For years, women who have breast implants or are considering them have been concerned about the relationship between pregnancy and breast implants. A few hot topics include whether sagging is going to be an issue, whether to get implants before or after having kids, and whether breastfeeding with implants is possible.
Are you considering getting a breast augmentation—whether breast implants, a breast lift, or both? Or do you already have breast implants and are concerned with how your body will react to pregnancy and breastfeeding? In either case, this article is for you.
Please find below our answers to the top questions women ask regarding implants and pregnancy.
1. Should I wait until I’m done having kids to get a breast augmentation?
This is an ongoing debate among women and plastic surgeons. The short answer: it’s completely up to you. Whether you choose to undergo a breast augmentation before or after having children is a personal decision that you alone can make.
Breast implants won’t pose any threat to you or your unborn child during a pregnancy, so it’s more of an aesthetic decision. Pregnancy can greatly affect the shape and size of your breasts, but that can happen whether you have had a breast augmentation or not. Some women hardly see any change in their breasts during their pregnancies. In general, the amount of change in your breasts during pregnancy depends on the size of your breasts – bigger breasts tend to undergo more change than smaller ones.
If you’re planning on getting pregnant within the next year, you may want to wait and see how your breasts react to the pregnancy—though there’s nothing wrong with going ahead with the procedure. On the other hand, if you don’t see yourself having children within the near future, why not start enjoying your breasts the way you want them right now?
2. Will I be able to safely breastfeed after getting breast implants?
Being able to breastfeed after childbirth is a huge concern for many women. Two of the most common questions asked are:
- Is breastfeeding with implants safe for the baby?
- Will I physically be able to breastfeed?
In a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants, there was no evidence that breastfeeding with implants was unsafe. Breastfeeding with implants is neither bad for you nor your baby.
Regarding your ability to breastfeed, this may depend on a few factors. The first of these is genetics. Some women are unable to breastfeed at all—with or without implants. Other potential factors include the placement of the breast implants, whether or not any milk ducts were damaged when the implants were inserted, and whether excess pressure is preventing the milk from flowing.
In many cases, women are able to breastfeed safely and normally with breast implants. Please also see: Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After a Breast Reduction.
3. Will silicone implants affect the breast milk quality?
On the surface, this concern makes a lot of sense. Putting silicone in your body warrants the question whether it somehow “leaks” into your breast milk.
In reality, there is nothing to worry about with regards to the quality of breast milk among women with implants. A study of lactating women with silicone implants compared silicone levels in the women’s breast milk with regular cow’s milk and 26 different brands of formula, and no higher incidence of silicone was found. In fact, it was the opposite – most formula brands and even the cow’s milk contained more silicone than the breast milk.
4. What will happen to my breasts if I get pregnant after getting breast implants?
Your breasts may expand and contract, fluctuate in shape and size, start to sag, or reveal stretch marks during and after a pregnancy. However, any of these changes depend on how much breast tissue you have, the elasticity of your skin, and more. Some women experience drastic changes in their breasts, while others hardly notice a thing.
Your breast implants will stay intact, although your breasts may sag or lose some of their perkiness after a pregnancy. Keep in mind that any of these changes could happen with or without breast implants. A breast lift can be a great option to restore your breasts to their youthful look after giving birth.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effects on Pregnancy, Lactation, and Children.
- National Library of Medicine: Breast milk contamination and silicone implants – preliminary results using silicon as a proxy measurement for silicone