I had my breast implants removed after my second baby and it changed my life

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied 

When Tara Rowe had her breast implants put in at 20 she went from a breast size 10A to 12DD and quickly her confidence also grew.

"I thought guys were interested in boobs and it was a sexual thing," the 32-year-old says.

However, after becoming a mum three years ago her priorities changed, and breastfeeding became her priority, so after struggling to feed her first baby she decided to take the radical step of having her implants removed.

Photo: Tara struggled to breastfeed her two babies until she had her implants removed. Supplied.
Photo: Tara struggled to breastfeed her two babies until she had her implants removed. Supplied. 

"Once I got into motherhood boobs were insignificant to me. Thirty-year-old me is not thanking 20-year-old me," the Sydney mum explains.

It was just two weeks after giving birth to her first daughter, Bloom, three years ago that Tara noticed Bloom's nappies weren't very wet and she wasn't pooing much.

"I went to the community nurse and found she wasn't increasing weight," she says.

"After expressing the nurse found I wasn't producing milk; only about 10ml each breast instead of 120ml."

The nurse told Tara she'd have to put her baby on formula, but for the new mum this wasn't an option, so she began looking for alternatives.

Tara began looking at natural methods to boost her supply but when these didn't work she started taking a medication called Motilium. Her supply went up and Bloom gained weight.

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"I just put it (her low milk supply) down to the time in my life. I was really stressed after leaving my job of 11 years. I stayed on Motilium for two years. But it gave me constant headaches, a dry mouth and dehydration."

Tara knew she needed answers before having another baby.

It was also around this time she began to notice a difference in her health.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied 

"I had chronic fatigue and a low immune system. I was getting about five chest infections a year," she says, despite exercising six days a week and living a healthy lifestyle.

"A friend mentioned she had her breast implants removed because she was showing the same signs as me and had breast implant illness."

After looking into it she joined Facebook groups with over 150,000 women in them, all with similar stories to hers.

She searched in the groups for breastfeeding and found many women who'd had feeding problems and after having them removed had a different experience with their next child.

Tara began investigating having them removed, but before she could do anything found out she was pregnant.

Despite hoping this time around her feeding experience would be different, just a couple of weeks after Amazona was born Tara realised she was again struggling to feed her baby, despite demand feeding and pumping every three hours to stimulate?hormones.

"I said to my husband, 'we are here', I need to do something."

She went to a lactation consultant who weighed Amazona before and after feeding and found very little difference.

"The first thing she asked was, 'do you have breast implants?'.

"I thought it was funny she asked that because I knew they'd been the problem the whole time."

Tara immediately began the hunt for a surgeon who was confident enough to remove her implants while she was still breastfeeding a two-month-old.

Having them removed was a gamble. If the surgeon severed the milk duct it would prevent breastfeeding for good.

And although the idea of her husband, Jason, seeing her for the first time without breast implants scared her, he assured her he'd love her regardless.

"He was super supportive of the decision and said they (her breasts) didn't belong to him anymore they belonged to their children."

Five hours after the surgery, Amazona, was placed on Tara's chest and immediately began feeding again.

"It was like the biggest relief. It was probably one of the most memorable moments I have had in a long time. I knew as soon as she latched everything would be okay," Tara gushes.

Tara was very anxious about what she'd look like after the surgery and insisted her husband not look until she'd looked first.

"They looked incredible. I was super happy with them. I thought it would be a shock to see myself without them, but it really wasn't. I think it might have been my outlook on it. I knew I was lucky and fortunate to be able to do it."

A week on from the surgery and Amazona, now three-months-old, is feeding well.

"I wake up every morning and my breastmilk is leaking. I have stopped taking Motilium and she is gulping. Every time I feed her it cements everything I have done and the risk," Tara says.

Associate Professor Robyn Thompson, a midwife with a PHD in breastfeeding research, says she has assisted many women with implants, and although each situation is unique, most have successfully breastfed.

"It can depend, where the breast implant is placed. Breastfeeding is more successful if the implant is placed behind the pectoral muscle.

"Maternal milk is stored in the breasts. If surgery involved any incision of the ductal?networks or the areola it may affect the flow of breast milk through the ductal outlets," Associate Professor Thompson says.

She says implants do change the design of the breast, but her experience has been if placed behind the pectoral muscle it reduces the risk of damage to the delicate glandular tissue.

"Breastfeeding is possible for women with breast implants, depending on their unique circumstances."