• Cat Walker

Breastfeeding post breast augmentation surgery, is it possible?

One of the most dangerous things in the world is an uneducated opinion told as a fact.

Last year I was told by someone close to me “You won’t be able to breastfeed because you had breast augmentation”. Really? That was news to me. Luckily for me, and anyone reading this, I am an extremely suspicious person so I parked this statement for further investigation.

As luck would have it I just started a medical-based University degree and one of my essays due for that semester was to use medical databases to read research papers on any health topic and write an essay about it.

So guess what topic I chose…..

You betcha.

Breastfeeding post augmentation surgery.

Guess what I found?

Overall women who have breast augmentation surgery have a slightly higher chance of struggling to establish a feeding pattern with their newborn, yet all evidence shows it is possible and safe for women to do so. It was suggested that more complete post-natal counselling, education and support for this specific cohort would result in a higher breastfeeding rate.

Data reports that in large, the three main reasons for being unable to continue breastfeeding has been reported as in-sufficient milk supply, mastitis and excessive pain. From an anatomical standpoint, it would be easy to assume that intramuscular pressure around the milk duct around would increase risk of mastitis however research is showing that only 5% of women have reported this issue with implants, which shows no real variance to women without breast implants. Interestingly, the incidences of lactation issues in this report was the same as women who have not had any type of elective breast surgery. Furthermore, there is no variance between women with or without surgery reporting any type of lactating issues with both cohorts representing 10-17% of the general population.

So, shall we talk about some specific studies? Sure!

As part of the FDA requirement of round silicone or saline implants, a 10-year observational study was conducted to outline the lactation experiences of both implants types. The study showed 4679 females reported to have given birth and 3715 (79.4%) reported successfully breast fed their young. In contrast to findings of the first report, regardless of incision, material, shape or age this cohort reported no distinct variance in the difference between those with breast augmentation surgeries and those without.

A 5-year Ethics committee approved study focusing on women in who gave birth in a NSW hospital. The research looked at the rate of successful births that were breastfeeding at time of discharge. For the 378,389 births that occurred during the time the study was conducted, 892 women had prior breast augmentation and 705 (79%) were able to provide breast milk to their infant at discharge, compared with 89% among women without augmentation.

The safety of silicone implants affecting the quality of milk produced was looked at by a smaller control group study with two groups. The participants from Group A had a mixture Sub-glandular and Sub-muscular implants where participants from Group B had no implants at all. The researchers tested the concentration of Inflammatory Proteins, Anti-body Profiles and Silicone concentration in the milk of both groups found no variance between the groups, suggesting that implants did not affect the quality of the milk produced.

The International Lactation Consultant Association conducted a Meta-analysis of Comparative studies in 2018 focusing on data on this subject ranging from 1990 – 2014. The Association concentrated on four Cohort studies, one Cross-Sectional study and concluded overall there was a reduction in exclusive breastfeeding rate with women who have had Breast Augmentation and that there is no relationship between incision cite causing more affects than the other. Conversely the researchers established that breastfeeding postoperatively is both safe, possible and that the findings should be used as encouragement to improve breastfeeding counselling, education and support.

In conclusion from the research I found the relationship between women receiving a breast augmentation surgery prior or during their reproductive years, and the ability to successfully breastfeed her baby comes down to encouragement, support, education and on-going postpartum care.

SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT & EDUCATION for new mums *insert shocked face*. Who would of thought?!

To finish up I would like to revisit my original statement - One of the most dangerous things in the world is an uneducated opinion told as a fact.

There are significant issues that could of arisen for my pregnancy, self worth, mental health and connection with my child if I spent the whole pregnancy believing that I did something that would jepodise my chance to breastfeed. That statement, if I took it as true, could of had huge implecations to both myself and my child.

So I finish this blog off with a request.

Before offering an opinion, or your experience, as fact - ask youself a few simple questions.

Is this FACT or an opinion?

Am I educated in this?

Can I back up my statement with research?

Will this HELP or HINDER?

New mums need support, love, encouragment and help.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk,

See you next rant

Love Cat x


Andrade, R. A. d., Coca, K. P., & Abrão, A. C. F. V. (2010). Breastfeeding pattern in the first month of life in women submitted to breast reduction and augmentation. Jornal de pediatria, 86(3), 239-244. doi:

Cheng, F., Dai, S., Wang, C., Zeng, S., Chen, J., & Cen, Y. (2018). Do Breast Implants Influence Breastfeeding? A Meta-Analysis of Comparative Studies. J Hum Lact, 34(3), 424-432. doi:10.1177/0890334418776654

Jewell, M. L., Edwards, M. C., Murphy, D. K., & Schumacher, A. (2019). Lactation Outcomes in More Than 3500 Women Following Primary Augmentation: 5-Year Data From the Breast Implant Follow-Up Study. Aesthet Surg J, 39(8), 875-883. doi:10.1093/asj/sjy221

Lund, H. G., Turkle, J., Jewell, M. L., & Murphy, D. K. (2016). Low Risk of Skin and Nipple Sensitivity and Lactation Issues After Primary Breast Augmentation with Form-Stable Silicone Implants: Follow-Up in 4927 Subjects. Aesthet Surg J, 36(6), 672-680. doi:10.1093/asj/sjv266

Roberts, C. L., Ampt, A. J., Algert, C. S., Sywak, M. S., & Chen, J. S. C. (2015). Reduced breast milk feeding subsequent to cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. Medical Journal of Australia, 202(6), 324-328. doi:10.5694/mja14.01386

Roser, M. (2017). Our world in data. Fertility Rate. Retrieved from


Zoccali, G., Lomartire, N., Mascaretti, G., & Giuliani, M. (2008). Silicone gel mammary prostheses: immune pathologies and breastfeeding. Clinical and experimental obstetrics & gynecology, 35(3), 187-189. Retrieved from

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