Pierced nipples, in most situations, do not pose a problem to breastfeeding mothers, according to HealthyChildren, a website associated with the American Academy of Pediatricians 12. When the nipple was pierced and whether there were any complications factor into whether a piercing impacts breastfeeding 2. By following a few suggestions, moms with pierced nipples can likely breastfeed their infants with little problem.
According to La Leche League International, other potential impacts on feeding with jewelry still in the nipple include: problems latching on, milk leaking from your baby's mouth, gagging, and slurping.include:
- According to La Leche League International
- other potential impacts on feeding with jewelry still in the nipple include: problems latching on
- milk leaking from your baby's mouth
All of these problems can be remedied by removing any rings, studs or other hardware in the nipple.
Side Effects of Piercings
Jahaan Martin wrote in a La Leche League publication that nipples that have been pierced take three to six months to heal, and women are often told not to remove the jewelry from the pierced hole within six to 10 months after piercing. Consider these time frames if you are planning a pregnancy and piercing.
HealthyChildren encourages you to let your doctor know if you experienced an infection with your piercing as that, and any scarring that occurred, could pose difficulty during nursing.
Once you have removed any rings, studs, or hardware from the piercing, some breast milk may leak through the hole. According to HealthyChildren, this is typically not a problem.
La Leche League suggests that you talk to a lactation consultant, your physician or the person who performed the piercing if you have further questions about your piercing and its impact on breastfeeding your baby. Further, if you are concerned about whether your baby is getting adequate nutrition, contact her pediatrician or a lactation consultant.
Side Effects of Piercings
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Nipple Piercing & Hypertrophic Scars
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Aftercare Instructions for Navel Piercing
The Healing Process of a Nose Ring
Nipple Piercing Infection
What Are the Dangers of Nose Rings?
There's a Tiny Bit of Bloody Discharge in My Child's Ear
- HealthyChildren: Possible Problems -- Inverted, Flat, or Pierced Nipples
- BabyCenter: Breastfeeding and Pierced Nipples
- Jacobs VR, Golombeck K, Jonat W, Kiechle M. Mastitis nonpuerperalis after nipple piercing: time to act. Int J Fertil Womens Med. 2003;48(5):226-31.
- Gardner SE, Frantz RA, Troia C, et al. A tool to assess clinical signs and symptoms of localized infection in chronic wounds: development and reliability. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2001;47(1):40-7.
- World Health Organization. Hepatitis B. Published July 18, 2019.
- Leibman AJ, Misra M, Castaldi M. Breast abscess after nipple piercing: sonographic findings with clinical correlation. J Ultrasound Med. 2011;30(9):1303-8. doi:10.7863/jum.2011.30.9.1303
- Lee B, Vangipuram R, Petersen E, Tyring SK. Complications associated with intimate body piercings. Dermatol Online J. 2018;24(7).
- Breuner CC, Levine DA; Committee on Adolescence. Adolescent and Young Adult Tattooing, Piercing, and Scarification. Pediatrics. 2017 Oct;140(4). pii: e20163494. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1962. Epub 2017 Sep 18.
- Castillo M, Sanjuán A, Pérez N, Zanón G, Bons N, Vilanova M, et al. Fibrous Histiocytoma-like Spindle-Cell Proliferation in the Nipple After Body-Piercing. Int J Surg Pathol. 2006 Jan;14(1):89-93.
- Lee B, Vangipuram R, Petersen E, Tyring SK. Complications associated with intimate body piercings. Dermatol Online J. 2018 Jul 15;24(7). pii: 13030/qt5gp333zr.
- Robyn Roche-Paull, RNC-MNN, BSN, IBCLC. Nipple Piercings. La Leche League. https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/nipple-piercings/
Based in Minnesota, Shannon Snyder began her writing career in 2010. She writes primarily for LIVESTRONG.COM, and her articles focus primarily on topics of parenting and emotional well-being. Snyder is a licensed mental health professional and holds a master's degree in clinical social work from the University of Missouri-Columbia.