How Long After Breast-feeding Can I Get Breast Implants?

I am a 24 mother of two. I stopped breastfeeding my one-year-old child when he was 3 months old (over 9 months ago). My breasts have reached their post-partum normalcy, but I am still able to express very small amounts of milk if I squeeze my breast. How much longer should I wait before I should consider myself a good candidate for breast implants?

Doctor Answers 29

Wait at least 3 months after breast feeding before pursuing a breast augmentation

Typically I advise our patients to wait at least three months after breast feeding before proceeding with a breast augmentation procedure. This is to allow time for the breast glandular tissue to settle down from lactation, for the gland to reach its ultimate post partum size, and for the breast tissue to decrease in vascularity.

My very best wishes to you and your baby! I hope this helps.

Englewood Plastic Surgeon

We prefer at least 3 months.

It is amazing how long breast milk can hang around after stopping breast feeding. You should be fine to proceed with breast augmentation if you stopped 9 months ago. In general, we prefer a minimum of 3 months from the time the patient last breast fed and more time is preferable.

We do this for 2 reasons: 1. we want the breast to shrink down to its final size after breast feeding before inserting an implant . That way we know excatly what size the breast has settled to after breast feeding and we can choose the correct implant and 2. breast ducts communicate with the mouth of the baby and there are some bacteria that naturally live in those ducts. We want to minimize any chance of infection so waiting at least 3 months is our policy, although we can certainly see why some doctors would require more time.

Good luck!

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How long After Breast Feeding Before Getting Implants

It is best to wait at least 3-6 months after you have stopped breast feeding before getting breast implants. This will allow your breast to go back to their normal size and you will have a better idea regarding what size implant to choose.

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How Long After Breast-feeding Can I Get Breast Implants

Thank you for submitting your question. I tell my patients to wait a miniumim of 6 months after they complete breast feeding before they undergo breast surgery. Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best Wishes

Breast surgery after breast feeding

Typically I like to wait 3 months after breast-feeding has stopped prior to any breast surgery- augmentation, reduction, or breast lift.  This allows the breast to shrink after engorgement and allows the milk production to stop.  Occasionally, there can be small amounts of milk expressed after the 3 months, that is usually not an issue. If there is a significant amount of milk, I will send the patient back to their OB for a check.
A large amount of breast milk in the area around an implant can cause issues with infection or capsular contracture, so it is important to communicate with your board certified plastic surgeon if you are having excessive production.  Good luck!.

Ryan Hoffman, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

3 months after breast feeding

I typically ask the patients to wait 3 months after breast feeding before they get implants.  The milk you are able to express may place you at a higher risk of infection and capsular contracture.

Breast Augmentation after Breast feeding

In my practice I advise my patients to wait at least 6 months after breast feeding before a breast augmentation surgery. This is typically an adequate amount of time to allow the breast tissue and glands to reach the final post partum size/state and allows us to provide more accurate advice regarding your augmentation. 

Michael E. Ciaravino, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

BA following nursing

I recommend waiting until your breasts are back to baseline which takes several months following breast feeding to get a breast augmentation. I would recommend waiting a minimum of 6 months and 1 year is even better

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Breast Implants and Breastfeeding

As most other surgeons have commented, a standard time to wait for breast implants after breastfeeding is about 3 months. In your case, I think the small amount of milk produced should not pose a real problem. However, I recommend you see a board-certified plastic surgeon for a complete evaluation just to be safe.

I Recommend Waiting 3 to 6 Months Following Breast-Feeding for Breast Augmentation

Pregnancy and breast-feeding cause significant changes in a woman’s breasts. In response to hormonal changes, the breasts become more vascular and the glandular elements increase in size. This results in the breasts becoming larger and the skin stretching.
When breast-feeding is complete, the glandular elements shrink and as a result, the breasts become smaller and develop sagginess. It may take several months for this process to be completed and for the situation to stabilize. Until this happens, it’s impossible to know what the best option is for any patient.
The presence of milk within the breasts can lead to a higher complication rate. Residual milk can cause collections of milk within the breasts in the post-operative period, which can delay healing and ultimately cause infection.
It’s important to wait three to six months before proceeding with cosmetic breast surgery. At this time, the breasts should have reached their new baseline. At this point, a determination of breast implant size can be easily made.
In addition, it should be easy to determine if a patient needs a breast lift procedure.
When breast augmentation is delayed for a minimum of three to six months following breast-feeding, patients ultimately have lower complication rates and higher satisfaction rates. In your situation, it would be reasonable to proceed with breast augmentation at this time.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.