Breastfeeding

Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercing?

Can you breastfeed with nipple piercing or not? Or Should you pierce your nipple if you want to have a baby in the future? Well, the answer is 60% YES and 40% NO. Reading the whole research and explanation you will gradually understand why yes and why no.

People have different choices about their bodies. They often want to adorn their body with different kinds of piercing. Nipple piercing has become another form of modification that has long-term consequences, especially for women. You should know: What to do before getting pregnant?

Maybe once you were adventurous and had pierced your nipple, but now you have conceived, trying to conceive, or have become a mother. Being a mother with a pierced nipple, the first thing that comes to your mind is breastfeeding. 

Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercing?
Can I breastfeed with nipple piercing?

Can I breastfeed with nipple piercing?

And the answer is YES, you can continue breastfeeding with nipple piercing but may not like the regular mothers. Sometimes you may not breastfeed with nipple piercing if you have certain conditions. In this article, you will get all your answers, read between the lines till the end.

Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercing?
What Is Nipple Piercing?

What is Nipple Piercing?

Piercing of the nipple, in general, is perforated horizontally or vertically, depending on the situation. If you have more than one piercing, you can stack them on top of each other. It is more like some common piercing like ear or nose. But women basically do it for personal modification where the men do it to add more fashion to their lifestyle. 

Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercing: Some Common Body Mods? 
Some Common Body Mods? 

Some Common Body Mods? 

Body mods or body modification have become a popular trend nowadays. Piercing is one of the most common ones. People pierce their bodies and adorn them with jewelry. They basically pierce their ear, nose, tongue, near the mouth, naval area, nipple, and where not. Some other common body mods are:

  1. Making tattoos 
  2. Implantation of skin
  3. Earlobe stretching
  4. Tongue splitting
  5. Scarification
Can you breastfeed with nipple piercing? 
Can you breastfeed with nipple piercing? 

Can you breastfeed with nipple piercing? 

The quick response to this question is ‘YES’ your ability to breastfeed may not be affected if you have or plan to get a piercing, but you really should delay until the piercing is healed before breastfeeding. You may like our recent publication on How to Stop Peeling Skin on New Born?

As long as your nipple is pierced, it shouldn’t affect your ability to nurse. Mammary glands are located in the breast tissue of female mammals, beneath the nipple, and generate breast milk. Fortunately, not everyone has to deal with this situation. However, this could happen if a piercing restricts or damages ducts in the nipple, causing milk to flow more slowly.

The answer depends more on whether you are nursing with holes from previous piercings or whether you are breastfeeding with jewelry still on. Breastfeeding can be affected by nipple piercings for both the mother and the infant. Nerve injury that affects the milk ejection reflex or scarring that obstructs milk flow is a common concern for moms. Mastitis and abscesses have also been reported as a result of previous nipple piercings. So it is sometimes advisable to wait a little bit longer between when the first piercing was done and when a baby is born to have a good outcome.

Breastfeeding with Nipple Piercing: Risks and Precautions
Breastfeeding with Nipple Piercing: Risks and Precautions

# Breastfeeding with Nipple Piercing: Risks and Precautions

There are certain health risks associated with nipple piercing. Nipple piercing may be riskier for you if you have a health condition or are on medicine that makes you more likely to have an infection or bleed profusely. Let’s see: Meal Plan for 06 Month Old Baby.

Healing takes longer. Most other pierced regions of your body heal more slowly than the nipple. Yours could take up to 6 months to recover.

01. Breastfeeding and Lactation 

Breastfeeding may be hampered if you have a pierced nipple. Scar tissue around your piercing or nipple ring may obstruct your milk ducts. Damage to the nerves in your nipple may make it difficult for milk to flow out. The use of nipple jewellery may make it more difficult for your infant to latch on.

Your kid could choke or swallow a nipple ring that is too loose. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t get your nipples pierced. It’s best to wait a few months after you’ve finished nursing.

02. Abscesses

Abscesses are more likely to form on pierced nipples. The lump under your nipple or in your breast is uncomfortable and loaded with pus. You’ll need to consult a doctor to get treatment for your condition.

03. Infection

Nipples are sensitive tissue that is related to the milk ducts of the mammary gland. An infected nipple piercing is more likely than other piercings. Nipple or areola infections can occur months or even years after the piercing of the nipple or areola.

Nipple or areola infections can occur months or even years after the piercing of the nipple or areola. Unsterilized equipment, like any other body piercing, might expose you to blood-borne infections including HIV, hepatitis B or C, or tetanus.

The skin is torn. It can shred your flesh and require stitches if your nipple ring gets stuck on your garments and pulls loose.

