If you have nipple piercing or tattoos on your breast you must wondering about the consequences of breastfeeding your child. In this article we will discuss whether or not you can normally breastfeed with a nipple ring. Additionally we will also throw lights on the risk factors associated with this process. We will discuss the risk for you and also for your baby. Moreover, the article also provides recommendations for you on how you can sustain a healthy breast feeding habit for your child.
Everything You Need to Know About Breastfeeding with Nipple Rings
The answer to the question which haunts many mothers and would-be mothers is yes. Yes you can breastfeed with a nipple ring. Many mothers carry on successfully breastfeeding their child with nipple rings. Under normal conditions nipple rings do not pose any hindrances. However, study conducted by Armstrong & Calindo (2006) does point to certain risks pertaining to breastfeeding with a nipple ring on.
We will come to those risks later but there are also a number of overwhelming evidences suggesting that it is safe to breastfeed with nipple rings. There are many mothers who carry on breastfeeding quite successfully, even after having nipple piercing.
What are the risks for the mother?
All piercing carry some risks. Nipple piercing carries some additional ones. All mothers should be aware of those risks. Nipple piercing takes around a year to heal. Then there are chances of infections.
Also there are possibilities of your milk ducts getting damaged. This will cripple your chances of breastfeeding. This will lower the flow of milk to the baby. It will disable your child to draw the desired amount of nutrition from you.
Apart from that, piercing also leaves the possibilities of milk getting leaked from the pierced holes. It will reduce the extra sensitivity of your nipples. Some tissues might remain scarred forever. There are instances of allergies also reported. The constant touch with metal cases such allergies.
What are the risks for the baby?
Leaking milk is always a challenge for the child. He/she would not able to adjust to the pressure of the flow of the milk. Under normal circumstances the child exerts the sucking pressure to extract milk from his/her mother’s breasts.
However, piercing causes the ruptures in the nipples. For that reason the milk ooze out at a much faster pace than anticipated. This might choke your child.
Moreover, if your milk duct is damaged during nipple piercing then your baby will be deprived from the adequate supply of milk. This will result in lower weight gain and hindered growth.
Your child might also face difficulties in latching. The metal might also damage your baby’s tender mouth. Sometimes it might also lead to chocking in case your child is trying too hard to suck out the milk from your nipple.
Recommendations for Breastfeeding with Nipple Rings:
There are ways by which you can manage breastfeeding even whilst fulfilling your desire of having a nipple ring. You just need to adhere to the following sets of recommendations in order to do that:
Plan Your Piercing:
If it is not too late you can always plan your piercing properly. Ideally the suitable time to start breastfeeding is 18-24 months after piercing. Or you can plan your piercing 3 months after weaning.
This will allow you to get the desired amount of time to heal the wound before the hormonal changes trigger. It gives time for the piercing to be removed without the holes closing up. Also saliva should not touch freshly pierced nipples. That will lead way to bacterial infestation. This is harmful for both you and your child.
Follow all the precautions:
If you are planning on piercing your nipples then you should follow all the precautions religiously. This will reduce the risks of infections and also rejections.
Remove Jewelry during the 6th Month of Pregnancy:
If possible remove the ring or any sort of jewelry during the 6th month of your pregnancy. This will allow the pores to heal before your baby starts breastfeeding. This will also help your hormones to stimulate properly and your milk ducts will be safe from danger.
Leave Jewelry out or use adequate protection:
Jewelry can cause choking hazards for your child. That is why it is important to remove the same before you decide on breastfeeding. However, frequent removal of the jewelry might make way for infections.
That is why many doctors suggest the use of PTFE barbell in order to make sure that the ends are well tightened before you start breastfeeding your child. There are many women who use tapers to keep the piercing open between the two consecutive feeding sessions. But PTEE barbells are better alternatives.
Monitor the baby’s weight gain:
There are no other way to determine whether or not you baby is getting the adequate amount of milk than checking his/her weight on a regular basis. This is critical for assessing whether or not any of your milk ducts are blocked. It is essential that your child is getting adequate amount of milk supply, especially if he/she is relying only on breast milk.
If you have had a piercing at early age then by now the wounds would have healed and the pores have come to normal size. This would ideally not cause any problem. However, if you had a piercing only a year before your pregnancy then complications might arise. Nipples are sensitive and piercings inflict quite a bit of damage. That is the reason why it is very important to take care of the nipple on a regular basis.
Pregnancy on the other hand triggers enough hormonal changes. The clash between the two can cause severe complications. The main aim is not to welcome any sort of bacterial infestation.
Talk closely with your doctor about the possible alternatives. If possible remove the ring entirely during pregnancy itself. A warm compress is a nice idea during such occasions. However, opening up pores might cause further complications.