Can You Breastfeed After Nipple Piercing? 3 Things To Know

Can You Breastfeed After Nipple Piercing? 3 Things To Know

Thanks to celebrities, who hint they have had it done, the nipple piercing trend has recently made a huge comeback.

Right now, more women than men are having this body modification – and they often choose to have both nipples pierced.

If you’ve had your nipple(s) pierced, you might be concerned it could affect your ability to breastfeed. Alternatively, you might be thinking of getting your nipple pierced and wondering whether it’s a good idea.

Can You Breastfeed After Nipple Piercing? 3 Things To Know

Nipple piercing is typically done at the base of the nipple. It can be done at any angle but is typically done horizontally. It’s possible to have multiple piercings  – one on top of the other.

The question is, can you breastfeed after nipple piercing? The short answer is, yes, you can. However, it's a little more complicated than that.

Here are 3 things you need to know about nipple piercing and breastfeeding.

#1: Nipple Piercing Might Affect Supply

A very small amount of research has been done about how nipple piercing might affect breastfeeding. For example, there have been a few case reports of low supply in the breast that has had the nipple pierced.

Researchers think that the piercing might affect how the baby is able to remove milk from the breast. Production of breastmilk works on supply and demand, so if  the removal of milk is less effective, there is less supply.

#2: Nipple Piercing Might Interfere With Breastfeeding

Lactation consultants observed in some cases that when a mother kept her nipple jewellery on during breastfeeding, there was poor attachment. This meant the baby repeatedly came on and off the breast – slurping and gagging etc. These problems ceased once the mother removed the jewellery for breastfeeding.

Other breastfeeding mothers with nipple piercing, however, didn’t experienced any such problems with breastfeeding.

#3: Choking Is A Possible Hazard

If a mother keeps her nipple jewellery on for breastfeeding, it might come off as the baby sucks, with a risk of it getting stuck in his throat and causing him to choke.

It’s also possible for a baby’s mouth (e.g. gums, tongue, palate) to be injured by the nipple jewellery.

If you have a nipple piercing, it’s probably best to remove the jewellery while breastfeeding, for the reasons explained above.

If you’re thinking of getting a nipple piercing, it might be better to wait until after your breastfeeding days are over.

 

Renee Kam IBCLC CONTRIBUTOR

Renee Kam is mother to Jessica and Lara, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a physiotherapist, author of 'The Newborn Baby Manual' and an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with family and friends, horse riding, running and reading.


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