of silicone implants and breastfeeding. According to a ‘Safety of Silicone Breast Implants’ book written by the National Academy of Sciences, there is evidence that breast implantation may increase the risk of insufficient lactation, but no evidence that this poses a hazard to the infant beyond the loss of breast feeding itself. This is probably because the silicone molecules are too large to pass through the milk ducts. Nowadays, silicone implants have been replaced with saline implants.
In an extreme case where saline does leak into the milk, there will probably be no harmful effect on the baby as saline is an inert substance.
If you’re thinking about getting breast implants and want to be able to breastfeed, postpone surgery until after you’ve weaned your last child. This will also give you time to observe your body and breast change that occurs with each pregnancy and during nursing.
Need Help With Breastfeeding? Don’t fret!
When in doubt about anything breastfeeding related, please refer to a lactation consultant or a healthcare professional, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby’s situation.
theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.