Having children changes everything. From your body, to your daily routine, to your perspective on life, there is no facet of your life left untouched by parenthood.
Some of the most physically impactful changes occur in your breasts. If you have had a breast augmentation, it’s only natural to wonder if those changes will affect the results of your procedure or the integrity of your breast implants. Plastic surgeons are frequently asked if breast implants affect breastfeeding, but the opposite question is also a common concern: does breastfeeding ruin breast implants?
Pregnancy and nursing affect women’s bodies in different ways. It’s impossible to predict precisely how a specific body will respond to breastfeeding, but you can educate yourself about the possibilities and bring up your concerns with your plastic surgeon.
Here’s what you should know about what breastfeeding does and doesn’t do to breast implants.
Can Breastfeeding Change Your Breast Implants?
The size and shape of your breasts may change significantly during pregnancy and after breastfeeding, but the fluctuations happen in your breast tissue, not your breast implants.
Breast implants are inserted under the breast tissue and often under the chest muscle as well, so they are shielded by multiple layers of protection. Your baby cannot bite, tear, burst or otherwise harm your implants while nursing, and the pressure from your enlarged breasts will not cause your implants to rupture or contort. Breastfeeding should not change or compromise the structure of your breast implants in any way.
How Do Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Impact Your Breast Tissue?
Although pregnancy and breastfeeding won’t change your implants, the same cannot be said for your natural breast tissue and skin. During pregnancy, fluctuations in your hormone levels and weight cause your breast tissue to expand, and your breasts engorge with milk. Your skin responds by stretching to accommodate these changes. After childbirth and nursing, your breasts will likely shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size, but your skin may be stretched too far to contract fully around your now-smaller breasts.
The outcome of this process is often loose, sagging skin and deflated-looking breasts. Losing a substantial amount of weight after pregnancy can intensify the loss of fullness and the development of a drooping appearance. While these changes do not affect the implants themselves, they can affect the aesthetics of your breast augmentation, and you may no longer be happy with the results of your surgery.
What Are Your Options After Breastfeeding?
There are many options for restoring your pre-baby shape if you have breast implants. Depending on what changes you’ve noticed and what your goals are, your options for revision surgery may include:
Breast implants can be exchanged for a smaller or larger size, a different shape or a different material. For example, replacing your current implants with a larger size may better fill out the breast skin envelope, counteracting the deflated look and restoring lost firmness. Keep in mind that exchanging your breast implants does not affect the position of your breasts, so if sagging is one of your primary concerns, you may be a better candidate for a breast lift.
A breast lift elevates the breast tissue and removes excess skin. If your breasts are sagging after breastfeeding, this procedure can recentre your breast tissue around your breast implants. A breast lift can be done on its own or combined with an implant exchange depending on your needs. This is a popular restorative surgery for mothers regardless of whether they have breast implants or natural breasts.
If your concerns extend beyond your breasts, a mummy makeover may be right for you. Mummy makeover surgery targets multiple areas of the body affected by pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. You get to choose the combination of procedures that address the issues that bother you most. Popular options include breast lift, breast augmentation or implant exchange, tummy tuck, liposuction and labiaplasty.
Should You Wait Until You’re Done Having Children to Get Implants?
Now that you know how breastfeeding may and may not impact your breast augmentation results, you may be wondering if there’s an ideal time to get breast implants. This is a critical conversation to have with your plastic surgeon. No answer is right for every woman.
If you expect to have more children or start having children in the near future, it may be advantageous to delay breast enhancement surgery. If you are finished having children or have no plans to have children, there is no need to wait. If you have no immediate plans for having children but may at some point, your surgeon will help you weigh the factors to consider in making your decision.
Contact Our Sydney Plastic Surgeon
The way your body responds to breastfeeding will be unique to you, but no changes need to leave you feeling insecure or less like yourself. If you are considering a breast augmentation or revision surgery following breastfeeding, schedule your consultation with Dr Ellis Choy today. Contact our office on 02 8962 9388 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.