Breastfeeding with Nipple Piercings

Apr 9, 2022 | Breastfeeding

breastfeeding with nipple piercings

Can you breastfeed with a nipple piercing?

There is so much misinformation about nipple piercing and breastfeeding but in short answer, yes most women can find success during this process. Many new parents think they are unable to breastfeed or have been told that it’s not possible for them but that’s not always true. Although there are some adjustments that may need to be made during this process, breastfeeding with a nipple piercing is something that is achievable for most parents.

Important things with nipple piercing

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to make sure the nipple piercing is fully healed before getting pregnant. Doctors recommend a 12–18-month healing period. There are certain channels that are formed in the healing process so the body can still successfully produce and express milk. It is imperative that those channels are fully healed before your body’s new hormones start to change. Another reason those need to be healed is so that the saliva from the baby will not cause an infection. There is less likelihood of this happening if the piercing is given plenty of time to heal properly.

Breastfeeding with nipple piercings

Something to be aware of while breastfeeding with nipple piercings is that it has the potential to increase the milk flow rate while the baby is breastfeeding. This can occur when the piercing is removed and there is extra milk flowing due to the larger opening. The increased milk flow and feeding should be evaluated by an IBCLC to make sure feedings are going well and to evaluate if the baby can manage any increase in flow rate. The nipple piercing is recommended to be removed during a feeding session to avoid the risk of passing bacteria to the child and avoiding a potential choking hazard and it also helps reduce problems with the baby latching to the breast.

Nipple piercing considerations

It is important to note that professional piercers will not create a nipple piercing for someone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, and they recommend waiting at least 3 months post-breastfeeding to either pierce or re-pierce your nipples. This will ensure your body has plenty of time to establish a milk supply and milk flow during the postpartum and give your body the opportunity to support a healthy safe re-piercing of the nipple. The most important thing you can do is to research and make an informed decision for your body.


Sarah Early - MSN, APRN-FNP-C, IBCLC

Sarah Early, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, IBCLC, is a clinically trained Integrative and Functional Health Family Nurse Practitioner who specializes in women's health and is the owner of Peony Women's Integrative Health and Lactation Room. She graduated with a Master's in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner with high distinction and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Sarah has been a practicing International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2011 and opened Lactation Room in 2014. Lactation Room specializes in supporting parent/baby dyads who are struggling with infant oral dysfunction, feeding difficulties, and tongue-and-lip ties. They earned the prestigious IBCLE Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) have recognized Lactation Room for excellence in lactation care. She is a member of ILCA, USLCA, MBC, AANP, IATP, and MBC.