Tips for Breastfeeding after Cosmetic Surgery

breastfeedingMany women have breast enhancement or reduction surgeries in order to improve their appearance and give their self-confidence a boost during their youthful years. At the time of the operation, these women are often not thinking about pregnancy, breastfeeding and babies. When that season in life approaches, many cosmetic surgery patients who underwent a breast enhancement procedure are often left asking the question: Will I be able to breastfeed my baby? Like any breastfeeding mom, a woman who has had a breast enhancement surgery may encounter challenges while learning to nurse her baby but in general, many women can successfully breastfeed after having a breast augmentation procedure.

Prior to having the operation done, women should discuss all of the risks, complications and side effects of the operation with their cosmetic surgeon. According to Web MD, women who are choosing to have a breast enlargement procedure should let their surgeon know they may want to breastfeed in the future. This way, the surgeon can choose a surgical technique that will allow for the best possibility of success. Women who opt to have a breast reduction operation before they get pregnant will find that breastfeeding is possible, but the ultimate success varies based on the patient and a variety of personal factors.

Note that the incision itself can have a great impact on a woman’s ability to successfully breastfeed. This is why it is essential to discuss breastfeeding with your surgeon prior to the operation. Many surgeons assume that the patient is interested in minimized scarring for aesthetic reasons, but by creating an incision in the areola or underneath the breast many of the essential nerve-endings for breastfeeding are damaged. By discussing your desire to breastfeed with your surgeon, the incision can be placed in a less-damaging location and you will have a greater chance of being able to successfully breastfeed your child.

While many women assume their ability to breastfeed depends completely on the fact that they had a cosmetic surgery done, the truth of the matter is genetics plays a major role in their ultimate success. Women who had underdeveloped breasts or asymmetrical breasts prior to their operation may have found breastfeeding to be difficult regardless of whether they had a breast augmentation procedure or not. According to, milk supply is often determined by the amount of glandular tissue a woman was born with. However, breast augmentation can impact the amount of milk a mother can make. While some patients will find they have a great milk supply, others will find their supply is low.

Breast augmentation patients who are dealing with a low milk supply can rely on many tips and tricks to help increase their milk production. Drinking plenty of water, eating lots of whole grains and making sure the baby nurses as often as possible are easy ways to try and increase the amount of milk a woman’s body makes. Herbal supplements can also be used to help promote milk production. Good supplements to consider include Mother’s Milk tea, Fenugreek and Fennel seeds, according to

Whether a woman has had a breast augmentation procedure or not, breastfeeding is a learning experience that is not without its challenges. Both mother and baby have to figure out comfortable positions, ideal times and spacing between feedings — and there is no one system that works for every mother and her child. Women who have had a cosmetic breast surgery are encouraged to work with a lactation consultant who can help them maneuver the breastfeeding experience and ultimately get on the path to success.

Regardless of a woman’s age or stage in life, she should take the time to consider all of the risk factors and complications associated with the breast augmentation procedure. A 19-year-old woman should think about her fertile years ahead and the parenting decisions she may want to make, and a 40-year-old woman should understand that breast implants don’t always last forever and a subsequent surgery may be required. "Yes. All breast implants will eventually fail and need to be removed & replaced," says Plastic Surgeon Dr. Tim Love. All women who are interested in their breast enhancement options and cosmetic surgery should work with an experienced, qualified cosmetic surgeon who specializes in this particular operation.

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