Nipple piercing, body mods, tattoos and breastfeeding are compatible.
This is not a recommendation to run out and do these things but if you do, by all means know that breastfeeding can still happen. Breastfeeding and body modifications have both stood the test of time; and speaking of time ... the timing of the procedure is important. It should be healed prior to pregnancy if possible and certainly prior to lactation. It should not be done during pregnancy or lactation.
Most sources feel any nipple jewelry will need to be removed before the baby feeds. This can be done every time the baby nurses but how tedious. Breastfed babies eat frequently! Or the jewelry can be removed long term however this may cause the hole to close; perchance to be re-pierced again after natural weaning. Most writers think jewelry removal before feeding is always necessary, even flexible jewelry. Be CERTAIN nothing (beads, balls) can come loose in the infant's mouth if you elect to leave jewelry in. Captive bead rings are said to especially risky if left in place during a feeding. Barbells, while said to be less risky for aspiration may still cause the infant discomfort, palate injury and/or sucking difficulties. Curved barbells are said to be easier to remove and replace after each feeding.
Problems (scaring, blocked ducts, milk leakage, tearing, rejection, migration, infection, swelling, delayed healing and closure of the pierce after removal of jewelry) have been reported. Multiple piercings multiply the chances of problems occurring.
Piercing has been used to evert inverted nipples, with dubious results. Piercing inverted nipples may mean placing the pierce in the areola and this really increases the chance of problems. Tension on the jewelry (in an attempt to pull out the inverted nipple)increases the chance of migration as well. There are better ways to deal with inverted nipples.
Universal precautions should be taken to prevent infection in all cases of body modification. Paranoia is a good thing when choosing a piercer. Hepatitis and HIV are not just problems for the mother, they affect the infant too. Be safe.
Take home message - if your nipples are pierced or you have tattoos or body mods and you have a baby; breastfeed. If problems occur; solve the problems and breastfeed because
breastfeeding matters. If your nipples are not pierced but you'd like
them to be consider waiting until after the natural age weaning of your last
child before piercing them. If you pierce them anyway loop back to "Take
home message - if your nipples are pierced and you have a baby......"
Subject: rec.arts.bodyart: Piercing FAQ 2D--Body Piercings and Their Suggested
Jack Newman on Lactnet