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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding with Pierced Nipples

If you are asking yourself, “Can I breastfeed with pierced nipples?” then the short answer is absolutely! Breastfeeding with pierced nipples, or previously pierced nipples, is not an issue you or your baby need to fret over. There is no evidence that having pierced nipples will affect your breastfeeding relationship.

Breastfeeding with pierced nipples--can I do it?


The Issue with Piercings

Some mothers do, however, notice an increase in clogged ducts while breastfeeding with pierced nipples. Consider the anatomy of a nipple and the surrounding breast tissue: The nipple itself is porous (milk flows from many different holes), while the breast is primarily fatty tissue with several passages the milk flows through to reach the nipple. When you pierce the nipples, the new hole creates scar tissue which blocks off and reroutes some of the natural anatomy.

Though most women do not have issues, you should consult a lactation consultant if you are dealing with excessive clogged milk ducts.

How To Breastfeed with Pierced Nipples

As a new mother, I removed a majority of my piercings in my pregnancy with my oldest child. This included my nipple piercings. Should you decide to keep your piercings through breastfeeding, all you have to do is remove the jewelry before nursing. NEVER breastfeed with jewelry on your nipple. Not only would it be difficult to establish a healthy latch, but the jewelry can pose a choking hazard for your child.

Since newborn babies nurse so often, it is often easier to just remove your nipple jewelry for the first few weeks. Though the schedule will continue to change this first year, newborns often eat every few hours and throughout the night. Your piercings will hold, so just take the easy road and tuck those barbells away for a while.

You can keep your body modifications as a part of your individual identity as a breastfeeding mother. No one should tell you otherwise, as it is perfectly safe to breastfeed with pierced nipples (by simply removing the jewelry, of course). Rest easy, friend, in knowing that you’re one badass mama!

Shary Lopez is a late-twenties, nerdy gal living in Tampa Bay. Her family consists of a bearded husband and two children: one eight-year-old daughter and one very adventurous toddler boy. As a childbirth junkie and breastfeeding advocate, Shary tries to lean her family towards natural living while still grasping onto convenience and frugality. You can find more of her writings on Shary's personal blog, Atta Mama. Shary is also on social networking sites such as FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.


  1. I had pierced nipples. I removed my jewelry a long long time ago. I had trouble with the left piercing and eventually had to have it re-pierced before giving up on it.
    Now I am breastfeeding (exclusively for nearly 6 months!). So it can definitely be done.
    I have very slow flow out of my left breast. I always start bub on that side to keep the supply up on that side because I can always empty the right side with my pump. (That’s not so easy on the left.) Do you think there is a way to speed it up?

  2. Finally, a place I can ask this question. I am newly pregnant, but worried about breastfeeding.
    Like Selena, I previously had piercings in my nipples. My body was literally pushing them out. I took them out after a few weeks. Since then (about 15 years ago) my piercings never fully closed. (Prep for too much information) My piercing holes sometimes get filled with white discharge. Like earring holes, if you don’t use them for a while and you put in an earring white discharge comes out through the back of the hole. I have had medical providers comment that it is dead skin cells and natural body oils and is not infectious. I can express the discharge with my fingers, but not all of it.
    I am sure the discharge is not tasty (sorry, gross, but important) to a newborn. How do I get the stuff out when it is time to breastfeed? Has anyone else dealt with this?
    Thanks, Kat

    • I don’t think it harmless. As a mom with previously pierced nipples, I know what you’re referring to. If it builds up I squeeze and gently crap it off and breastfeed as normal. No issues with either children thus far!

      • Shary,

        Thank you! I am so glad someone has had experience with this. I have worried about this for years!

        Thank you!!!!!!!

  3. Hello,

    I removed my nipple piercings when I was 4 months pregnant and exclusively breastfed for two years! I had one clogged duct when my son was about 6 months old but other than that I didn’t have any problems! I now want to put them back in but my holes have closed up. Oh well!

  4. I did that! I nursed my first for 11 month with my nipples pierced. Now thinking about our second, so started trying and searching for articles like this:

  5. I’ve had my nipples pierced through 2 children and am currently breastfeeding the 3rd. I took the rings out right after giving birth and didn’t put them back in until baby weaned which was around a year with the first two. This baby is almost 1 now and shows no signs of giving up anytime soon! I didn’t have any problems putting them back in in the past so I’m not to worried this time as I had the piercings done 13 years ago. (Was only 3 years before the first kid though) I don’t have problems with clogs or discharge as milk flows freely out of the holes. Even if they did close up this time that’d be ok too as its sooo been worth it to breastfeed my last child/only son for this long! I couldn’t imagine taking them out and putting them back between every feeding as most breastfeeding moms will probably agree, sometimes they nurse almost non stop! I was definitely concerned before my first child but now as a seasoned mom I can attest it is possible and can work out well!

  6. I had piercings and still do, my baby swallowed my piercing which led to my baby having to have its stomach pumped. Oh was that a disaster. I still breast feed though but i make sure my magical ornaments are more secure now. My baby is now 2years old and he still breast feeds from my ornamental piercings. I worry that my piercings may contain lead or other harmful components but my tattooist assures me they are factory made and are certified non toxic. So praise the Lord, I don’t have to worry about that. My baby got his first tattoo today at the tattoo parlor. It was of a harley with me and him riding on it. This will seal our bond as mother/son.

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