Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercings?

Body modifications consist of a number of practices, including piercing, branding, tattooing, and scarification. Although the practice of body modification is not new, it has risen in popularity in the last two decades. Interestingly, people are now trying body piercing and tattooing in not-so-common parts of their bodies. For instance, more and more women are now going for nipper piercings. It leaves women with many questions as well, like "Can you breastfeed with nipple piercings?" The question often makes women drop the idea of having their nipples pierced. Is there any harm in getting your nipple pierced and continuing with breastfeeding? Let's find out more about it.


Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercings?

Yes, you can. You do not have to worry about piercings while breastfeeding, especially if you give the piercing enough time to heal. However, many women may notice milk leaking out of the tiny hole made while piercing. Moreover, you need to be a bit careful about certain nursing issues, such as plugged ducts and engorgement because these issues are likely to become worse with nipple piercings.

You usually do not develop an infection later if you experienced no issue right after getting your nipple pierced. Moreover, the breasts will have no issues producing adequate milk after piercings. Just keep in mind that it is usually a good idea to go for horizontal piercings instead of vertical because they do not interfere much with nursing.

Precautions to Keep in Mind

Can you breastfeed with nipple piercings? You already know the answer, but it is still a good idea to pay attention to a few things to avoid any possible complications.

1. Try to Plan Ahead of Time

It means that you should choose the right time to get your nipple pierced. Ideally, you should consider getting your nipple pierced at least a year before you have plans to have a baby. The reason is that in some cases piercings can take a year to heal completely. That is probably the reason why most reputable piercers are not going to pierce you when you are pregnant. Your body needs time to heal the wound, and breastfeeding would expose that wound to germs found in baby's saliva. You also need to keep the jewelry in its place until the wound heals completely, and it can become an issue when you have to breastfeed your baby often.

2. Be Sure to Remove the Jewelry While Nursing

Your baby will not be comfortable feeding from the nipple with jewelry still on, which is why you should have it removed every time you nurse your baby. If you have a metal piece in the nipple, it may hurt your baby's mouth. With jewelry not being removed, it can become difficult for a newborn to learn the art of latching on correctly. While it is quite unlikely, it is possible for your baby to suck so hard that it dislodges the ring or piece of metal you have in the piercing. It means that the jewelry in the piercing is a choking hazard as well. So, be sure to remove it to avoid any problem.

Experts believe that it is better to not wear the ring for the first few weeks of nursing. You will be breastfeeding your child often (10-12 times a day)and it is better to not wear the jewelry to avoid any inconvenience. You can wear it again once your baby stops nursing as often. Some women do not remove the jewelry completely for a few weeks worrying that it would make the hole to grow back together. You do not have to worry about it, but you can simply replace it once a day to be on the safe side.

3. Pick the Right Jewelry

Getting your nipples pierced is one thing and finding the right piece of jewelry to keep the hole open is an entirely different thing. You will have a wide range of jewelry to choose from, but you will be better off picking titanium, niobium, platinum, or surgical stainless steel jewelry. It is also a good idea to wear nickel-free gold jewelry to avoid any allergy risk. When not sure, ask your piercer to help you find the right design that is easy to take in and out while breastfeeding. Rings are usually the easiest to remove, but they can get dislodged while breastfeeding, so be sure to have them removed before nursing.

4. Work Closely with Your Doctor

While nursing, you should keep in touch with your healthcare team because you will need their help with so many things from the baby not latching on properly or not feeding as often as they should. You should also ask them how to proceed when you have your nipples pierced. You can also talk to a lactation consultant for advice and they can share the do's and don'ts when breastfeeding with nipple piercings. Be sure to inform your healthcare team about any breastfeeding problems you may be experiencing. You should monitor your baby's growth at the same time to ensure that everything is working just fine.

5. Do Not Stop

If you are really thinking of getting your nipples pierced, know that it does not stop you from breastfeeding. There may be some precautionary measures you have to take, but ensure that you do not stop nursing your baby because your piercings are causing some discomfort. Simply inform your doctor and follow their advice to manage things properly.

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