Nipple Piercings & Breastfeeding

Does having pierced nipples preclude a woman from being able to breastfeed in the future? Would it be different for someone whose piercings were years-healed?

I’m not planning on doing any breastfeeding any time soon (no kids), so this certainly isn’t medical advice. I had my nipples pierced about 10 years ago, but I’ve allowed the piercings to heal in recent years. I’m just curious what obstacles I might run into eventually.

Um, is there a reason you didn’t bother to ask about this before having your nipples mutilated? :confused:

I have a sister who has (had? I assume they’re out currently) pierced nipples and she’s currently breastfeeding just fine.

Try looking up all your answers here, and if you have further questions, you can go here, for more.

Broken Hoe, piercing != mutilated. :rolleyes:

Thanks for your responses, guinastasia and capybara. I checked out those body-modification sites you linked to, but I didn’t see anything about breastfeeding on there. I’m really looking for information from a breastfeeding-oriented source as opposed to a bodymod perspective.

There’s this, and like I said, the one I linked to is a forum, so feel free to ask questions. The one risk I’ve read of is mastitis.

That column is horribly out of date, Sage Rat. The risk Cecil speaks of is NOT as high as he suggests. It IS there, but according to BMEZINE:

That is why I urge you, bufftabby, to sign up for the board I linked to, and ask your questions there, of professionals. Ask them what to do, and they can advise you on the pros and cons. It’s a forum, so you can open this same topic over there and get their professional opinions. I got valuable help when I was dealing with a hypertrophic scar in my nostril piercing last month.

The people there are way nice and helpful.

I have no side in this one way or the other. But as a impartial third party, I’d want to know hard numbers, not basic generalities as spouted by old fuddy duddies or by people who profit off of the procedure.

Cecil was at least (for being a fuddy duddy and possibly behind on the research) another impartial viewer in regards to the data. But he didn’t quantify his numbers. “Most go okay” could mean that 30% don’t. If I was writing an article and the prevalence was 30% I’d warn people away left and right. 2 in 3 turning out good may be in your favor, but it ain’t good odds for something that’s potentially rather important. Whatever the number was, it was apparently high enough, and I doubt that the number of piercing specialists has become more inundated with MDs in recent times than a decade or two ago.

Being a professional doesn’t always mean a lot. Particularly not in the wardrobe, accessories, and makeup industries.

Broken Hoe. Perhaps you didn’t realize that this is General Questions.

Try to use language that isn’t so related to value judgement of a poster or their lifestyle. For instance, if this thread were about having one’s ears pierced to wear stud earrings, would you have used the word “mutilated?”

This isn’t a warning, merely a caution to keep the discussion as civil as possible.

samclem General Questions Moderator

My daughter had her nipples, along with just about everything else, pierced some years ago.
She removed the piercings when she became pregnant and breast fed her son with no problems.

She had asked in the piercing studio prior to the piercings if breast feeding would be a problem and was told that in some cases it could be but only a very small minority had any difficulties although there were no hard data that they had any knowledge of.

I did accompany her to the piercing clinic on the first couple of occasions as she was under the legal age to go by herself and the couple who performed the piercings were impressively professional and took a lot of trouble to spell out any possible problems and side effects, gave extensive instructions and advice on hygeine and after care and provided antiseptics to ensure that the instructions were adhered to as far as they were able.

I think the trick is to find a clinic/studio run with a high degree of professionalism and that has a good reputation.

Fair enough on the tone thing. I stand by my term though:

Definitions of mutilated on the Web:
maimed: having a part of the body crippled or disabled

Mutilation or maiming is an act or physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of the (human) body, usually without causing death.

If the piercing has indeed disabled the woman’s body from being able to breastfeed, thereby degrading the function of the human body then yes, mutilated is the correct term.

But we don’t know that it was, and thus your usage of the term is pre-mature and incorrect.

If Broken Hoe wants to call my beautiful breasts “mutilated”, that’s stretching the word to the full limit of its capability. Hoe, perhaps you would care to contribute more than just value judgments on something I did to my body long ago. If you actually have some knowledge on the subject I’ve asked about, then, by all means, share it.

I agree with you. Piercers can be very knowledgable, but asking them about the safety of breastfeeding after a piercing would be like asking a makeup artist if swallowing large amounts of a potentially toxic makeup product while pregnant is okay for the fetus. They might know, but a medical perspective would be much more desirable on the subject. Cecil’s column is correct that bad things can happen with piercing, but to be honest, I get a whiff of “value judgment” from that source as well.

Myglaren, I’m glad to hear another story of breastfeeding success, post-piercing. It seems s though things can go wrong in this scenario, but I’m not automatically thrown out of the La Leche League or anything. :slight_smile:

This article on the La Leche website says that piercing is probably okay.

This is probably obvious, but of course you would want to take your piercing out before actually nursing the baby to avoid choking hazard. :slight_smile:

Looking through Google and Google Scholar, I couldn’t find anything which had any actual data. “Could cause complications” was all I could find.

In this case, I’d go with La Leche over Cecil. I’d also ask an OBGYN, as well, bufftabby.

Ah, thanks! That article was exactly what I was looking for. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to just go to LLL website. I’ve had my nipple jewelry out for years now, so it looks like I’m unlikely to have any increased problems whenever my breasts do become functional instead of just fabulous.


After your instruction by samclem, there was no need to continue this line of discussion. Knock off the hijack right now.

General Questions Moderator