Can I breastfeed with pierced nipples?
We get it. At one point in your life, you were super adventurous and decided to pierce your nipples. At that time, you likely weren’t imagining that piercing your nipples may interfere with breastfeeding…. until you tried it and realized your breastmilk will spray in a million different directions.
So mommas with pierced nipples, don’t worry! Yes, you can still breastfeed with pierced nipples. However, here are some problems you may experience if you try.
1. Clogged Milk Ducts
Although a regular nipple piercing won’t impact your breastfeeding, piercing your areola can. It’s possible your piercing may have cut through your milk ducts. This can cause clogged milk ducts. You’ll know that you have plugged milk ducts if there is a certain area of your breast that simply will not expel milk.
But never fear! According to MedicalNewsToday.com, the average clogged milk duct will go away within 24 to 48 hours… But wait, there’s even better news! You can typically treat your clogged milk duct at home. Lucky you!
Anybody who has gotten a piercing in the past knows that piercings run the risk of infection. You must keep your piercing very clean to avoid this. However, if your nipple piercing has ever been infected in the past, this could lead to problems when it’s time to breastfeed. Why? Because of scarring.
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Infections typically cause scarring. While scarring may not make breastfeeding impossible, it can certainly make it more difficult. Your nipples have tiny holes that are designed to aid in the flow of breastmilk.
When breastfeeding with pierced nipples, you likely have scarring that may (or may not) have closed up those holes. If those holes are plugged with scar tissue, your breastmilk may not flow.
If your breastmilk isn’t flowing due to your piercing, you may have accumulated an excess of breastmilk. When you have so much milk stored up, leakage is bound to occur. Trying to breastfeed with pierced nipples can cause leakage once the piercing is removed. If this happens, you will need to place nursing pads into your brassiere to aid in absorbing the excess milk.
However, leaking is normal and is typically easy to remedy. You should keep extra shirts available when you’re breastfeeding away from home. That way, you can easily hide the leakage and carry on without any embarrassment.
Yes, it might be hard to say goodbye to your piercing. But if you’re trying to breastfeed with pierced nipples, you’ll make things a lot easier on yourself (and your baby) if you do.
It’s not healthy for your baby to be exposed to your piercing. At no time should your little one have your nipple piercing in his/her mouth while breastfeeding. Otherwise, you may hurt your baby’s mouth. Similarly, latching can be difficult when you’re trying to breastfeed with pierced nipples.
It is recommended you remove the piercing during your pregnancy, long before your baby is born.
6. Allergic Reactions
Your baby could very well be allergic to your nipple piercing. Nickel is often used in the production of jewelry. If your baby is allergic to nickel, you’ll want to avoid this at all costs. It is recommended you use titanium, niobium, nickel-free gold, or surgical stainless steel jewelry.
If you suspect your baby has allergies, please take your baby to an allergist.
7. Your Hole May Close Up
Sorry momma, but your piercing hole may close up over time. Unless you want to continuously take out and re-insert your piercing, you may just have to breastfeed without pierced nipples. If you want to avoid this, you can try using an insert taper or replacing the piercing at least once a day. However, this isn’t a guaranteed solution.