The question often arises, “how long after pregnancy can I have a breast augmentation.” This curiosity stems in part from the physiological inflation and deflation of the breasts that women observe during the peripartum period.
As a child grows in-utero the mother’s body prepares to nurture this newborn, and one of the most noticeable responses is enlargement of the mammary glands. When this tissue is functioning to produce milk the breasts continue to have a full, large and robust appearance. It is when the mother decides to stop breast feeding that she experiences the beginning of her breast tissue involution which leaves the breast looking small, and feeling deflated.
We always counsel our patients that our commitment to them is to provide a safe, long lasting result. With respect to providing a durable breast augmentation result, a stable size is essential. We always recommend that patients who have recently stopped breast feeding wait for at least 4 to 6 months after the last feeding or pumping session. This allows ample time for the breast to “dry out” and return to the shape and size that the breast “truly” is. There are no clear cut studies establishing these timelines so this is our recommendation based on experience, we emphasize each patient is unique. In general plastic surgeons find it more unreliable to plan around a changing part of the body, so when the breast reaches this “settled” time, we can plan for augmentation and expect results that we see in our non pregnant and non lactating patients…thus enabling us to provide a more stable and predictable outcome.