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Can I Breastfeed if my Nipples are Pierced?

Jennifer Lincoln, MD, IBCLC, Board Certified OB/GYN
January 3, 2019 . 1 min read

With piercings and tattoos becoming increasingly mainstream, more and more women who previously had their nipples pierced are now wondering if they have done any harm by having their nipples pierced.

There is no scientific literature that says nipple piercings and breastfeeding are incompatible. Most lactation consultants have cared for women who had nipple piercings and nursed without any problems. Some moms report milk leaking from the holes, but this is not concerning. With an average healing time of 3-6 months, ideally a woman will wait that long to breastfeed (if not closer to a year) after a new piercing so that her risks of infection and inappropriate healing are decreased.

In addition, leaving the jewelry out in the first few weeks when feedings are so frequent is easier for a new mom. Once her baby is older and a good milk supply is established, she can replace them if she wishes.

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