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111. Breastfeeding With Implants

Is it possible to meet your lactation goals after breast surgery? Listen in to find out all the details. I'll be focusing mainly on breast augmentation in this episode but I'll also incorporate all breast surgeries. 

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*This podcast is not "medical advice". Please consult with your Healthcare Provider about your specific situation.

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts here. 


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Participant #1:
Welcome to the Breezy Babies podcast, where we talk about all things booze, babies and breastfeeding. This is Episode 111 breastfeeding with Implants. I'm breath the IBCLC and I made brisbies with you in mind to help ease your transition into parenthood. Becoming a parent changes your life in every way imaginable. Bumps in the road are going to come up as you move into your new role, but my goal is to help smooth out those bumps and help you become the most confident parent you can be. With good education and support, I know you can meet your breastfeeding and parenting goals. Let's do this together. Hey there, friend. I'm kind of chuckling because in the intro I just recorded that kind of sounded like I said this podcast was about boobs, babies and breastfeeding. It's about boobs, babies and breastfeeding. Just in case this is your first time here and you're feeling a little confused, welcome to the Brazy Babies podcast. This is so fun to have you back today. I am loving this topic for today already. This was actually a suggestion from Dulacera and she listens to this podcast. So hey, Dulacera, you're awesome for this suggestion of talking about breastfeeding with implants. This isn't something that always is not necessarily a really common topic. So I'm so excited to tell you a little bit more about it today. But first, I want to read you a Google review from Rochelle Smith. She said first meeting with Brian and it was so helpful. She really helped to reassure me with what I've been doing up to this point. I felt like she listened to my questions and helped me feel confident in being able to accomplish my goals with breastfeeding and pumping in the future. Highly recommend working with her. So nice. Rochelle, thank you so much for leaving a review, taking the time to do that. Of course, anytime I read a review. If you hear me read your review on this podcast, just send me an email to email me at and I will send you a freebie one of my workshops. Free Baby Gas, Baby Biters, my ebook, my Baby Massage online course, even though is a good one. Lots of freebies because I so appreciate you taking the time to leave a review. That always helps out a small business so much. Okay, are you ready for quick story time? I want to tell you really quick about the longest, most expensive consultation I have ever been on. Now, let me start this by explaining that I do consultations both in person and through telehealth. I do accept some insurances. You probably already know this if you listen to this podcast episode. There are a few insurances that I am able to accept through Lactation network. If you're curious if your insurance is one of those that is covered 100%, just click the Show Notes link or go to and click the link to check to see if you have free consults under telehealth or in person consults. Really easy to do. So I did meet with one client, and I have done a combination of both in person and telehealth consultations, so we had got to know each other pretty well, and we were at her fourth we had reached the point, let's put it that way. We had reached the point of her fourth consultation, and we decided that an in person consult would be super helpful. So we had the date planned, set aside, jumped in the car, headed to our house, was doing great, going to be exactly on time, which is always great when you have four kids, even just getting out of house without them, sometimes it's a little bit of a struggle. But I was just about to her house, coming up and over this hill, and my tire pressure light went on. And I was a little concerned because this is my car where the tire pressure light never goes on. And so I luckily was almost to her house. I parked and jumped out of my car, and I could immediately hear this sound like, oh, no, that's not a good sound. And I'm looking at all my tires, trying to figure out where this loud noise is coming from, kind of buying it. And then suddenly I spot it. A giant nail in my tire. Giant. And the air is escaping so fast I just can hear it. So luckily, this was a client that I had already, like I said, met with multiple times. We had a relationship. We knew each other. And so I knocked on our door, and I was like, oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry, but my tire is about to go flat. I've got to get to a tire store right away or I'm going to have to be towed. And she was so nice. She was like, oh, there's just one down the road. I hop back in my car and rush over to the tire store as fast as I can. I park going until the guy, he comes out to look at my car, and my tire is already completely flat. I had barely made it into the parking lot before it had gone completely flat. So my client was so nice. She said, oh, I'll just come and pick you up. And we'll still do the consultation, which I'm so glad that we did, because