Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nursing with Pierced Nips

I've had this in my drafts folder for too long... and my friend, Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite, just posted this nice bit on breastfeeding with pierced nipples. She's spurred me on to flesh this out a bit more and finally post it!

I had my nipples pierced over ten years ago at a professional piercing and tattoo shop in Victoria. I remember even back then, when I was pretty sure I wasn't ever going to have babies, that I asked the piercer if it could harm my chances of breastfeeding, if I changed my mind about babies. He said it was very unlikely to cause a problem - like Melodie writes above, the nipple has lots of holes for the milk to come out of.

I wore rings in my piercings much as Oscar (or Oscar's model) does in the photo on Melodie's page. I chose a hematite or Alaskan Black Diamond as the stone to close the rings.

They healed over well - my perception was it was much less than a year before they were healed, but I don't know if it just seemed like they were healed or if they really were.

I took them out about five years later. It's hard to pin down why, but they were to mark a particular time in my life and I was no longer enjoying having the rings in my body. I still wasn't seriously considering having a baby - I was just done with the piercings. I kept the rings and the hematites in a little box with other jewelry I don't wear anymore.

When I got pregnant, I worried a bit about the piercings, as they were still quite visible on the sides of my nipples. I asked my doula who'd just done a breastfeeding seminar, if she'd heard anything about breastfeeding post-piercing. She thought about it, I believe she said she hadn't heard anything along those lines, and that she'd look into it but wasn't really worried about it.

We did have a big fat tongue tie problem with breastfeeding, but that had pretty much absolutely nothing to do with the piercings. I have noticed that milk does come out the holes in the sides of my nipples, but it's not a problem at all. It's mostly funny.

I don't think I leak any more than normal - after the first couple of weeks post-partum, I stopped needing to wear breastpads. I always keep some at work, in case I am stuck and unable to express milk, but I've never needed to use them.

Thanks for prompting me to finally post this Melodie!

1 comment:

Melodie said...

Cool story CaroLyn. Thanks for the link too. I'm glad that piercings don't cause problems with breastfeeding. It was one of those things I was never completely sure of and I am sure others wonder too so I thought I'd post about it. I will link this to my post for others to see too.