Last Updated On November 20th, 2018

Breastfeeding and Breast Augmentation

One of the most complicated questions regarding breastfeeding is this: can women who underwent breast augmentation use a breast pump? There really isn’t a simple answer involved. Women who are considering getting breast augmentation and who are worried about whether or not this is going to have an effect on their ability to breastfeed in the future should know that there is a possibility that it will. It’s better that they at least know that this risk exists in advance, even if they decide to go with the procedure anyway.

There have certainly been plenty of new mums who were able to pump breast milk with surgically altered breasts. There is certainly no guarantee that there will be a problem. There aren’t a lot of reliable studies on breast augmentation and breastfeeding, so it’s hard to say what the risk really is.

Risk Factors

One hypothetical risk factor involves the location of the incisions used in the breast augmentation itself. Periareolar incisions are very popular these days among cosmetic surgeons. They have to work hard at making sure that they hide the surgical scars. It’s easier to do this with periareolar incisions than it is with the incisions that occur beneath the arms of the breasts themselves.

However, certain nerves and ducts are more likely to be severed if the incisions occur in this location. If there is some nerve damage and it’s severe enough, it could mean that almost everything related to breastfeeding will be affected at the same time. The milk ejection reflex could potentially be damaged in the process. Women might have to deal with long episodes of dry pumping, or they might have a very hard time with breastfeeding at all in situations where severe nerve damage is involved.

It’s also well-known that breast augmentation has a tendency to decrease the sensitivity of nipples. While this might not be immediately important when it comes to breastfeeding, having less nipple sensitivity can still mean that women have a hard time when it comes to getting the pumping pressures right.

Personal Risk

Ultimately, women will usually have some idea of whether or not they are going to be capable of breastfeeding following breast augmentation surgery. Some women are able to retain their normal levels of nipple sensitivity afterwards. Some women manage to avoid nerve damage during and after their breast augmentation surgery. In many cases, they’re going to find out soon enough, and they won’t have to wait until they start breastfeeding to know.

It is possible that breastfeeding could make minor amounts of nerve damage worse, bringing some of the smaller problems to the forefront. However, for the most part, women should at least have an idea of whether or not they have been able to avoid problems like this or not.

Breast augmentation has very different results every time, and that includes the side effects involved. Some women are able to live completely normally afterwards in every way. Other women are not as fortunate.

Also read: Are Breast Pumps Covered By Insurance?