come to find out, I was there for four and a half hours getting four new brand new tires, because you know how it goes, like, oh, maybe we can get a patch. And then it's like, oh, no, these tires are too low. You're going to have to get new ones anyway, so we might as well do all of them at once. You know how it is. Basically, what I'm trying to tell you is this one quick consult turned into a four and a half hour consult that cost $800. So that has never happened in all my years. I have worked as an IBC for in home visits for six years. Never had anything like this happened before. But I'm so glad that it happened with a client that I already knew that we had a relationship with, because for a brand new self pay client, it would have been a little rough if I would have knocked on their door and said, hey, sorry. Actually, by the way, I've got to take off right away. So that is my story of the longest, most expensive consultation I've ever had. But I do have new tires for winter when it comes. And like I said, I was still able to see my awesome clients for their consultation. So kind of fun. All the stories of traveling around for in person consult has been very interesting, to say at the least. I've been all around Utah to places I've never been before, even though I've lived here basically my entire life. So love my job. It's the best. All right, let's talk about breast implants. That's what you came for, and you've had enough of my story, so let's talk about the real meat and potatoes here. So before we jump into my top three tips, let's just lay some ground rules here. Let's just talk about how many women even have breast implants. Like, how many people does this really even apply to? Well, honestly, as I was preparing for this podcast episode that was really tricky to find out exactly how many women have breast implants, I found one study from my favorite research site, and I was so excited until I realized that the data was from late 1989. What? Now? I was born in 1009, so I was one year old after that study was published. Can we say outdated? I did also find an estimate for 1996 which said estimates of the number of women with breast implants have buried from less than 1 million to over 3 million. Okay, that gives us a little bit more information. I also found another estimate from 2014, which is better, a little bit newer, but still not so great, and it said 4% of American women alive today have had breast implants. And then another site said 1% of women. Okay, so in the end, I don't really know how many people have had implants, but I do know that many do. And someone listening to this podcast episode certainly will, or know someone who does have implants and could use help with lactation. I do find that many people wait to get breast implants until they are done having kids, but not everyone does. Little side note right here. Fun fact for you. Did you know that the hormones from being pregnant is actually what makes boobs saggy and not breastfeeding? Okay, I just had to add that in there. And of course, before I jump into these top three tips, just know that there are no absolutes. Okay? You may experience problems with breastfeeding with implants, but I found that the majority of my clients do quite fine. And of course, it's always easier to meet your goals when you are working one on one with an IBC. And of course, this podcast is never medical advice. I am not your IBCLC unless you have actually hired me and sign a consent form saying that I can give you medical advice so I can't speak specifically to your situation. But I know these top three tips will at least help guide you in the right direction. Okay? So let's get to it. Here we go. Tip number one I want you to consider what type of implant were used. Okay? Research is limited on this. However, there have been recent reports of some problems that can happen with silicone breast implants. Now, this is per the CDC, and we don't honestly have a lot of research on this information, but it is helpful to know, especially as you're working with your IBCLC, it will be really helpful for her to know the type of implant that was used. So that's something that you are going to want to keep in mind. Tip number two is to consider what nerves were impacted during the surgery. If you have had a breast surgery, any type of breast surgery, you are going to want to review this with your IBCLC. We are going to want to know the type of surgery. Was it an augmentation, a reduction, a lift? Where are the incisions? Are they around the nipple or in the fold? Under the rest? And also, just as important as why did you have the surgery in the first place? This matters. Some families that I work with, they have IGT, which stands for Insufficient Glandular tissue. If that was the reason for breast surgery, then that family may have trouble with making a full milk supply before and after the surgery. Moms with IGT may have to supplement with donor milk or formula and may never have a full milk supply. This is something that can be hard to assess with implants. But a good IBCLC will always dive into health history. So don't be embarrassed to share that information with us, okay? We're not trying to be nosy or annoying to know about your health history and what surgeries you've had. It just is important. And all of those things that I just mentioned can directly affect lactation and can even change what your lactation goals