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Can You Breastfeed After Getting Breast Implants?

The truth about milk production after breast augmentation.

Can You Breastfeed After Getting Breast Implants?

So you’ve had a kid (or two, or five) and you’re ready to give the girls a little lift. Or you think you’d like to have your breasts augmented, but you’re not sure that you’re done having kids yet. Maybe you had a boob job years ago,before kids were even in the picture, and now you’re concerned about your ability to nurse your little one. After all, everybody knows that once you go under the knife, you can’t breastfeed at all anymore, right?

Not necessarily. “Women with silicone or saline implants are both able to successfully breastfeed,” says Dr. Mark Schwartz, Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. But that doesn’t mean that nursing with implants is a done deal. Here’s what you need to know before you go under the knife.

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One of the most important factors in determining your future breastfeeding success seems to have a lot to do with the placement of the implant itself. According to the Mayo Clinic, to insert the breast implant, a surgeon makes a single cut in one of three places on the body: In the crease under the breast (infra-mammary), under the arm (axillary), or around the nipple (periareolar).

Dr. Schwartz tells Well Rounded that avoiding the nipple area is key. He says, “As long as the breast ductal tissue is “respected” during breast augmentation, there should be no change in a woman’s ability to breastfeed.”

The best way to go about this is for your surgeon to avoid making any incisions around the areola, as that is where those very important milk-producing ducts reside. Dr. Schwartz favors placing the implant underneath the pectoralis muscle, he says, because it makes mammograms easier to interpret, can make the breasts appear more natural, and, “may provide additional safety when it comes to breastfeeding since the implant is further away from the ductal tissue.”

But incision placement alone is not the only factor that can affect milk production after breast augmentation. The length of time between surgery and breastfeeding could be another predictor, says Leigh Anne O’Connor, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). “Typically the longer ago the surgery took place the better the outcome for breastfeeding. This gives the body time to recanalize the milk ducts.” In layman’s terms, you want to give the body time to allow the severed ducts to heal and find their way back together.

So maybe you’re between babies, or you swear you’re 99% “not-going-to-have-another.” As many a breastfeeding mama knows all-too-well, nursing (and even pregnancy!) can do quite a number on the boobies. So now that your breasts seem to have settled to their final “resting state, could breast augmentation be the magic ticket to give your girls back some pep?

You may want to hold off until you’re sure you’re done with the baby-making. Dr. Schwartz says that when to have breast surgery is of course a personal choice, but his recommendation for the ideal timeline for surgery in a woman’s reproductive life would be after she is finished breastfeeding.

“I generally tell patients that if they are planning on having a child within the next year or so, to avoid breast augmentation and to return after they have completed breastfeeding.” Pregnancy alone can cause the volume in your breasts to change rapidly, and could potentially affect the shape and size of the augmented breast. (And what a waste that would be, to have undergone elective surgery, only to have nature wreak havoc on your body and have its way with you and your breasts in the end.)

What about women who got implants long before they even thought about having babies, and later, found themselves having difficulty producing milk? Was the surgery to blame? That would be far too easy, but more often than not, other factors were the cause for their troubles all along. Some women naturally have hypoplastic breasts, which are breasts that have insufficient glandular tissue (IGT) to produce enough breast milk. According to Kellymom, certain breast types can be more predisposed towards hypoplasia, such as tubular shaped breasts, widely-spaced-apart breasts, and unevenly shaped breasts.

O’Connor says that, “In some cases, breast augmentation masks underdeveloped breast tissue...Some women with small tubular breasts may have this condition and this may be the reason that leads her to want augmentation. If this is the case she may have trouble building a full milk supply for her baby.” Basically, the woman who had a boob job and thinks that’s why she’s having trouble producing milk may have had that same difficulty all along, whether she had had the surgery or not.

There are a lot of things to consider when pondering the should-I-or-shouldn’t-I question about breast implants. But if you do your research, find the right doctor, talk to lactation experts (if you’re still planning on breastfeeding), and are clear about your breastfeeding goals, a boob makeover could be in the future for you. Or not. Either way, as with any surgery, never go in blindly and without an armful of facts and questions about the risks. Most importantly, do what makes you feel like the best version of you.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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