Breastfeeding was not considered desirable for implant users in the sixties and seventies due to the high impurity levels associated with implants known to impact adversely on lactation. Few long-term studies have been done to determine the risk to the child’s health during the periods of gestation, or when breastfed by a mother with breast implants.
Almost half of the reports (46%) sent to the FDA’s MAUDE database (Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience) by December 31 2002, described actual problems with breastfeeding or expressed concern that implants would be unsafe or interfere with breastfeeding.
A report by the Institute of Internal Medicine and International Specialty, University of Catania states ‘Breast-feeding by women with silicone implants should NOT be recommended for possible autoimmune disorders in the children.’
The 2006 study by Lykissa and Maharaj available through the Analytical Chemistry Journal is purported to be the most comprehensive report, to date, to show that women exposed to silicone breast implants have Platinum (Pt) levels that exceed that of the general population.
Women are encouraged to do their own research to better understand the potential impacts of breast implants on health during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Speak to other mothers who have breastfed with breast implants. Also to several trusted and experienced healthcare providers. Read the reports available on this website and through other resources sources.
Studies carried out by breast implant manufacturers and the cosmetic industry could be considered a ‘conflict of interest’ which present a bias view. Also important to note is how the terms silicon and silicone are often used interchangeably in literature provided by these same groups. An except from Breast Feeding Support references an example of a study often cited by Semple et al. The study is about 20 years old and was published in a plastic and reconstructive surgery journal, so could be considered as potentially biased. It found similar levels of silicon in breast milk and blood from mothers with implants compared with mothers without implants. They also found ten times more silicon in cows’ milk and significantly higher levels in formula.
‘Silicon is NOT the same as silicone.’
It’s important for women to understand the difference silicon and silicone otherwise they can be easily mislead. Silicon (without an ‘e’) is a naturally occurring chemical element also known as silica or quartz, which is the most common component of sand. In contrast, silicone (with an ‘e’) is a synthetic polymer and is generally a liquid or a flexible, rubber-like plastic. Silicone injections were banned by the FDA because silicone is known to cause serious health issues and even death.
For breast implant advice or assistance contact Michelle.