04. Precautions

The preciouses are very simple. Try to consult a doctor before piercing your nipples just to ensure whether you have any health history which will prolong your healing session. If you are planning to have a child then skip it for the future hassle. If you already have a baby with your pierced nipple then do not put your jewellery on.

Nipple Ring Breastfeeding Possible? Problems & Solutions?
Nipple Ring Breastfeeding Possible? Problems & Solutions?

Nipple Ring Breastfeeding Possible? Problems & Solutions?

Nipple piercing is not a big problem for breastfeeding. Often the main problem is the jewelry, if you are still on with the jewelry then you need to know some risks that can take place for it.

It is difficult for the newborn to latch on correctly, breastfeeding with piercings in place might raise the danger of choking if the jewellery comes loose and falls off. An infant’s mouth could also be damaged by jewellery. For some babies, however, the extra holes formed by their piercings can lead to a quicker milk supply. Laying down and using nursing pads to catch surplus milk can assist.

Your jewellery may catch on garments and other fabrics, be pulled, or bother your skin as your tummy and breasts swell. Replace it with a clean cloth or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) necklaces (flexible plastic used for surgical implants).

It is suggested and best practice to remove any nipple jewellery for the duration of your breastfeeding journey, whether it is 6 weeks, 6 months, a year, or longer.

On the other hand, some mums prefer to take off their jewellery before each breastfeeding session. To avoid infection in your nipples, which could lead to mastitis or illness in your infant, it’s critical that you wash your hands before removing and reinserting your jewellery, and that you keep the jewellery clean. 

The final alternative, which is generally NOT suggested, is to leave the jewellery on and make sure it is thoroughly tightened before each session. To avoid choking or harm to your infant’s mouth, keep a close eye on his or her latch and actions at the breast.

Can you breast pump with nipple piercings?
Can you breast pump with nipple piercings?

Can you breast pump with nipple piercings?

Well, the answer is not the same for all mothers. Breast pumps can be often painful and uncomfortable for mothers with pierced nipples. Many mums face it because their piercing is not healed yet. Or even they try to pump their breasts with the jewelry on. The chances of infection become prominent when you have pierced nipples pumping. Actually, this is very painful. You better consult a doctor before taking the risk.

Can you still breastfeed with nipple piercing? 
Can you still breastfeed with nipple piercing? 

Can you still breastfeed with nipple piercing? 

Yes, you can. Breastfeeding is required after giving birth, however, it may be more comfortable for you and easier for the infant if you remove your nipple rings. While your jewellery is out, you could temporarily switch to BioPlast straight barbells or dental-grade acrylic nipple piercing retainers instead of removing your jewellery to prevent your nipple piercings from closing up. Let’s see: Can babies eat oatmeal?

Less likely to get in your baby’s way, and less likely to deter it from sucking on your pierced breasts. These nipple rings are made of soft materials, such as silicone or rubber. But the best way is to remove it and let your baby suck your breast normally. 

Do I have to take my nipple piercings out when pregnant?
Do I have to take my nipple piercings out when pregnant?

Do I have to take my nipple piercings out when pregnant?

It depends on the healing process of your piercing.  Because of the physical changes occurring in your body during pregnancy or while attempting to conceive, women are advised not to have piercings on the belly button, nipples, or genitalia. 

The holes in your breasts and stomach do not entirely heal as you grow older, and they often become larger and more susceptible to infection. Throughout pregnancy, women should avoid piercing their bellies and nipples.

The bottom line becomes comfort!

If you already have pierced nipples, there is no medical reason to remove your jewellery if your piercing has healed completely and you are comfortable with it. So you can have it in your pregnancy if it is completely healed.

Can nipple piercing holes go away?
Can nipple piercing holes go away?

Can nipple piercing holes go away?

The nipple is a very delicate place. The sad news is that after a few years, the nipple piercing will close up without wearing jewellery. No matter how long you’ve had the hole, as long as you do not, however, wear a ring or barbell, it will close up in just a few days.

You’ll have to get it re-pierced as a result of this. However, some people are fortunate enough to have the hole even if they go years without wearing jewellery.

For this group of folks, the only problem might be that the hole might feel a bit snug. For a while, it will be uncomfortable, but it will get better over time.

Can scar tissue from nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?
Can scar tissue from nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?

Can scar tissue from nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?

In addition to possibly obstructing the delicate milk-producing channels, some women have scarring in the nipple after a piercing procedure.

your nipples have some tiny holes which help in the flow of milk. Scar tissues can definitely clog those holes and create some obstacles in the milk flow. 

Invisible to the bare eye, scarring can clog milk ducts and stop or decrease milk supply. When there are several piercings in a single nipple, the probability of scarring is greater.

It’s also worth noting that nipple piercings might lead to breast issues like mastitis or a breast abscess.

