What happens if you want to breastfeed your baby but you have breast implants?
"I've had implants and nursed just fine," the mom of Vivianne, 9, Eric Jr., 7 and Forrest, 5, said during an Aug. 27 Instagram Q&A. "I will say the issue is if I had known we were going to have another, I wouldn't have gone so big."
Decker, who said she "treated herself" to a breast augmentation in May 2021, explained that she increases cup sizes during pregnancy.
"They get massive, like quadruple in size," she revealed. "Def need a reduction in the future."
And while the 35-year-old touched on a subject that's not often talked about, there were a lot of questions left unanswered. That's why we called in board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alexis Parcells who broke down everything you need to know about breastfeeding with breast implants.
Can you breastfeed with implants?
If you've ever wondered this, you aren't alone.
Long before Decker shared insight into her experience, celebrities like Coco Austin didn't even know it was possible. "I got breast implants," the model, who welcomed daughter Chanel with Ice-T, told E! News in 2016, "so I wasn't sure if I could even breastfeed."
According to Dr. Parcells, this is a common concern for many soon-to-be moms.
"Most women who have breast implants, whether they're silicone or saline are able to successfully breastfeed," she reassured. "And it's safe. We have done research to look at the breast milk and there have been no reports saying there's any danger."
Can nursing with breast implants impact the milk supply?
"For the most part, women who have implants can breastfeed successfully without issue," the New Jersey-based plastic surgeon shared. "It shouldn't affect your supply."
But there's a slight catch.
"If you're petite and you're getting really large implants, they could exert pressure on the mammary glands in the milk ducts and reduce your milk supply," she pointed out. "So, if you're considering getting implants, and you know you want to have children, that's an important conversation to have with your plastic surgeon."
Already have large implants and are expecting? Dr. Parcells suggested speaking to a lactation consultant prior to delivery to come up with a game plan.
Another factor to keep in mind: Where the incision was made when implants were placed.
"If the incision is made around the areola," she added, "then it's possible that there was some disruption of the ductile system and you may not be as proficient in lactating."
Are you more likely to get mastitis if you nurse with breast implants?
First things first, mastitis is when milk is trapped inside the breast and doesn't fully drain, leading to infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. So, with implants, will that cause clogged milk ducts? Well, Dr. Parcells said it depends on the location of your implants.
"If the breast implant is sitting on top of your muscle, it could be pushing up against the breast tissue and impact the ductal system," she explained, noting that if the implants are underneath the muscle, "It's not really going to be communicating at all with your breast tissue."
Overall, she pointed out, "It could theoretically happen, but it's not very common."
Can nursing with breast implants affect your cup size?
Decker brought up concerns about her boob size, noting they tend to get "massive" during pregnancy.
When it comes to this topic, the Sunnie Skincare founder said there are a few important factors to keep in mind. For one, no matter how you decide to feed your baby, your boobs will change in size and shape. Secondly, regardless if you got a breast augmentation or are au naturale, the girls will also grow.
Put simply, she said, "Your body is preparing to breastfeed during pregnancy."
The extent is dependent on your body and, as Dr. Parcells noted, how much your breast tissue transforms during pregnancy.
"For some women," she continued, "their breast size comes right back down to what it was pre-pregnancy. For others, they have stretch marks, looser skin and, with multiple pregnancies, this could be exacerbated. Time, gravity, hormone fluctuations, all of this interplays, so they may need a revision with a lift, a different change in profile or the size of their implants."
Can you exclusively pump if you have breast implants?
For those who decide to pump exclusively with implants, Dr. Parcells said there might be an added perk.
"Theoretically, there could be a decreased risk of mastitis," she shared. "Because you're not going to have that connection between the infant's mouth and the nipple."
All in all, whether or not you have implants, breastfeeding is no small feat. Click here to read celebrities' experience with nursing their babies.