Pierced nipples shouldn’t cause a problem with milk production, but they can cause the breast to leak a little more due to the extra holes. Each nipple has 15-20 tiny nipple pores that the milk comes out of so even if some were damaged there will still be plenty left in tact. [Source]
Areolar piercings can damage the nerves that affect milk ejection. Both nipple and areolar piercings can cause problems for milk ejection if scarring blocks the milk flow (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 2010).
Breastfeeding moms should not leave jewelry in during nursing as it is a choking hazard. As well, it can harm the inside of the baby’s mouth and affect latching. If your infant has trouble latching and your nipples crack or bleed, they could become extra painful and it will be more difficult to re-insert your jewelry.
You might want to consider changing your nipple jewelry to something that can come out and go back in with relative ease. Circular barbells, PFTE barbells, or straight barbells are good options. Use a lanolin based nipple ointment to make it easier to insert, or express some milk onto the end of the bar. This helps to keep the piercing healthy.
Pregnant and new moms should avoid getting a piercing as the jewelry cannot be removed until the breast tissue heals, which usually takes a year (you don’t want to get crusties in your baby’s mouth!).
Other considerations: Nursing in public may be more awkward if you need to expose your breast for a little longer than usual to remove the piercing. Nursing at night may be more difficult as it will require the extra effort to remove the piercing when you’re already half asleep.
Above photo courtesy of Oscar V.
If you have a nipple piercing and are breastfeeding or breastfed please tell me about it in the comments section. Have you had any problems with it? Moms who were considering getting one – was this useful? Moms who don’t have one and/or don’t want one, what do you think? Real mom advice and stories are always better than anything I can reproduce from internet findings. Thanks in advance!
To read CaroLyn from Breeder Brain’s personal story go here.