I saw a patient in the office recently who is considering breast augmentation and had a great question. She wanted to know what would happen to her breast after pregnancy and breast feeding if she had breast implants. This is a common concern and so I thought it would be a great topic to discuss on the Plastic Surgery Clinic’s blog.
First of all I reassured her that there is no danger in becoming pregnant or breast feeding with implants. Breast implants do not influence pregnancy in any way and they normally do not interfere with breast feeding. Lots of independent medical studies have shown that a mothers breast implants have no effect on the baby. A large study out of the University of Toronto tested the breast milk of mothers with breast implants and compared these results against women without implants. The study conclusively demonstrated no differences in the breast milk between these two groups. We can safely say that breast implants do not effect breast milk in any way. In another large study, breast fed babies of mothers who had breast implants were noted in all parameters measured to have no significant differences from babies of moms who did not have breast implants. The results of these, and other studies, conclusively demonstrate that breast implants do not interfere with breast feeding.
The other question is what happens to the breasts of women who have had breast implants after they become pregnant and breast feed. The answer is that a breast with an implant behaves the same way a normal breast would. Some women have children and breast feed but notice very little change in their breasts. Other women however experience a significant change in their breasts after childbearing. Some breasts increase in size while others shrink. Other women notice sagging or drooping after breast feeding. Women who have had breast surgery experience the same changes as women who have not had breast implants. The one thing that we’ve noticed however is that, generally after breast augmentation, the breast always looks better after childbearing then it would have without implants. Breast augmentation makes breasts look better and that improvement gives an improvement of appearance that persists through pregnancy and breastfeeding. The breast may not look the same after having children, but always looks better than it would have because of their breast augmentation.
So it’s perfectly safe to become pregnant and breast feed after breast augmentation. After breast augmentation the breast will behave normally after breast feeding but will always look better than they would have without the operation.