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Breastfeeding after Breast Augmentation

November 21, 2011 by Alex     0

Breast Augmentation Las Vegas
Breast Augmentation Las Vegas
Two burning questions for young women considering breast implants are whether or not they will be able to breastfeed a future child and - if they are able to nurse - whether the silicon from some implants will somehow "leak" into their breast milk and harm the infant.

The answer to the first question is "maybe", depending on the kind of surgery you had. If the incision was under the fold of the breast or through the armpit, you should be able to successful produce milk. Your chances of breastfeeding also improve if your milk duct system is intact.

Unfortunately, the most popular method - which involves a half moon incision around the areola (the darker circle of skin around the nipple) - increases the risk of breastfeeding problems. This is because nerves and ducts around the areola can be cut or damaged during surgery. These nerves and ducts are essential to lactation. The nerves trigger the brain to release the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which affect milk production. Intact milk ducts are necessary for the milk to make its way to the nipple for nursing.

The consensus on silicone from breast implants leaking into breast milk is that it's a non-issue. Health professionals say that a) studies have produced no evidence the silicone enters the milk, and b) even if it did, it's not likely to pose a threat to an infant. (A very similar substance is used to treat stomach gas in babies). They point out that there is more silicon in cow's milk and infant formula than in breast milk.

The bottom line is - you won't know for sure that you can nurse until you try. Many women with breast implants can successfully produce breast milk after giving birth, but are more likely to suffer from blocked ducts or mastitis - a painful infection of the mammary glands accompanied by chills and fever.

As well, many mothers with implants find that, while they can produce milk, they struggle with low milk production. According to the Institute of Medicine, breast implant surgery makes it at least three times more likely that a woman trying to breastfeed will have an inadequate milk supply. Surgery involving the areola increases that risk to five times.

There are currently no human prolactin medications available to boost breast milk production, but one of the side effects of domperidone, an anti-nausea drug, is the increased production of the hormone prolactin, which stimulates breast milk production. Another related but older medication is metoclopramide (Reglan), but it has frequent side effects including fatigue, irritability, and depression.

In general, the use of domperidone for breastfeeding is preferable, because it does not enter the brain tissue in significant amounts, reducing or eliminating domperidone side effects. Women may notice an improvement in milk production within 24 hours, although it takes about three or four days to get the full effect.

The FDA has yet to approve domperidone (brand name Motilium), even though it has been widely used around the world for years, and domperidone tablets are available without a prescription in many countries.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health reports that not only does breastfeeding help strengthen the mother-child bond, it is linked to a number of health benefits for both women and their children, including lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and post-partum depression for moms, and better nutrition and stronger immune systems for their babies.

The bottom line is - if you're considering implants, but want to breastfeed future children, the safest option is to wait until your last child is weaned. If you do decide to go ahead with breast implants, ensure that the surgeon is aware you want to breastfeed in the future, and uses a surgical technique intended to avoid or limit damage to the breast's nerves and ducts.

Filed under: Tips for Breastfeeding.

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