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Moms with pierced nipples may breastfeed

July 19, 2006 at 3:26 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas, July 19 (UPI) -- U.S. nurses are now encouraging breastfeeding for mothers with nipple piercing, although there are still reservations regarding the practice.

In the past, breastfeeding supporters have said it is safe for pierced women to breastfeed, but they also said there could be serious risks involved.

Infants can aspirate on the jewelry and the metal of the jewelry can cause trauma to an infant's lips, palate, tongue and gums, according to an article in the June/July issue of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Lifelines.

"The challenge for perinatal nurses becomes how to intervene to maximize opportunities for breastfeeding success in women with nipple piercings," says lead author Myrna L. Armstrong of the Health Sciences Center School of Nursing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

"Careful history taking and physical assessment of the breasts ... affords the opportunity for nurses to provide pierced women with factual information about nipple piercing and breastfeeding."

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