Breast feeding and implants

Breast feeding and implants

The main concerns that women have about breast feeding and implants are:

  1. Do the implants leak silicone compounds into breast milk?
  2. And can any silicone that makes its way into breast milk harm my baby?

Another common question is whether silicone in breast implants can travel across the placenta during pregnancy and cause harm to the unborn baby?

What we know?

  1. The advantages of breast feeding are well documented.
  2. The majority of women who undergo breast augmentation can successfully breast feed. Breast augmentation usually does not involve severing milk ducts or the destruction of functional breast tissue, and is usually compatible with lactation.
  3. Silicon is widely present in the environment and avoiding ingestion is difficult.  Silicone drops have been used for years in Europe and the USA for colic.
  4. Studies have shown no difference in the levels of silicon (compound of silicone gel) in the breast milk of women with or without implants.  Silicon levels in alternative methods of infant nutrition (store-bought cow’s milk) were much higher!  Reference:
  5. The American Regulator, the FDA, after conducting extensive studies and trials, reintroduced silicone gel implants in 2006 after a temporary ban that lasted 15 years.
  6. The UK Regulator MHRS commissioned toxicity testing on the unapproved silicone gel used to fill PIP implants including genotoxicity and chemical toxicity.  The results of these tests have been discussed with relevant experts and the conclusion is that there are no safety issues relating to this filler material.  The French Regulator confirmed these conclusions.
  7. The MHRA consulted with experts to discuss whether there was any danger to ladies who breast fed with these implants. It was concluded that there were no safety issues.

child

Conclusion.

There appears to be no contraindication to breast feeding in women who have silicone gel implants including those who have the PIP implants. It is recommended that women concerned about their implants, who are intending to breast feed their babies, see their implanting surgeon for clinical examination and, if indicated, a scan. For women who do have PIP implants are advice remains that these implants should be removed or exchanged.