Stop Breast Feeding Before I Can Get Breast Implants?

I have 6 children the youngest being a year and I am breastfeeding her as well. I'm sure you know after so many children, the breasts just end up drooping. That is mine and I want to know if I can get implants while nursing or how soon after I stop breastfeeding my last child. I am really depressed about this and my sex life with my husband is horrible because of my feelings about my breast. I am really embarrased about myself. Please let me know my options.

Doctor Answers 23

Don't consider surgery while nursing.

After breast feeding, your breasts will tend to shrink as the hormonal demand for milk production stops. You should wait 3 to 6 months after stopping breast feeding before considering surgery. By then, your breast size will have stabilized. (Simply put, it is hard to hit a moving target.) Once you know your final size and shape, you can confidently choose the right size implant, or be certain if you also need a lift to get the results you desire. I hope this helps!

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Wait 3 Months For Implants After Breast Feeding

This is a common question among women who have noticed deflation and drooping of their breasts after pregnancy and breast feeding.

The hormone changes of pregnancy often have a profound effect on the size and shape of a woman's breasts.  Nursing stimulates hormone production that affect the breasts.

There can be further loss of volume during the month or two after a woman stops nursing, while the hormones and breasts adjust to the cessation of nursing or pregnancy.  To properly plan the surgery for the best outcome, the breast needs to recover from the temporary effects of hormone stimulation.  

Three months is a good time to allow the breast to recover from the effects of hormone stimulation of pregnancy and nursing. Then we can better choose the right size implant for achieving your goals.

This time for the breast to recover is also critical to making the judgment as to whether a lift is necessary, as well.

You also mentioned a very important issue about how bad you feel about your appearance and how this is affecting intimacy with your husband. If you haven't already, do speak with your husband about this.  You will likely find that he will be very loving and supportive, which you deserve at this special time.

Maternity has unique and great rewards that need not sacrifice your sense of femininity and sexuality. You owe it to yourself to avail yourself of the support that is available to you.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

How long to wait

In my San Francisco area practice we ask patients to wait for 3 - 6 months after they have stopped breast feeding before performing breast augmentation.

It takes at least this much time for your breasts to return to a non-lactating, post-partum size. Waiting allows you to find an implant size that is correct for you.

Milk production may continue for some period after you have stopped breast feeding. This can cause problems with wound healing and infection.

In addition make sure you have coordinated enough support and help at home as you may be sore and using pain medications for a few days post-op.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Wait 3-6 months before undergoing breast augmentation

Thank you for your inquiry regarding Breast Augmentation.  It is recommended to wait 3-6 months post breast feeding, until the breast glands stop producing milk.  Your breasts need to go back to their natural size and this will also reduce the risk of infection. 

Kao Plastic Surgery

Chia Chi Kao, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Don't get breast surgery until after breast feeding

You should wait at least 3 months after stopping breast feeding to have enhancement surgeries including augmentations and lifts. Only after at least that time will you know what your true starting point will be so the right surgery and implant size can be determined.

If it is negatively impacting your life so significantly perhaps it would be worth considering stopping breast feeding now so the breast restoration can be acomplished sooner.

The only other consideration would be to use a postoperatively adjustable saline implant made by Mentor Corp. This could be modified periodically as your breasts settle after breast feeding.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

After breast feeding, wait until all the milk has dried up before getting breast augmentation.

I don't know that having implants is contraindicated even during lactation but reasonably most plastic surgeons would want the lactation to have ceased before placing implants.  The size of the breasts will have steadied and this will help with size selection.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast Implants and Breast Feeding

Pregnancy and nursing will cause changes to your breast. It is recommned you wait 6 months after stopping breast feeding to get implants.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Stop Breast Feeding Before I Can Get Breast Implants

Thank you for submitting ypur 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

Jeff Angobaldo, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Breast Feeding and Breast Implants

Pregnancy and breast feeding can cause significant changes in a women’s breasts. These changes include loss of breast volume and the development of breast sag. For these reasons, it’s not unusual for women to request breast augmentation and in some cases breast lift surgery following pregnancy.
Occasionally these patients are still breast feeding. Patients who are actively breast feeding shouldn’t have breast augmentation surgery. We recommend that they wait at least 3 to 6 months after they stop lactating before proceeding with breast augmentation surgery. This delay allows the breasts to return to their normal baseline and helps with aesthetic judgments. In other words, the surgeon isn’t trying to hit a moving target. In addition, the potential for complications such as infection are probably less in patients who aren’t lactating.
If you’re considering breast augmentation it’s important to consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. This surgeon should be able to help formulate a treatment plan that addresses your concerns.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Breast feeding before implant placement

Thank you for your question. I would recommend waiting at least 6 months after you finish breast feeding before having implant surgery. Not only will your breast size decrease during this time but you will decrease your chances of infection.

Mark Deutsch, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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.