Many women choose to have breast augmentation surgeries done when they are still young enough to have children. These women are concerned about the health and safety of their children, and many also want to choose to breastfeed. Considering that breast augmentations often involve inserting foreign objects into one’s body and maneuvering around the milk ducts in the breasts, it is important for women to consider the consequences of breast augmentation on future pregnancies and nursing opportunities.

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Silicone Rupture, Leakage, And Breastfeeding

During the 1990s, researchers and mothers were concerned that silicone breast implants could cause silicone to seep into the breast milk. When women breastfed, the babies would ingest the silicone, causing diseases in the esophagus. In 1999, the Committee on the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants concluded that implants caused no adverse effects to breastfed children, even if it ruptures.

Breast Augmentation Do's:

  • Do expect your breasts to change, whether you have implants or not, during your pregnancy. Your breasts will become larger because of hormones produced during the pregnancy and from milk production after your child’s birth.
  • Do wear a supportive bra during your pregnancy, whether you have implants or not.
  • Do contact your cosmetic surgeon as soon as possible if you experience a rupture, leak or anything out of the ordinary with your implants during your pregnancy.
  • Do talk to your cosmetic surgeon about your plans to start a family, have more children and breastfeed.
  • Do know that some incision areas such as the area around your nipple (periareolar) may affect your ability to breastfeed.
  • Do know that you may experience complications such as the development of a seroma (the pooling of fluid near a surgical site), even though they are rare.

Breast Augmentation Don’ts:

  • Don’t expect your breasts to look the same after your pregnancy, even if you have implants. The hormonal enlargement of breasts through pregnancy and milk production will cause your skin to stretch even if you have implants. The placement of the implants (above or below the pectoral muscles) may determine how much movement you experience with your implants during your pregnancy, but your breasts will look different post-pregnancy regardless of when you have your augmentation procedure.
  • Don’t schedule an augmentation surgery if you are planning on getting pregnant within months of the procedure. Additional work after the pregnancy to enlarge implants or have a breast lift performed becasue of pregnancy's effects on the body may be required.
  • Don’t schedule a breast augmentation, lift, or reconstruction while you are pregnant.

The decisions to undergo breast augmentation and have children both require careful planning and discussion with your health care providers. While research has consistently shown that breast augmentations do not affect the ability to breastfeed nor are they dangerous to your fetus, your pregnancy will affect your breast augmentation. Through consultation with your doctors, you'll be able to choose the right time for your procedure.