Does pierced milk duct? (if what to do) 
Does pierced milk duct? (if what to do) 

Does pierced milk duct? (if what to do) 

Although piercing your nipple will not affect your nursing, piercing your areola will. It’s conceivable that your piercing punctured your milk ducts. Milk ducts can become clogged as a result of this. If a specific part of your breast refuses to discharge milk, you have clogged milk ducts.

But don’t be concerned! In most cases, a blocked milk duct will clear up within 24 to 48 hours. The even better news is on the way! Your plugged milk duct may usually be treated at home. 

Breastfeeding Tips with Nipple Piercing
Breastfeeding Tips with Nipple Piercing

Breastfeeding Tips with Nipple Piercing

  1.  Anticipate the desire of your babies
  2. Your Baby Should  Determine when  and How Long to Nurse
  3. Be comfortable while nursing
  4. Try to be relaxed 
  5. Finding the right position is a must 
  6. Don’t Become afraid while your breast is leaking 
  7. Don’t forget to pamper your skin
  8. Don’t think much about your milk production 
  9. Check while you are breastfeeding 
  10.  Avoid engorgement 
Does a nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?
Does a nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?

Does a nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?

Nipple piercing can affect breastfeeding in some certain conditions. In most cases, nipple piercing is not a problem while the mom and baby both are okay. Generally, babies get used to sucking the pierced nipple and can grow properly. But, nipple piercing is not recommended if you would like to have a baby in the future.

Dr. Geoffrey Modest with his colleague reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that a 20-year-old lady went to the doctor 3 weeks after having her nipples pierced because she was heavily suffering and discharged. She later returned because, despite not being pregnant, both of the breasts were producing milk. Her body was producing high amounts of prolactin, a hormone linked to milk production, according to tests. While the amount was not harmful, he cautioned that it can often indicate the presence of a breast tumor in a woman who is not pregnant. The nipple rings, together with an infection, appeared to stimulate the breasts into producing milk in this case. The woman recovered when the rings were removed, even though she later became pregnant and underwent an abortion.

How long after breastfeeding can I pierce my nipples?
How long after breastfeeding can I pierce my nipples?

How long after breastfeeding can I pierce my nipples?

Mothers should wait three to four months after weaning to receive nipple piercings since hormonal fluctuations during breastfeeding can disrupt the healing process. During and after pregnancy, you will notice a range of physical changes. Though everyone is different, most of the women feel “normal” again after around six months. Nipple tissues, on the other hand, are extremely delicate. It takes longer to heal than most other pierced places of the human body (six to twelve months).

Expert piercers will not pierce a lady who is presently breastfeeding, and will actively prohibit a new mother from doing so. In that situation, you’ll have to consider whether or not you can wait till your child is weaned. Another approach is to dry one breast first and then pierce your nipples one at a time. The optimal time to pierce your nipples, according to the physician, is 18-24 months before conception or at least 3 months after weaning.

So, if you can wait until after you’ve given birth, particularly after postpartum healing, before acquiring one that would be best. Thus, the piercing will be completely healed before the physical and hormonal changes that come with pregnancy. This time span also permits jewelry to be removed while breastfeeding without fear of the hole closing up and saliva should not enter a freshly pierced nipple as well as jewelry should not be removed throughout the healing process. (if a woman does it before their pregnancy)

Can I breastfeed if I have had my nipples pierced?
Can I breastfeed if I have had my nipples pierced?

Can I breastfeed if I have had my nipples pierced?

“Does a nipple piercing affect breastfeeding?” is a popular question among pierced mothers. Yes, is the quickest and shortest response to this question. If you have a piercing nipple or are considering getting one, it is unlikely that it would interfere with your ability to nurse, though you should wait until the piercing has healed completely before breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding after nipple piercing should be fine because nipple piercings seldom affect milk production. Breast milk is generated by the mammary glands, which are found behind the nipple in female mammals’ breast tissue. Whether or not you have a piercing, these glands will produce milk after giving delivery. However, while a nipple piercing does not stop the production of milk, it may cause your milk flow to be slightly disrupted. Breastfeeding mothers with nipple piercings may be more susceptible to mastitis because piercings can become infected. Nerve damage or scarring from a piercing or infection can also stifle your supply or delay your milk flow in rare situations.

This isn’t something that happens to everyone. So don’t be too concerned. Though a nipple piercing may affect your milk flow, still breastfeeding after nipple piercing is perfectly acceptable. Mothers who have just had their nipples pierced must wait for the piercing to heal completely before they can nurse.

The likelihood of milk leaking through your piercing hole is less serious, but still worth knowing about. If you detect it happening, you should have a towel or cup handy to capture any dribbles. It’s also possible for piercings, especially older ones, to leak a little amount of fluid.  If you want to learn how to breastfeed after nipple piercing safely in detail you need to read the article all the way to the end.

