Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Breastfeeding and Body Piercing

on March 23, 2015


Body piercing is something that many women do or consider as a form of self-expression.  Some of those women are or will be nursing mothers and they may wonder whether piercing is compatible with breastfeeding.

Piercings on any part of the body should be done by a professional with care and attention to cleanliness to avoid infection.  Nipple piercings may take up to a year to heal with infections and rejections the most common problems.  If you are contemplating getting a nipple piercing, it is best to do so at least 12-18 months before getting pregnant.  This allows the piercing time to heal and create a fistula (channel) before the bodily and hormonal changes that happen with pregnancy.

Anecdotal evidence finds that breastfeeding is not generally affected by established nipple piercings.  Human nipples have 8-12 openings and it is unlikely that a well healed piercing will block off all the openings.  Some women have noted milk flow issues or nipple pain in a previously pierced but well healed nipple.

Body Piercing


It is best to remove jewelry for each feeding to reduce the risk of the baby choking, to avoid latching issues, damage to the inside of the baby’s mouth, or the passing of bacteria from the jewelry to your baby.  Often women find that when they do remove their jewelry for a feeding that milk leaks from the piercing site.


If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader.  In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking or Internationally


If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at so we can continue to help others breastfeed.





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