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 33

Most surgeons recommend waiting 6 months before getting breast implants.

After pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts take time to reach their post-partum set point. It’s important to wait for the breasts to shrink to their final size so that you have a clear idea of which implant size, type and placement to choose. Although it’s not uncommon for some women to express small amounts of milk 9 months after breastfeeding, it’s certainly worth noting to both your OB/GYN and a board-certified plastic surgeon. In most cases, small amounts of milk won’t interfere with breast augmentation. However, there is some concern for the milk causing heightened risk of infection.

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 35 reviews

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

You should wait 3 - 6 months after you are done breastfeeding to get implants.

The purpose of this time period is that you want your hormones to return to pre-pregnancy levels. Additionally, you want your breasts to go back to pre-pregnancy size, no longer swollen with milk.

You are the best judge of when your breasts have returned to what they looked like before you were pregnant.

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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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.

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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.