Some women decide to have plastic surgery after they have been pregnant, seeking out procedures such as a mommy makeover to help them get their pre-baby body back. Others might choose to have surgery before having a baby, either because they aren’t sure if they’ll have kids or because pregnancy is something that remains far in the future.
Having plastic surgery, such as breast augmentation, won’t affect your ability to get pregnant later on. But the pregnancy itself might cause changes to your appearance that will affect the results of your surgery. Although everyone is different, it can be useful to know what to expect if you get pregnant after getting breast implants.
How Long After Breast Augmentation Should You Wait Before Getting Pregnant?
It’s important to give your body time to heal after surgery before you get pregnant. If pregnancy is something you see in the near future, you should probably consider postponing your surgery until after you’ve given birth and are done breastfeeding, as doing so will eliminate the chance of the pregnancy causing changes to your breasts.
But, let’s say you recently had breast augmentation and you’ve decided to start a family. It’s best to wait at least six months or so after the surgery to start trying to get pregnant. Waiting six months gives your body time to heal and allows your implants time to settle in.
What happens if you planned on waiting to get pregnant, but things didn’t go as planned? If you end up pregnant by surprise a few weeks or within a couple of months of your breast augmentation surgery, things should be fine. You’ll be able to have a healthy pregnancy, as long as you work with your OB/GYN and continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
How Will Pregnancy Change Your Breasts?
One of the reasons you might want to wait on breast augmentation until after you’ve had children is that there is no way to know for sure how pregnancy will change your breasts. Some women notice that their breasts get bigger during pregnancy, then shrink dramatically afterward. Changes in the skin of the breasts can make them droopier or saggier after pregnancy, too.
While your breasts might change as a result of your pregnancy, the implants themselves will stay the same. Because of changes in the breast tissue or skin, though, the implants might become more visible after pregnancy or might shift in position.
Will You Be Able to Breastfeed?
Getting breast implants usually doesn’t affect your ability to breastfeed your baby. If you are particularly concerned about the issue, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your plastic surgeon before moving forward with breast augmentation. Your surgeon can make decisions about the placement of the implants and the positioning of the incisions that would minimize the potential impact on your ability to breastfeed afterward.
For example, sub-muscular placement of the implants is less likely to affect breastfeeding compared to sub-glandular. Making the incision in the crease of the breast, rather than around the nipples, is also less likely to affect breastfeeding.
Along with being concerned about being able to breastfeed your baby, you might be worried about the safety of breastfeeding with implants. Tests of breastmilk from women who had silicone implants and from women who did not have implants found little to no difference in the levels of silicone detected in the milk. Whether you have implants or not, your breastmilk should be safe for your baby.
Revising Your Implants After Pregnancy
Pregnancy changes your body drastically, and in unpredictable ways. After giving birth and breastfeeding, you might find that your breasts are no longer as perky as they once were. They might have gained or lost a considerable amount of volume.
If that’s the case, you might consider revising your implants to change the size and shape of your breasts. Depending on your goals, breast implant revision can be performed as part of a mommy makeover or on its own. During the surgery, Dr. Vitenas will remove the old implants, shape the breast tissue, and place new implants.
As with any other plastic surgery, it’s important to have a consultation with the surgeon first. During the consultation, you’ll discuss your goals and expectations for the surgery. Dr. Vitenas can help you decide on the right type of implants to replace your old ones and can make recommendations for other procedures, such as a tummy tuck or breast lift, that will complement the implant revision.
Should You Wait to Have Breast Augmentation?
Is it better to wait to have breast augmentation until after you’ve had children? It really all depends. If you’re in your early 20s and pregnancy is still a decade or so in the future, then it might make sense to go ahead with the implants now. If you’re older and anticipate starting your family sooner rather than later, postponing the surgery until after you’ve had your children might make more sense.
Just as there aren’t one-size-fits-all breast implants, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to deciding when to have your surgery. It’s all about choosing what works best for your life now and in the near future.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas who’s been named one of the area’s top breast surgeons. To learn more about pregnancy and breast augmentation, call 281-484-0088 or book an online consultation at his practice today.