Can nipple piercing cause lactation?
Can nipple piercing cause lactation?

Can nipple piercing cause lactation?

Nipple piercing cannot be the cause of lactation in the majority of cases. Basically, lactation is the system by which milk is produced and released by the mammary glands of a postpartum female breast in response to a newborn suckling at the nipple. During the latter months of pregnancy, a complicated interaction between three hormones — estrogen, progesterone, and human placental lactogen — triggers the natural production of breast milk (lactation). If someone experiences lactation prior to this time, her body hormones may be the cause of her inability, not nipple piercing.

Doctors in Boston originally reported in November of 2002 that a young lady who wasn’t pregnant started producing milk; possibly because her nipple rings stimulated her breasts into thinking she was nursing. This is considered to be the first time that a link between body piercing and lactation has been discovered. “I suppose ladies should be aware of the risk,” a family practice doctor and medical professor at Boston University School of Medicine has remarked. “If they start lactating, they should probably consult a doctor just to make sure.”

Dr. Lester B. Mayers, sports medicine director at Pace University in New York, who has examined body piercing, has remarked that the Boston University doctors’ explanation of the woman’s situation makes sense. “With nursing and breastfeeding, there’s a sophisticated reflex in action.  Sucking stimulates lactation; hence the nipples must have receptors. It’s possible that the mechanical stimulation induced by a piercing could activate that reflex if it’s in the proper tissue in the breast.”

Why can't you get a piercing while nursing?
Why can’t you get a piercing while nursing?

Why can’t you get a piercing while nursing?

Even though it’s acceptable to nurse with a nipple piercing, it’s nearly impossible to pierce while constantly nursing a small baby. Most piercing professionals avoid piercing pregnant or lactating women, and there are numerous reasons to avoid getting new piercings while you’re expecting. The primary cause for this is that you are more susceptible to infection. Nipple piercings take six to twelve months to heal, and up to 20% of those who get them are more prone to get infected. During pregnancy, your immune system may have a harder difficulty fighting off possible invaders, making a piercing even more susceptible to infection.

Nipples can be pierced in a number of different ways, including horizontally, vertically, diagonally, or in any combination of these. Both or one of the nipples can be pierced at the same time. Jewelry or metals including gold, silver, and stainless steel, as well as glass, acrylic, bone, and stone, can all cause an infection because a nipple piercing is more likely than other types of piercings to become infected. Infections can occur even after your nipple or areola, the darker ring surrounding the nipple has been pierced. Unsterilized equipment, like any other body piercing, might expose you to blood-borne infections including HIV, hepatitis B or C, or tetanus.

Breastfeeding safely with a nipple piercing (How)
Breastfeeding safely with a nipple piercing (How)

Breastfeeding safely with a nipple piercing (How)

Learning to breastfeed, whether you have a nipple piercing or not, is a process that both you and your baby must go through. However, pierced mothers should be aware of a few additional guidelines and precautions.

01. Take off your jewelry

Before nursing, always take off your jewelry. Because piercing jewelry can cause choking and harm to your baby’s mouth tissue, you should always remove your ring or stud before a feeding session. If there’s any possibility you’ll forget, you’re better off removing the jewelry entirely — at least for the first few months, when you’ll be breastfeeding around the clock. Breastfeeding should not be done while you have put on your jewelry

02. Keep your jewelry tidy

To limit the risk of infection, thoroughly wash your hands after removing your piercing. Also, cleanse the area around your piercing with soap and water on a regular basis. Clean the nipple jewelry thoroughly with warm water and a bar of mild unscented soap before reinsertion. . Because sea salt is a natural antimicrobial, you can also soak the jewelry in it. Before re-inserting the jewelry, let it dry thoroughly. Before your infant’s breastfeeding, get rid of any old discharge or dead skin cell buildup.

03. Expressing

Think about expressing yourself first. At the start of a nursing session, old discharge or skin cells could also be expelled. Before feeding, try pumping or hand-expressing for a minute or two to filter out any debris so your baby doesn’t consume it.

04. Position and Attachment

You should consider your position. Breast milk may flow quicker or in different directions as a result of piercing holes, making nursing more difficult for your infant. If the amount of milk coming out appears to be too much for her to handle, try leaning back or resting on her side to reduce the flow.

05. IYCF Counsellor

Seek assistance if you need an IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding) counselor. When your nipple piercing is making it difficult for your baby to latch or if you’re having other problems, consult a lactation specialist or your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible.

M.D., MPH (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) Furman University, BS - Tulane University School of Public Health, MPH - University of Illinois at Chicago, MD

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