Many young women worry that breast augmentation may affect their ability to breastfeed their children in the future, and it’s important to consider the question. Breast implants may affect your ability to breastfeed, but in general the news is positive. First, let’s dispel any notions that breast implants will affect your ability to become pregnant or impact the health of a breastfed baby. Decades-long studies with thousands of women have not shown any impact of breast implants on a woman’s ability to become pregnant or deliver a healthy, full-term baby. Nor have they shown any link between breast augmentation and any health impact on breastfed babies. Next, let’s consider the impact of breast augmentation on breastfeeding success rates. Almost all women are technically able to breastfeed under the best conditions. About 95% of women who breastfed an earlier child are capable of breastfeeding their next child, and in developing countries with few alternatives breastfeeding rates reach close to 100%, but in the US success rates are lower. According to a recent CDC study, about 85% of women intend to breastfeed. However, only about a third are able to successfully breastfeed for three months and only 15% continue breastfeeding up to six months. In comparison with the actual rates of breastfeeding, the most recent published study rates successful breastfeeding after breast augmentation (63%) is relatively high. Milk insufficiency is also more common in women with breast augmentation, and about half of women with breast implants need to supplement breastfeeding. The difference in breastfeeding success rates may be mostly psychological, and it’s important that women who want to breastfeed get appropriate support and practice appropriate techniques that will significantly increase their odds of success. To learn more about breastfeeding after breast augmentation, please contact Dr. David A. Bottger in Philadelphia for a consultation.