Can you breastfeed with nipple piercings? Opponents of extreme jewelry unanimously claim that nipple piercing and breastfeeding are not compatible. However, doctors say that such a radical opinion is a mistake.
Does Nipple Piercing Destroy Milk Ducts?
Many women are worried about the fact that nipple piercing can allegedly disturb lactation. In fact, if the piercing is done correctly, then there will not be any negative consequences.
Moreover, such piercing may help to solve the problem of flat nipples which prevents normal feeding.
The strongest argument of the opponents of nipple piercing is that a puncture deforms milk ducts and leads to terrible consequences. In fact, this is a strong exaggeration. There are 20-30 milk ducts in each female nipple. With a competent puncture, the piercing deforms only 3-4 of them while the rest remains absolutely functional.
Can you Breastfeed with Nipple Piercings? Should you take your Piercing Off?
Many extreme moms point out that it is not even necessary to take the piercings off during the period of breastfeeding. However, in this issue, the doctors are against them. They strongly advise removing the jewelry for the time of breastfeeding. Suckling movements of the baby can relax the fastening of the jewelry, and the child can swallow the accessory.
In addition, it might be difficult for the baby to form the nipple and press it against the roof of their mouth if there is a piece of metal in the way. Latching on correctly at the breast is a skill that newborn babies have to learn. It can take some time for them to get the hang of it even when nipples are unpierced. While it may be possible for them to latch onto a nipple with jewelry in it, it will make it more difficult for them and may cause pain as the ring presses against the soft tissue of their tongue and palate.
However, very few young mothers breastfeed their babies without removing the jewelry. And this threatens the fact that the holes can quickly grow back together. In a matter of days the puncture narrows, and it is no longer possible to insert the jewelry back into the hole. It is also undesirable to remove and put on the jewelry a few times a day, as there is a possibility of injuring the duct and getting unpleasant consequences.
You can take the piercing out just before breastfeeding the child. However, frequent removal of jewelry can be painful during lactation. If you still decide to do it this way, then do not forget about the most thorough disinfection.
It is Better to Part with the Nipple Piercing During Pregnancy
Maternity welfare center’s specialists warn that a woman should take the nipple piercing off in the first trimester of pregnancy. There are two main reasons for this:
- increased susceptibility of the organism to infections;
- the threat of premature birth which arises from excessive stimulation of the nipples.
Thus, many young mothers part with nipple piercings, although some of them later decide to repeat the puncture. Piercing masters warn that repeated puncture of nipples is much more dangerous than the first one. The fact is that the second time it is much more difficult for a specialist to get a needle to a safe place. Doing a puncture in the same place is also impossible because it is very difficult to pierce the scar. The needle should enter the untouched flesh.
Repeated Puncture is Possible
If you really value your adornment, after the end of the lactation period you can always pierce the nipple again. Of course, you will have to endure another healing period. Take into account that a repeated puncture injures another 3-4 milk ducts. However, if you do not plan to have a second child this should not worry you at all.
In conclusion, it should be added that nipple piercing is a painful procedure. Therefore, it is done with the use of anesthesia. The puncture healing period is also complicated. Experts advise constantly wearing a bra, even while sleeping.
Piercing is a Rescue for the “Flat” Nipples
In ancient Egypt, nursing mothers often pierced their nipples in order for the nipple to move out of the areola, so that feeding became possible. If you are the owner of very flat nipples with piercings, then you’ve done the right thing. Breastfeeding will be easier for you than it would be without piercing.
Do Nipple Piercings interfere With Breastfeeding? Can you Breastfeed with Nipple Piercings?
Most women say that piercing does not interfere with breastfeeding. If you have your nipples pierced you may try yourself and see what happens. Keep in mind that constantly removing and inserting jewelry can be uncomfortable, especially if you feed in a public place. At the same time, if you keep the jewelry in the child may get an injury. In addition, healthy babies are born with a very strong suck. Therefore there is a theoretical risk that the ring may dislodge while breastfeeding and the baby might choke on it.
Some women feel that in the first days after giving birth the breast becomes too sensitive. It becomes uncomfortable to wear the piercing, so it is easier for them to take it off. And then, after the end of breastfeeding, they put it on again. Other women wear jewelry for several hours a day so that the puncture does not grow back together. During breastfeeding, the risk of infections is very high, so you will have to take extra care to ensure that the jewelry is perfectly clean.
Theoretically, a punctured milk duct may become clogged, which may lead to mastitis. But mastitis can occur without any piercing, so it is difficult to calculate the probability of such complications.
As you can see, nipple piercing and breastfeeding are absolutely compatible. You have nothing to fear. Just remember one important rule – the health of your baby is more important than even the most stunning piercing, so if there is a need, take the piercing off.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.