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    Six Things To Know About Breastfeeding And Breast Implants

    When you were young, you thought you needed to get breast augmentation surgery. You enjoyed your new look and your body. Now, you are thinking about having a baby. You have questions about your breast implants. Here are some answers to your questions.

    Can I Still Breastfeed my Baby?

    Even with breast implants, you still might be able to breastfeed your baby. Whether it works depends on how the surgeon conducted the surgery. The incision had to be done under the fold of the breast or through the armpit. In this scenario, the implants would not damage milk production or nerves. When the surgeons cut around the areola, you have a greater chance that milk ducts and nerves will be harmed. This could limit your milk production available for breastfeeding.

    Where the surgeon put the implants also can affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed. Pressure from the implants can cause harm to milk ducts and nerves. Regardless of the situation, women with implants should consult a doctor or lactation specialist to watch the milk production for several months to ensure the infant is getting enough milk.

    What Are the Problems?

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    As mentioned earlier, the main problem with breastfeeding and breast implants is that women don’t produce enough milk to nourish the baby. Even though an infant might seem to be nursing correctly, an insufficient amount of milk will mean the baby really isn’t nursing right. This can lead to dehydration, which is dangerous to the baby. If an insufficient amount of milk is created, it might be the result of cut milk ducts, pressure from the implants closing the ducts or implants taking up space where milk is normally stored.

    If nerves were hurt during surgery, you might not be able to release prolactin and oxytocin that initiate the production and release of breast milk. Implants also can stop a normal flow of breast milk. In addition, pressure from breasts full of milk might cause extra pain. Women in pain might decide to stop breastfeeding.

    Is There a Risk to the Baby?

    Because women are afraid that their implants might be harmful to the baby, some women avoid breastfeeding. They believe the chemical material in the implant will leak into the breast milk and into the baby. Those with silicone implants have this fear more than others. Studies have shown that silicone molecules probably will not leach into the milk ducts. Today, most are made of saline solution, which is a salt solution. Researchers have found that the saline solution won’t go into milk ducts, but even if it did, the baby would not be harmed by the salt.

    How Will I Know If My Baby Is Drinking Enough?

    If you see six to eight wet diapers and three to four bowel movements each day, your baby is breastfeeding well and getting enough milk. Your baby also should gain weight and breastfeed eight times a day. However, if the baby won’t stop crying even when it is or has fed, you will know there is a problem. This can occur to women who do not have breast implants. If you believe your baby is not feeding correctly, you need to see a pediatrician as soon as possible.

    What Can Be Done to Increase Milk Supply?

    You can use a breast pump after each feeding to boost your breast to produce more milk. The pump will empty your breasts completely. Breast massage also may help improve your production. Feed your baby eight to 12 times a day to increase supply. Some pediatricians recommend drinking beer because the grains in beer boost supply. In some cases, milk production might be low because the mother is worried and stressed. Doing relaxation techniques or drinking a glass of wine can be effective in these situations. To prevent your baby from being dehydrated, you will need to supplement the breastfeeding with over-the-counter formula.

    When Should I Contact the Pediatrician?

    If the baby is four or more days old and is producing fewer than six wet diapers a day, contact your doctor. If your baby is four or more days old and appears to be crying all the time and not sleeping, go to an emergency room for the infant might be dehydrated or have an infection. If your baby is eating fewer than eight times a day, he or she might not be getting enough milk. You experience nipple pain after a feeding, you should contact your doctor. If you feel a lump in your breast, call your doctor.