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Can You Breast Feed After Nipple Piercing?

By Shannon Snyder ; Updated July 18, 2017

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. When the nipple was pierced and whether there were any complications factor into whether a piercing impacts breastfeeding. By following a few suggestions, moms with pierced nipples can likely breastfeed their infants with little problem.

Warning

HealthyChildren and BabyCenter both advise mothers to remove nipple jewelry before breastfeeding. The jewelry could become loose and poses a choking threat to your infant. The jewelry could also injure your infant's tender gums and mouth.

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. All of these problems can be remedied by removing any rings, studs or other hardware in the nipple.

Time Frame

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.

Considerations

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.

Effects

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.

Resources

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.

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