The medical term for drooping or sagging is ptosis. Many women feel that breast ptosis is caused by breastfeeding but in reality the sagging is not caused by the act of breastfeeding. Instead, it is the pregnancy itself as well as other factors that cause this dropping.
When you are pregnant the ligaments which are responsible for supporting your breasts will usually stretch while your breasts become heavier and fuller. Because of this stretching your breasts ay sag after your pregnancy regardless of whether you breastfeed. Drooping breasts tend to be more noticeable when you have more pregnancies and this is especially true for women with larger breasts.
Here are some other factors that can affect the appearance of your breasts more than breastfeeding does:
- Your BMI (body mass index; which measures your body’s percentage of fat)
- How many pregnancies you have had
- If your breasts were large before pregnancy
- Your age
- If you smoke or have smoked
Changes of Breast after Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Most women think that breastfeeding causes their breasts to sag but this is not the actual cause. It is true that your breasts are likely to change in terms of shape and size after having a baby but pregnancy is the cause, not breastfeeding.
Your breasts go back to the size they were while you were pregnant around two weeks after you give birth. They will then usually stay this same size until you have weaned your baby. In most cases your breasts will go back down to their previous size (pre-pregnancy) once you lose your pregnancy weight but they won’t be as perky as they had been before. If you truly want your breasts to stay firm and upright your entire life you have to avoid pregnancy and aging, which isn’t possible.
You should never let your fear of your breasts sagging get in your way of breastfeeding. It is important to remember that this is the best choice for your baby’s health. If you want to make sure that your breasts stay the same in terms of size and lack of sagging, then you need to make healthy choices in your daily lifestyle. This includes doing some form of exercise every day, following a healthy diet and quitting smoking (if you smoke). Watch a video for more information on this issue:
How to Prevent Breast Sagging after Breastfeeding
1. Watch the Weight
One of the best things you can do to prevent your breasts from sagging too much after pregnancy is to pay close attention to how much you weight throughout gestation. Experts say that if you are a healthy weight, you should gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds during your pregnancy. If you are overweight you should gain less weight and if you are underweight you should gain more. Watching your weight during pregnancy doesn’t mean that you should follow a diet that restricts calories. Instead you should simply think about your food choices and avoid fattening or sweet foods. Remember that any excess weight gain will spread all over your body and this includes the breasts. If your breasts become larger during your pregnancy, they are more likely to sag afterwards.
2. Lose Weight Gradually
Many women feel tempted to try to lose their baby weight all at once but this can lead to increased sagging of your breasts. Instead you should try to lose the weight slowly and gradually. This will give your skin time to adapt to the new weight, bouncing back from the stretched position it was in while you were pregnant. This in turn reduces your risk of sagging. In addition, losing weight gradually tends to be less stressful and frustrating.
Another great way to prevent sagging of your breasts is to do exercises that focus on your chest muscles as well as cardiovascular exercises. By doing cardio and following a healthy lifestyle and diet you should be able to maintain a healthy BMI which will in turn allow you to maintain the position and shape of your breasts. You can also lift your breasts by tightening and strengthening the chest muscles. To do this try strength training exercises like push-ups.
Watch a video for exercises that will make your breast perky and firm:
4. Wear a Supportive Bra
Another effective way to prevent your breasts from sagging as much is to always wear a bra that is supportive and fits you correctly. You should see a trained professional for a bra fitting to make sure that you are wearing the correct bra. Ideally your bra should be very comfortable and the straps should go straight across the center of your back and not pinch you. When you wear a fully supportive bra, your chest muscles will not feel as much strain and this can help you maintain your breast shape.
Does Breastfeeding Cause My Breasts to Be Misshapen and Asymmetric?
Not everyone will have misshapen or asymmetrical breasts as a result of breastfeeding but they are a possibility. That is because every breast is different so they will react differently to the strains of pregnancy and breastfeeding. When your breasts increase in size during breastfeeding this is due to the blood vessels in your breast becoming congested. This is a common experience while breastfeeding and sometimes when the issue ends, the breasts will be slightly misshapen. If your breast dimples or puckers, visit your doctor to check for breast lumps.
Many women experience asymmetrical breasts before they ever become pregnant in addition to after they breastfeed. Sometimes one breast will return to the size it was before the pregnancy while the other either stays bigger, flattens or droops. It is not unheard of for a woman to have two different sized breasts after breastfeeding but it is always important to learn to love your new body.