Introduction Having breast implants allows women to enhance the appearance of their breasts, but it may result in breastfeeding challenges. The most asked question is if a woman who has breast implants is still capable of breastfeeding her baby. Most surgeons believe that breastfeeding is still possible, even with the presence of breast implants, although implants can cause a decrease in the milk supply. The decrease in the milk supply can be affected by the site of the incision, as well as the location of the implant. Those who have incisions on the nipple or areola, as well as those who have their implants above the muscles, are more likely to experience a decrease in their milk supply. There are also unfounded concerns about issues connected to breastfeeding with breast implants. These include leakage of the silicone, which causes immunologic disorders and breast sagging. Although there are not enough studies which could prove or disprove the safety of breast implants on breastfed infants, it is still believed that breastfeeding itself, whether or not the mother has implants, is still very beneficial to the mother and child. Possibility of Breastfeeding In a Woman With Breast Implants One of the main concerns women have about breast implants is their ability to breastfeed. The short answer is yes, breastfeeding is possible. Women who wish to breastfeed their children can do so even if they have breast implants. Another concern is if the mother can produce enough milk for the baby. Being able to breastfeed successfully even after implants, will depend on several factors including the type of breast implant surgery, the presence or absence of any scarring on the milk ducts, and how much glandular tissue remains after surgery. Effect of Breast Implants on Breastfeeding Although breastfeeding is still very possible for women who had breast implants, a decrease in the mother’s milk supply can be observed. This depends on how the breast surgery was done and what changes resulted in the body. Here are a few factors that can affect the decrease of the milk supply: – The site of incision: The damage of the milk glands, blood supply, nerves as well as the milk ducts can all be affected by the incision site. The incision made on the nipple or areola area can affect the nerves that trigger the release of the milk. Women who have their breast surgery incision in their armpit area or those whose cuts are found under the crease of the breast have less risk of affecting the parts of the breast that are used while breastfeeding. – Location of the implant: The location of the implant affects the pressure that the breast receives. The milk glands, which are responsible for the production of milk, are found above the muscle layer. If the implants are placed above the muscles, then there is more pressure that is given to the milk glands as compared to implants below the muscles. Maximizing Your Milk Supply Now that you know that your breast implants may cause your milk supply to decrease, you need to do whatever you can to increase and maximize the milk supply. Talk to your doctor so that you can both figure out an effective way to maximize milk production. There are different ways to increase your milk supply. Doctors and lactation consultants can help. Other Issues Surrounding Breastfeeding And Breast Implants Aside from determining whether breastfeeding is possible, there are other issues surrounding breastfeeding with a breast implant. These include: – Leakage of silicone: This issue is about the safety of the child. The breast implants can be filled with either saline or silicon gel. The fear here is that the implants may not be safe for the child, because they may leak and can contaminate the milk. However, silicone is commonly found in the environment and complete avoiding of ingesting it is very challenging. To a degree, we may be consuming it already, although we don’t realize it. Silicone does not cause a problem with breast feeding and the baby. – Immunologic disease: Some fear that even if the silicone implant is not leaking, its mere presence can negatively affect the baby. There is concern that the infant can be affected not only by the silicone itself, but by the byproducts produced due to the silicone implants. There are enough studies to determine the safety. Experts say that silicone is chemically inactive and wouldn’t be absorbed by the breastfed baby’s digestive tract. – Sagging of breasts: Some women are afraid to breastfeed when they have implants because it is believed that it can make the breasts sag. They have already invested in their appearance and wouldn’t want to change it. This is a myth, and studies have shown that breastfeeding isn’t a factor in the sagging of the breasts with implants. It is very important that young women be informed of this so that they may breastfeed their child. The sagging of the breasts isn’t due to the act of breastfeeding, but to the lack of hormones in the system of the mother after the pregnancy. Breast Milk For Babies Most experts agree that breast milk is very important for babies to have in order to provide them with the right kind of nutrition that they need for their immune system. It is important to educate mothers who had breast implants about the possibility of breastfeeding, so that they can experience the special bond between the mother and child. Conclusion The main issue that revolves around breastfeeding and breast implants is the possibility of breastfeeding. Many women have proven that it can be done, but there are some who experienced a decrease in their milk supply. The decrease in the milk supply can be attributed to the damage of the milk glands and ducts, nerves, and blood vessels. There are several factors that can affect the damage. These include the site of incision and the location of the implant in relation to the muscles. Other issues include the possible leakage of silicone to the breast milk, the possibility of immune diseases and the sagging of the breast after breastfeeding. There isn’t enough study and data available to conclude whether it is safe, but experts still believe that the breastfeeding greatly benefits the mother and child whether or not the mother has breast implants.