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Nipple piercings are a form of expression and decoration on the human body and are still quite popular today. There are plenty of reasons to get one – they can make the area more sensual when touched and provide a sleight provocative look through clothing.
However, the nipple in the anatomy is made for a very important job – the get the milk from the breast into the baby’s mouth.
So, can you breastfeed with a nipple piercing? Is it safe to have a nipple piercing whilst breastfeeding? These are the questions we’re going to look at there.
The answer, will be shorter than you think!
Breastfeeding with an existing nipple piercing
If you are pregnant and want to breastfeed and you already have a nipple piercing you may want to know if it’s possible.
It IS possible but it not recommended. Nipple piercings can block the duct that the milk flows through, and the scarring can do the same. Piercings also cut through and damage nerves in the nipple which can affect the let down of the milk.
Secondly, as a baby with a good latch takes the whole nipple in their mouth, the piercing can come along with it. This can rub against their mouths making it sore and in extreme cases a piercing could dislodge causing a choking hazard.
Overall, if you’re breastfeeding with a nipple piercing currently we suggest removing it immediately, you may already be having some issues or you’ve been lucky and got away with it so far. Either way, a nipple piercing has no benefits for breastfeeding and in fact can make it harder for you and your baby.
Having a nipple pierced while breastfeeding
If you’ve already started breastfeeding then the last thing you’d want to do is get a nipple pierced.
Firstly, the breast is sensitive during breastfeeding, especially the nipple, it can get dry and cracked with open wounds in the early days (see our recommended best nipple creams) so putting something in which could carry bacteria is a bonkers idea. This could cause infection and really make breastfeeding hard.
A piercing literally severs a lot of important milk ducts which affects the let down and can cause blockages. This means less milk can come out, milk can get trapped leading to mastitis. Nothing that any breastfeeding mum would want.
Lastly, the baby would take the piercing into the mouth as the whole nipple goes in when it’s a good latch. This could hurt their mouth and pose a choking hazard if it ever comes off.
There are not studies to say it’s safe but plenty of reasons why it is unsafe so we would say to never pierce a nipple while nursing.