University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: (434) 924-1234
Location Hours: Monday–Friday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Breast Augmentation: Before or After Pregnancy?

Blonde young woman in blue floppy hat holding baby girl looking at each other

A woman who is considering getting breast implants but also thinks she may want to get pregnant and breastfeed after her surgery may decide to postpone the procedure until she’s finished having children. Determining the best time to get implants can be a complicated decision that should be made after consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon at our UVA Charlottesville or Fishersville, VA, offices.

Timing is usually the key that determines a woman’s choice. If you’re thinking about breast augmentation but are planning to have a child within a year or 2, it usually makes sense to delay getting implants. That’s because many women’s breasts change shape and size during and after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Even though every woman’s body is unique, breasts often appear deflated after pregnancy.

As you can see, the choice isn’t clear-cut. It is important to know that breast implants are not thought to interfere with a mother’s ability to breastfeed a baby. It’s a common misconception that breast implants can cause breastfeeding complications, and women frequently ask about this during consultation with our surgeons.

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed every year and it’s important to have reliable information about the surgery. As long as breast augmentation patients tell their surgeon that they are considering having children in the future, the surgeon can use techniques to ensure that the ability to breastfeed isn’t affected. For example, if a woman plans to breastfeed, a surgeon won’t make incisions on the lower edge of the areolae (the darker skin surrounding the nipple) to avoid any risk of injuring the ducts that provide breast milk and reduce the chance of causing changes in sensation to the nipple complexes.

Sometimes women in their early 20s get breast implants because they are self-conscious about their bodies. If these women later have children, their breasts may change yet again. Some women therefore decide to have revision breast augmentation after having children to improve the appearance of their post-pregnancy breasts. That procedure often involves replacing implants with a new generation of devices and may also combine a breast lift with the augmentation.  With implants placed behind the underlying muscle, it is not thought that the breast implants have a negative effect on the shape or position of the breasts after pregnancy or breast feeding.

In fact, post-pregnancy breast augmentation surgery can combine multiple body contouring procedures, such as a tummy tuck and liposuction, as part of what’s known as a mommy makeover.

The final decision about when to get breast augmentation surgery is, of course, up to each individual woman. The best way to begin evaluating the choices you have is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon at UVA Plastic Surgery at either our Charlottesville or Fishersville offices. You can do that using the online form or by calling us at (434) 924-1234 to schedule an appointment. You can also get an idea of the kinds of breast augmentation results our surgeons produce by viewing our before-and-after photo gallery.

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