Breastfeeding With Implants – It Can Be Done!

8FamilyBy Tiffany Holley

As a mom-to-be or new mom deciding how to feed your baby, you’re likely to get tons of advice. That’s true of any parenting issue of course.

What surprises me about feeding “advice” is how much of it starts with, “Well you won’t be able to, because…”

Some are obviously silly, but others might appear credible, and discourage the mama from trying. This is one of those.

Can you breastfeed after having breast implants?

Obviously, every situation is different, and I can’t speak for them all. But let me offer you my reassurance that you quite possibly CAN!

When I was younger, I worked as a bikini and fitness model. Needless to say, your breasts are a huge part of your qualifications in that business!

Young and foolish, I decided to have a mastopexy (breast lift) and implants.

My doctor assured me that this would not inhibit my ability to breastfeed later (even then, I at least thought to ask!), so I was horrified recently when I discovered a citation on Wikipedia describing the procedure I had (a periareolar incision, one placed along the areolar border) as the one that “causes the most problems with breast feeding, due to cutting milk ducts and nerves lead to the nipple”.

It’s probably a good thing my son and I didn’t know that when he was born!
He latched on and nursed vigorously – for about 3 ½ years.

I’m nursing my third baby now… well over 8 years of nursing under my belt, and in spite of my implants and surgery.

Please, don’t let anyone tell you what you cannot do… Not in breastfeeding any more than in the rest of your life!

Did you have breast implants or breast surgery? Did you breastfeed with them? Did anyone try to talk you out of it? Please share your stories by leaving a comment on this post.

Tiffany Holley has nursed three children (currently 18 mos. – 15 years old) for a total of 8 years – and counting. She and her family live, breastfeed, urban homestead, cloth diaper, homeschool, and write in Southern Florida (but hope to remedy their location situation soon). You can read about their adventures on their blog, As For My House.

12 comments to Breastfeeding With Implants – It Can Be Done!

  • kailey bergin

    hello, first im so glad to hear u wer able to breastfeed after your surgery!! i also had a breast surgery but because i didnt know any better to ask questions or make demands to help my future breastfeeding ive run into problems. weni was 17 i had my first baby, and breastfeeding was a breeze. it can so easily for me, until about 8 months in i developed a clogged duct and got some bad advice from a dr. not to let any milk out of the affected breast. i stupidly listened and the clog turned into mastitis. i then went to another dumb dr who told me to stop nursing and take antibiotics. this was alos the wrong thing to do. as it lead to me developing such a severe infection in the breast i could have died. i was rushed to the hospital and booked in for surgery a couple hours after. they drained 2 liters of pus from my badly infected, regularly b sized, breast. they made the incision wrong tho, and severed many milk ducts which healed wrong and left a lump in my breast. this lump turned out to be a collection of milk that cannot travel to the nipple because of the ducts healing severed apart. wen i got pregnant with my second child the lump of milk grew so much i couldnt latch my son onto the nipple as it was so stretched out. i did however manage to nurse him for 13 months on my other breast alone. wen i had my third child the collection of milk grew so much and stretched my nipple so badly i was in constant pain. i found a dr willing to follow me thru nursing my baby and aspirate the milk wen it gets so stretched out and painful, ive had it drained 3 times now, and have been nursing my third child for 12 months now on one breast and my advice to any woman going in for any breast surgery and plan to breastfeed in the future, make sure you get the dr to make the incision the proper way, lengthwise from your chest toward the nipple, not across the breast. im so glad i was at least able to breastfeed my children, even if only on one breast. but if i could go back in time i would save my left breast from the breastfeeding ignorance of so many drs.

  • Thanks so much for sharing your stories everyone! Wow Kailey – you went through some rough times because of bad advice from Drs – I’m so sorry! But you have persevered and for that you deserve HUGE kudos!! Thanks again for sharing – Judy

  • Amy

    It can be done! I nursed until my daughter was over a year and a half – no problems whatsoever.

  • Me TOO!! The EXACT same thing. Well not the swimsuit model, but everything else. I asked if I could still breastfeed and he told me yes. But he was wrong. I ran out of milk around 3 months with my 4 year old, but kept nursing with an SNS and we nursed for 3 1/2 years. Then 2 weeks with son and went on with the SNS till 6 months. Now I’m nursing my 3 month old wiht no aids. I’m hoping this one sticks.

    Thank you for this post.

    I direct people to BFAR.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Ultimate Blog Party 2010 =-.

  • Shannon

    I’m in same boat, foolishly got implants at a young age, then they ruptured and Drs had to cut into my nipples a second time! I still breast feed my babe who is 13mo…we do fine with the help of fenugreek.

    Does anyone fear that a repeatedly smothered boob can rupture an implant? Or am I just paranoid?!

  • Wendy


    I am nearly in tears reading your story. I had a lift/augmentation with a periareola incision three years ago. I’ve been wracked with guilt after unexpectedly becoming pregnant with my fourth child.

    I just “feel” like I will be able to nurse successfully, but there are so few stories of mom’s who have had this type of incision and gone on to nurse without issues!

    Thanks so much for sharing,

  • Wendy, thanks for your comment and congratulations on your pregnancy! The good news is – is has been 3 years since your surgery – and time heals a lot of wounds – studies have shown that successful breastfeeding post-surgery increases with time since the surgery. In addition, it doesn’t have to be all or none – so even if you don’t end up with a full milk supply – chances are you will end up with *some* milk – and any amount of that liquid gold that you give to your child is a blessing. Read this article for more info: – best of luck with your pregnancy! — Judy

  • Yo Le

    I have implants and do not physically have any problems nursing, however I have been feeling guilty lately thinking that my implants might “contaminate” my milk and I’m willingly feeding it to my baby. Considering quitting

  • Don’t give up. Unless there is a problem with your implants, it should be safe for you to continue to breastfeed with them. If you have questions about the safety, please see your physician.

  • Kathryn Kenn

    Great article. Thanks for inspiring the women on this issue. I have implants and I used to nurse my twins without any problem. However I have seen some complicated issues of breast implants in which mothers are not able to breastfeed their babies.

  • Regan

    I am in tears. I have been tearfully begging God to help me to breastfeed my fourth. My youngest child is now 8 years old. I successfully breastfeed three children so far with no issues. I thought I was done having children so three years ago had implants and a lift to correct a diformity of sorts. I would never have done so had I ever imagined I’d be having another. I had the periola incision only with implants behind muscle. One nipple is highly sensitive while the left seems to only feel on the outside of areola but nothing within unless lots of pressure. I had wondered if one would not work at all but after reading the comment earlier about breastfeeding with only one I feel better. My left nipple since becoming pregnant is slowly getting for feeling however. This is the first thread I have read that someone with my incision has successfully breastfeed. It’s very important to me to feed my child the way God intended. I would truly be crushed if I had to feed with formula.

  • Congratulations on your pregnancy Regan. I’m so glad that you found my blog. Here is another article that you might find helpful. – remember that even if you end up not being able to make enough milk to breastfeed exclusively – some breastfeeding is better than none and it doesn’t have to be all or none. I hope you’ll come back and let us know how it is going once your little one arrives. ^Judy

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