Breast Augmentation Before Pregnancy
It is common for women to desire cosmetic changes to their body before they even consider having children. Making positive changes to your appearance can boost self-confidence. It can even help with social situations and impact the development of relationships.
It is generally considered safe to have a breast augmentation procedure before pregnancy, but many women have some of the same concerns. Dr. Birely is a Baltimore plastic surgery professional who can help you navigate your questions and concerns surrounding the effects of breast augmentation upon a future pregnancy.
About Breast Augmentation
A Baltimore breast augmentation procedure involves using breast implants to increase the size or fullness of your breasts. Candidates for breast augmentation often experience:
- Breasts that are small or undefined
- Asymmetrical or uneven breasts
- Breasts that are disproportionate to other features or cause clothes to fit poorly
- Loss of breast tissue from a mastectomy or other medical procedure
The implants can be customized according to your specific concerns, and advanced surgical techniques result in a natural-looking fullness. Implants are filled with silicone or saline, which are both safe and act similar to breast tissue.
There are many types of incisions that can be used during a breast augmentation procedure. Some may impact your breast function more than others, so precautionary measures can be taken for women who want to have children and breastfeed in the future.
How is a breast augmentation impacted by pregnancy?
Pregnancy involves hormone changes that can affect breast size, regardless of your decision to have implants. Each woman’s pregnancy is unique, and it can be difficult for doctors to predict the physical impact of a pregnancy. Breasts can get larger, smaller, or stay the same during a pregnancy and post-partum.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout your pregnancy can reduce the likelihood that your breasts will dramatically change. A healthy diet and regular exercise will usually minimize the development of excess tissue and limit sagging after pregnancy.
Breastfeeding After Pregnancy
In most cases, the ability to breastfeed can be preserved during a breast augmentation procedure. If you want to have children and preserve the ability to breastfeed, Dr. Birely will discuss available options during your initial consultation.
An incision around the areola can cause damage to milk ducts or glands. Incisions placed in the fold underneath the breast (inframammary) or near the armpit (trans-axillary) are much less likely to impact your ability to breastfeed because the majority of breast tissue is preserved.
Placing implants underneath the chest muscle not only looks more natural, but also helps preserve the ability to breastfeed. If placed incorrectly or on top of the muscle, the implant can cause unnecessary pressure to the breast tissue and impact breastfeeding.
It is important to remember than many women have difficulty breastfeeding, even those without breast implants. Your OB/GYN will also give you tips for breastfeeding to increase your chances of success.
Is it safe to breastfeed with implants?
Yes, it is still safe to breastfeed. Modern breast implants have a resilient barrier that is resistant to rupturing. The silicone and saline used inside of implants is also safe. Saline is a sterile salt water solution that is simply absorbed into the body in the event that a rupture occurs.
The silicone in breast implants is often semi-solid and rarely disseminates into the surrounding tissues. It is safe for humans, and is similar to silicone used in baby bottle nipples, hair products, and as a coating for some medications.
Pregnancy Immediately Following a Breast Augmentation
It is not recommended that you have a breast augmentation procedure immediately before getting pregnant. The healing process is vital to the outcome of your procedure, and hormone or weight fluctuations can impact the results of your breast augmentation. If you are planning to become pregnant very soon, you will likely be advised to wait until after you have children to undergo a breast augmentation.
Pregnancy can come as a surprise, so it is important to take precautionary steps if you become pregnant during the recovery process immediately following your breast augmentation. Tell your OB/GYN and your plastic surgeon about your pregnancy to discuss any special care or preventative measures to ensure your healing process as well as your pregnancy go smoothly.
Will I need revisions or other surgeries after my pregnancy?
Pregnancy’s impact on the body varies among women. Some women see little to no changes in their appearance, while others experience sagging skin or other unwanted side effects. Dr. Birely offers a variety of cosmetic procedures and non-surgical treatments in the comfort of our renowned Baltimore plastic surgery clinic.
If you have sagging or droopy breasts after pregnancy, a breast lift can improve your profile to resemble your pre-pregnancy fullness. The implants will be left intact but excess tissue and skin are removed to add height and projection without changing the size of your breasts.
Those who experience loose skin or pockets of unwanted fat may also consider a mommy makeover. A mommy makeover is designed to address common areas of concern after pregnancy and typically includes a breast lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction.
Dr. Birely understands the concerns that women face before and after pregnancy. He can help you retain breastfeeding abilities if you choose to have a breast augmentation before you get pregnant, and can create a custom treatment plan for any post-baby body concerns.