realistically can be. Moving on, it matters if the implants were placed under the muscle or above the muscle. We do know that you're more likely to have better outcomes with breastfeeding if the implant was below the muscle. Another thing that matters is how long ago was the surgery? The longer amount of time that has passed, the more likely that nerves have formed new pathways and feeling has returned. The more recent the surgery, the more likely that you may have some issues. Okay. And we do want you to be able to have feeling in your nipple. That is an important part of breastfeeding. Not only for let down, for triggering that let down of milk. That Russia milk that comes out when your baby comes to the breast, but also if you don't have feeling in your nipple, you can't really tell when there is damage being done with something like a shallow latch, which is not exactly ideal. So again, when the surgery is matters, and even with something like a breast reduction ducts can grow back. So, yes, the longer span of time since the surgery was done, the better. Okay. Another thing that's important is how big are the implants? Because large implants can put pressure on the milk ducts. Again, this is not an absolute, but they can put pressure on the milk ducts and send that signal to your brain that your breasts are full. Hello, brain. Yes, we are full. We cannot take any more milk. And then your body's like, okay, we are going to slow down milk production. Now you can see how that would be problematic because it actually is just a big implant that is sending that message instead of a truly full breast full of breast milk. Okay, so that's a lot of things to consider. Yes, there are many things to consider with this. There are lots of questions. There are lots of things to look at. So this is not a one size fits all. There's no, oh, you have implants, so you're going to have trouble with breastfeeding. No, it's very individualized, and that's true with everything. I have clients who have been told right after delivery where they've even had a chance to latch on their baby, oh, you have flat nipples, so you're not going to be able to successfully latch your baby. Okay. No, not a thing. There is no absolute. There's no one size fits all, especially with things like this. One last thing I do want to mention here. I kind of already mentioned this before, but again, I just want to reiterate that if you do have decreased feeling or sensation in your nipples after breast surgery, that does affect breastfeeding. It affects your letdown, it affects your supply. If you cannot feel that your baby has a shell latch that's causing damage to your nipple, then you can see how that would be a major problem. Believe it or not, there are some surgeries where they not only cut around the nipple, but maybe they even take the nipple off altogether and then put it back on. I know that may be more than what you were bargaining for with this podcast episode, but it really needs to be said. And of course, you may already know that I am also a registered nurse, so these types of conversations I have no problem having. All right, let's move on to tip number three. Tip number three is watch your baby. You are going to watch really closely to make sure that your baby is gaining weight and transferring milk and having good wet and poopy diapers and doing all the things that your baby needs to do. And then that's going to give you the confidence that your baby is doing the good work at the breast and transferring the milk that she needs to grow. So if you have had breast surgery of any type, again, I highly recommend working with an IBCLC such as me. If we are there in person, we can do a way feed way and see exactly how much your baby is taking in one feed just to get a snapshot of how much your baby is transferring. And that can help give us the confidence that, yes, things are going well. You're transferring the milk that your baby needs. Maybe you don't have an Ibacc in your area to do away feed weight. That's okay. You can also work with us through telehealth and we can listen for swallows and check for all those things that your baby needs to be doing to tell us that she is gaining weight well and transferring the milk at the breast. Last thing, speaking from personal experience, I am telling you, you can absolutely have a successful experience with breastfeeding with implants. So there you go. There's at least one successful experience that you can believe in. And again, I want to repeat those top three tips for you for breastfeeding with implants. Number one, you do want to consider the type of implants that were used. Number two, you want to consider what nerves were impacted during the surgery. And number three is watch your baby. Watch your baby as you're going through this process. Again, you're not in this alone. You have health care providers and lactation consultants that you can work with and help you still meet your lactation goals. So I hope you feel a little bit more confident. Make sure you share this podcast episode with anyone you know who may be struggling with their lactation goals, especially if they have a history of breast surgery. And thank you so much for taking the time to listen. And of course, I'm going to leave you with. You are strong, you are smart, you're beautiful, you're good. Friends all. Catch you next time. Friends.

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