Piercings and Lactation
Several lactation consultants interviewed for this article said that breastfeeding problems were often observed in women who did not remove nipple jewelry before nursing... Once the nipple jewelry was removed the problems stopped. In contrast, Elisabeth Speller tells of a nurse who had her nipples pierced and breastfed while wearing nipple rings.
Gauntlet, Inc. recommends not removing nipple jewelry for at least six to ten months after piercing. It can be difficult, if near impossible, for an individual to remove the jewelry initially, so they suggest contacting a piercer for assistance. Most piercers make themselves available after a piercing to answer questions or allay concerns. In case of uncertainty or in a true emergency, encourage a woman to contact her physician immediately.
There is no evidence to suggest that a woman's pierced nipples will have any effect on her ability to breastfeed. Leaders can feel comfortable offering breastfeeding information and support to any woman struggling to balance her desire to be pierced with her desire to give her baby the best start in life.
Excerpted from the La Leche League's article on Piercings.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Inducing Lactation
Are there health risks from breastfeeding?
The biggest risks are side effects from excessive use of Domperidone and Mastitis (warning:NSFW). The chances of having the latter can be lessened with Lecithin and proper latch techniques. The Piercings and Lactation page (warning:NSFW) addresses this concern as well.