It is almost universally recognized that breastfeeding is important to establishing a healthy immune system for your baby as well as offering her the best chance for on-pace development overall, but with published studies suggesting that there may be effects from silicone on children who were breastfed by women with silicone implants choosing to breastfeed after augmentation surgery suddenly carries a while new set of risks.
The La Leche League, the leading breastfeeding advocacy organization in the world, may be the best source of advice. They say that even women who have implants should breastfeed, because the health risks associated with being fed artificially are greater than the possible risks from the silicone. Babies fed solely on formula are at a higher than average risk for illness and hospitalization during infancy, as well as having higher incidences of respiratory ailments, pneumonia, ear infections, allergies, and diabetes than babies who are breastfed. On the other hand, studies of the effects of silicone, while admittedly pointing to esophageal issues like trouble swallowing and tendency to vomit, were conducted on extremely limited numbers of patients, and in the same journal issue where these results were discussed, the AMA also stated that more testing was necessary. To date, there is no conclusive evidence that breastfeeding with silicone implants is harmful to the baby.
While nursing with implants may not be harmful, however, there are issues that can occur. Depending on the surgical technique used the milk ducts may have been severed or blocked, making nursing impossible, and since limited or altered sensation in the nipples can occur, nursing mothers must be extremely aware of their own breast health and their babies' behavior.
If you are considering breast enlargement implants, and also considering nursing a baby, it may be best to wait until you are through nursing to have the surgery. Alternatively, be certain to discuss your desire to breastfeed with your surgeon, and follow any advice offered.
Finally, if you visit La Leche League's website, lalecheleague.org, you can order their pamphlet "Nursing with Breast Implants" which offers in-depth health and safety information as well as discussing common issues.
Having breast implants doesn't mean you can't nurse. It just means that if you plan to breastfeed you need to be that much more educated about the process.