Pregnancy and childbirth is one of the most natural and beautiful life experiences that could ever happen to a woman. This phenomenon comes along with significant and meaningful emotional, psychological and physical changes. One of the most recognizable changes that will happen, especially to your body, during pregnancy is the size and composition of your breasts. That is why the subject of pregnancy is a major consideration when deciding to seek for breast augmentation and in performing the procedure. There are so many questions and concerns that come up when these two topics are put together.
Natural Changes in the Breast During Pregnancy
Your breasts will undergo numerous transformations during the course of your pregnancy. This basically prepares your body for the arrival of your baby. The earliest sign and impact of pregnancy is breast tenderness and hypersensitivity, which usually happens during the first four to six weeks. Following this, you will notice your breasts getting bigger in size, which may certainly be a welcoming change for a lot of women who are insecure about their breast volume. However, the increase in size also means that itchiness and stretch marks will happen, as the breast skin stretches.
Your nipples and areola will also begin to enlarge and darken, as well as the veins along your breasts will also become more visible. The bumps on your areola called Montogomery’s tubercles will also become raised.
But the transformation that happens on the inside is what will prepare you for nursing your baby. On the third month of your pregnancy, your breasts will begin to produce a fluid called colostrum. This is a watery and digestible form of milk that starts out as a yellowish, thick liquid, which eventually becomes pale and colorless. In certain cases, some women will experience discharge of this liquid throughout your pregnancy.
Breast Augmentation During Pregnancy
Now, one brewing question that may be in your mind is if it is safe to get breast augmentation done when you are pregnant. This is actually one of the most common concerns of women who are seeking to have a breast implant. The direct answer to this is that you will be advised against undergoing breast augmentation if you are pregnant or still nursing your baby.
This is to ensure that safety of you and your baby is maximized through your delivery. This is in consideration of the fact that any surgery and the anesthesia that will be administered carries with it some risks that could potentially jeopardize the health and welfare of your baby. The bottomline is that the safety of your baby is the top priority.
That is why it is important that you inform your cosmetic surgeon if you are, or suspect, that you are pregnant. In most cases, a pregnancy test will be required as part of the series preoperative tests before your breast augmentation surgery.
In addition, if you are planning to get pregnant right away or in the next two years, you might also want to defer the procedure after you have weaned your baby from breastfeeding. The reason for this is that the natural changes that will happen on your breasts during pregnancy will have an impact on the expected desired results. However in this case, the decision is entirely up to your personal preference.
Best Time for Surgery After Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and thinking of getting breast implants, you might want to hold off on the procedure until you are no longer nursing your baby. Another consideration is to wait until your breasts go back to its normal size and density after breastfeeding. As an estimate, this usually happens between six months to one year after giving birth.
Effects of Pregnancy on Existing Implants
But what happens when you have had breast augmentation before? Will pregnancy have an impact on your existing breast implants?
The good news is that pregnancy will not have an impact on your breast implants. It will, however, have an effect on your current breast augmentation result. Because of the increase in breast size, the issue on skin sagging is a major issue once your breasts returns to its natural size. However, this will vary from woman to woman, depending on the predisposed tendency of skin sagging, considering your skin’s elasticity.
Generally, existing breast implants will stay in place and will not sag together with your natural breast tissue, which may sag off from the implants. The risk may be higher depending on the placement of your existing breast implants. In most cases, sagging is high for submuscular implants compared to subglandular implants. This concern can be remedied with a breast lift procedure to restore the perky appearance of the breasts.
One big misconception about breast implants is that it has a negative effect, or it could prevent you from breastfeeding your baby. In fact, even famous stars, like reality TV celebrity Kendra Baskett thought the same way saying that, “I was so scared that I wasn’t going to be able to nurse that when I saw stuff come out of my nipples the other day, I was like, I can breastfeed?”.
The truth is that your existing breast implants will not affect your ability to breastfeed and the quality of your breast milk. The type of implants, whether they are saline or silicone, will also not even matter.
However, it is important to understand that the location of the implant and the incision used for insertion may have a slight effect on your ability to breastfeed. An incision made around the areola rather than under the breast can reduce the nerve response of the breast. In addition, implants placed under the glandular tissue rather than under the chest muscle can put unwanted pressure on your mammary glands, which can impact the chances of milk production and flow.
In an ABC article, Dr. Mirriam Labbok, physician and director for the Carolina Global Breastfeeding institute said that, “The mammary gland, like any other gland, performs normally when it has blood surprise and space to grow. But when you put pressure on any gland in the body you risk it malfunctioning and compromising lactation.”
That is why it important that during your consultation with your surgeon, you need to discuss these considerations if you plan on breastfeeding in the future when you become pregnant.