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FAQs: Breast Augmentation & Breastfeeding with Breast Implants

Breastfeeding with Breast Implants - Is is Safe?

Check with your own plastic surgeon, general practitioner or pediatrician. A recent report published in the November 1998 issue of PEDIATRICS said substantially the following:

"Children of Mothers with Breast Implants at No Higher Risk For Esophageal Disorders"
On November 30, 1998, an Arlington Heights, Illinois

PRNewswire story relayed that children of women who have silicone breast implants are not at an increased risk of having auto-immune disease. The article was reporting the results of a study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Previously, in a 1994 study, it was hypothesized by a Danish study that there might be a link between scleroderma-like esophageal diseases in children whose mothers had breast fed them and who also had silicone breast implants.

The current study examined the hypothesis of the Danish study and looked at 939 children who had been born in Denmark over a period of 15 years to 1135 mothers who had had breast implants. At least 84% of the women had silicone gel-filled implants. Those children were compared to 3906 children born during that same time to 7071 women who had had breast reduction surgery (the control group).

To substantiate the credibility of the study's results, in part, the study identified both groups of women from the Danish National Registry of Patients (NRP). The registry maintains a file on all public hospital visits in Danish Hospitals. Due to the fact, that all Danish citizens have unique id numbers, the information kept for each separate ID is verifiable and it is easy to track hospital admission information for each of the patients who are admitted to all of the hospitals, such as the reason for admission, the date of admission and the patient's name.

In comparing the data, researchers looked at the occurrence of esophageal malfunctions and disorders, connective tissue disease (CTD), other rheumatic conditions, and congenital malformations in both the study group of children (born of mothers with breast implants) and in the children in the control group (born of mothers had not had implants but had had breast reduction surgery). The researchers also compared the occurrence data to the occurrence data for the same conditions in the general national childhood population.

The data comparison found essentially no risk of auto-immune disease or esophageal disorders in the children born to mothers with breast implants. The study concluded that neither silicone nor breast implants were related to the diseases. You can also find out information about breast feeding generally at the website for La Leche League International. They have a few journals from women who did breastfeed with implants on their site.  

Finally, many women want to know what they will look like if they get pregnant, have children and breastfeed, with their implants. Fortunately, we have one set of photos from a patient in all of these stages, which you can view at this link.

GB's Story about breast feeding with implants . . .
Hi Nicole,

Here is a quick blurb about my experience breast feeding with implants. Please let me know if you need anything else or if you have comments or suggestions. I hope this helps other women on your site!

I'm GB and I got breast implants in December 2004. I had already had two kids, and breastfed both. I was a B cup prior to having my first two children and after breastfeeding them went to an A cup, which is what I had at the time of my BA. I wanted to get implants because I wanted fuller breasts and wanted to look curvy and feminine. I wanted to be a C cup.

I consulted with my PS and we decided on 350cc saline, high profile, under the muscle placement, via crease incision. I told him someday I might want to have another child and asked if I would be able to breast feed. He said I should not have any trouble breast feeding, especially if I had breast fed before. The surgery went just fine, I got my nice C cup breasts and life moved forward.

I got remarried in February 2005 and found out I was a few weeks pregnant in April. My breasts didn't change much throughout the pregnancy, except that they got softer, but I think that was part of the "drop and fluff" process. My plans to breastfeed were still intact, and I talked to a few other mothers who breastfed with implants. They didn't have any problems and I felt encouraged by that. I also asked the women on ImplantInfo about their breastfeeding with implants experiences and I don't remember getting one reply that mentioned any problems. I also remember Nicole posting a birth announcement for her sister, and she told us that the baby was nursing and doing just fine (and that her sister has implants).

Finally, my son was born after a fast and furious labor, and he took to nursing immediately. He got plenty of colostrum in the first few days until my milk came in. My milk arrived about three days after he was born. I got a little engorged, but nothing like my first pregnancy. It's funny, but your body and breasts remember how to respond to pregnancy and lactation if they have been through it before. My breasts grew to a DD cup when the milk came in, and now, 7 months later, they hover around a D cup.

My son has been nursing like a champ since birth. He takes bottles on occasion but prefers breastmilk from my breasts! He's also on solid foods now at 7 months, but still primarily breastfed. I plan on weaning him completely sometime between 12 and 18 months.

The problems I had with nursing were sore and cracked nipples. I also had mastitis twice (infection brought on because of the cracks) and thrush once. My lactation consultant assured me those problems had NOTHING to do with my implants, but everything to do with latching my baby onto my areolas incorrectly. I was latching him only onto the nipple portion which was very, very wrong and caused all those painful nursing sessions. I was supposed to be latching him on farther back over a good portion of the areola. After I corrected my baby's latch-on, the pain and soreness went away and my nipples healed within a few days.

The only difference I have experienced between nursing my first two children without implants and nursing this one with implants is this time I have to hold the breast he's nursing on (in a support hold) while he's nursing. Why? Because my boobs are too big and if I don't support them as he nurses, his mouth sometimes slides away from the areola onto the nipple (which I mentioned before is bad for the nipples).

I realize that everybody is different and my breastfeeding with implants experience might be different from others. I just want to encourage those of you with implants who want to breast feed to DO IT! If you have concerns or questions about whether or not it's safe for the baby you can consult with your local La Leche League leader, or a professional lactation consultant. I can almost guarantee you they will say saline and silicone implants won't harm your baby, and they will encourage you to breastfeed. Breast milk is the best food for babies up to 12 months, but we all know formulas are well made these days so there's absolutely nothing wrong with formula feeding if you choose not to breastfeed. I just want to say from one mom to another (and to future moms), breast feeding is possible with breast implants.

On a side note, my breasts are softer and feel good (according to my husband, that is). I haven't had any loss in sensation to any part of my breasts as a result of the BA or nursing. They feel like me, not like implants! I don't know what they'll look like after my baby is completely weaned, but other women on ImplantInfo have said their breasts looked less like implants and more like natural breasts after having nursed. My PS was very encouraging about my wanting to breastfeed and that helped. I hope this helps some of you who may be worried about your ability to breastfeed.

Best wishes!


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 The Breast Augmentation & Breast Implants Guide

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