Babies and Boob Jobs: When Breastfeeding After Implants Doesn't Work Right
I live in the land of Botox and boob jobs. Other than Miami, if you want implants this is the place to be. While you can get them other places, the docs here are the ones who have perfected the techniques. I am quite certain that my favorite plastic surgeon can do a boob job with his eyes closed (not that he would or should and definitely not mine). That’s why I trust him; he’s really good. I am very happy with the work I have had done, I think its great.
There is a common myth that you can’t nurse with implants; this isn’t true. For more on this read ABC News. When done properly and with minimal damage, breastfeeding after a boob job should not be a problem. For me it was.
I tried to nurse Luciano. I had recently had my first set of implants removed and it was excruciating. I tried for a few weeks but I gave up pretty quickly. With Serendipity, I was adamant that I wasn’t going there again. There was no way I would put myself through such a horrible experience a second time. I was
harassed guided by nurses and well-meaning family members for days. Three days after she was born, I finally decided to give it a try. It was just as horrible as I remembered and it only lasted a few weeks. I didn’t really get in much milk with either of the first 2 and both were heavily supplemented with formula. It hurt, I didn’t get much, it took forever and I hated it -- not a good combination.
Then Bellatessa was born and for some reason I decided to try it yet again. I tried to nurse her, finally at 12 hours old she screamed and screamed and I relented. I’m glad I did because I was finally listening to my baby, not what people were telling me to do. I knew she was hungry and I knew I was torturing her attempting to do what society and a really mean nurse made me feel I needed to do to be a good mom.
I didn’t give up completely on nursing Bellatessa I spent the next few weeks with a consultant trying. In the end, the baby couldn’t give the suction needed and a hospital grade pump was my only option. I was sad when I gave up nursing because I had been told over and over that it was what I needed to do, and like any mom I wanted to do the best for my little one. I had given up on nursing Bellatessa but I still wanted her to have breastmilk so I pumped -- every 2-3 hours for the next 9 months. It was pure torture but it was my only option. Exclusively pumping is a story all to itself and one I will someday share... but it’s not for the faint of heart.
So why didn’t it work? I have had the girls worked on more than once and the first time I didn’t use a top surgeon. I have damage to the ducts and the nerves. It’s not a big deal in other areas -- I can still feel just fine -- but it makes nursing in my case nearly impossible. I also didn’t have an Lactation Consultant (LC) that had experience with implants. None of the lactation consultants I worked with had ever faced the issues I was having before. (I was not in LA at the time.) I’m not sure that an LC with experience in my particular issue would have helped; my damage may be too severe. We will never know.
Next baby -- and yes, we do plan to have more -- I will not attempt to breastfeed. I learned my lesson with Bellatessa: nursing is not for me. I won’t put myself and my family through that again. I learned a lot from my experience, most important was that you have to make the right choices for you, not for society. I am no less of a mother because I formula feed my children. I wish that things could be different but they are what they are. When all is said and done, I am completely supportive of nursing moms. I completely support moms who want to and can nurse. I think it’s splendid and I think that many give up too soon because they don’t get the support they need.
My advice… If you want implants, let your doctor know that you may want to nurse someday. There are techniques that can improve your chances. If you attempt to nurse after implants, make sure your lactation consultant has experience with implants specifically. My most important piece of advice though is to do what’s right for you and your baby. Don’t nurse at the detriment to yourself and your baby but don’t give up because it’s hard either.
Photo Credit: aaron_anderer.