Breast Sagging After Breastfeeding
Pregnancy puts your body through innumerable changes beyond your expanding belly. Unfortunately, many of these changes are uncomfortable, gross, or otherwise unpleasant. One of these unsettling changes is sagging breasts. Saggy boobs is an extremely common side effect, one which countless women experience to varying extents. While you’re pregnant, sagging breasts are just one of many annoying body changes that you have to endure before your third trimester is over. However, many women worry about the permanence of their saggy pregnancy boobs. Much like pregnant women’s concern over whether their stomach will ever look the same as it did pre-pregnancy, they also worry that their sagging breasts won’t bounce back to their normal level of perkiness after pregnancy. This worry is not lessened by the fact that there is really no way to know if your breasts will return to their pre-pregnancy perkiness after sagging throughout your pregnancy.
Some women are relieved when their breasts quickly return to their normal size and shape after their child is born. Other women notice that their post-pregnancy breasts never have quite the same lift that they once did. Every woman’s body is different, and there are no guarantees as to how your breasts will look after you give birth. However, the issue is not totally out of your control. In fact, there are many minor lifestyle changes you can make or habits you can form to significantly increase your chances of getting your pre-pregnancy breasts back after your pregnancy is over.
Wear the Right Bra
Wearing the right bras during and after your pregnancy is the number-one best way to prevent and reverse sagging breasts after pregnancy. Breasts grow larger and heavier during your pregnancy. During this time, the ligaments that attach your breasts to your chest muscles are likely to stretch out from the excess weight. This stretching can make your breasts look saggy after they shrink back to close to their normal size and fullness after you give birth.
If you’re wondering what type of bra you should wear during and after your pregnancy, remember that support is the most important component of your pregnancy and post- pregnancy bras. Wearing bras that provide an extreme amount of support for your breasts minimizes how much the ligaments on your chest stretch during your pregnancy and therefore promotes perky post-pregnancy breasts. Choose a well-fitting bra with a snug fit that holds your breasts close to your chest and provides plenty of support features like sectioned cups, underwire, wide straps, extra hook and eye closures, etc.
Even if you don’t have large breasts, invest in a bra with maximum support features during and after your pregnancy. Small breasts stretch and sag, too. If you’re used to walking around your house without wearing a bra, nix that habit when you get pregnant. Any amount of braless movement puts you at a higher risk for more sagging. There’s no need to wear a bra while you sleep, but keep one by your bed to put on first thing in the morning and keep on until you get back in bed.
Whenever you exercise during or after your pregnancy, leave your flimsy sports bra at home. Even if your workout isn’t particularly rigorous, dress in a high-impact sports bra that features separate bra cups, underwire, and other support features. Any activity that puts your breasts at a higher risk of bouncing or moving around more than normal warrants an uber-supportive sports bra to prevent post-pregnancy sagging.
After you buy your idea pregnancy bra, continue to measure yourself to make sure that it still fits you. The size of your breasts can shift up or down two to three cup sizes during your pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding. Monitor the fit of your bra regularly so that you can replace it as soon as possible if it no longer provides the best fit for your changing breasts. Don’t hesitate to invest in multiple new bras as your breasts change during your pregnancy, after you give birth, while you’re breastfeeding, and after you stop breastfeeding.
Different women experience varied levels of changes in their breasts during and after pregnancy. Some women are able to wear the same bra throughout their entire pregnancy and stay well-supported. This is fairly rare, though, and most women end up having to purchase at least two or three bras in different sizes from the time they get pregnant to the time they stop breastfeeding. Even though it might seem ridiculous to buy a brand-new bra every one to two months, you’ll find that those purchases are well worth it in the long run. Wearing a bra that doesn’t provide enough support because it no longer fits your breasts bodes just as well for the perkiness of your breasts as not wearing a bra at all. Find more information on how to correctly measure your bra size and choose the best bra for sagging breasts in thisbra guide for sagging breastsfrom luxury lingerie companyHauteFlair.
Watch Your Weight
Obviously, gaining weight while you’re pregnant is inevitable. In fact, gaining too little weight can be detrimental to both your health and your baby’s growth and development. However, there is a fine balance between gaining too little weight and gaining too much weight during pregnancy. The amount of weight a woman should gain during pregnancy varies widely and depends on a variety of factors including your pre-pregnancy body weight. Twenty-five to thirty-five pounds is considered an ideal pregnancy weight gain for the average woman with a healthy pre-pregnancy weight. However, that range is just a guideline and is not realistic nor healthy for all women.
Gaining too much weight during your pregnancy—or gaining more weight than you need to gain to keep yourself and your baby healthy throughout your entire pregnancy—can lead to sagging breasts. The more extra body weight you carry, the heavier your breasts will be and the more your ligaments are likely to stretch. Keeping your weight in a healthy range during and after your pregnancy will help prevent your breasts from sagging after you give birth. This doesn't mean that you should go on a diet while you’re pregnant. In fact, putting any type of calorie restriction on your diet during pregnancy is not healthy for you or your baby.
That being said, there are healthy ways for you to monitor your weight during your pregnancy. Try to incorporate light cardio exercise into your routine as often as possible. Activities like brisk walking or yoga are great choices that help you get in some cardio without pushing your body too hard. While you shouldn’t restrict your calories, be aware of the foods you eat. Many women eat more fatty and sugary foods while they’re pregnant due to cravings and hormones changes. If you don’t pay any attention to your diet while you’re pregnant, that increase in empty calories can lead to significant excess weight gain. Don’t cut yourself off from chocolate entirely. Just monitor the amount of junk food you eat and fill up most of your diet with nutrient-rich foods that will benefit both you and your growing baby.
Don’t Stop Breastfeeding
It is a widespread misconception, especially among pregnant women and mothers, that breastfeeding is a direct cause of sagging breasts. This idea makes sense in theory, and it is supported by the undeniable fact that many women whose breasts sag during and after their pregnancy notice more perkiness after they stop breastfeeding their baby. Despite how popular it is, there is really no truth in the claim that breastfeeding leads to sagging breasts.
Pregnancy, not breastfeeding, is the source of potential post-pregnancy sagging. Whether you end up breastfeeding or not, your breasts prepare for breastfeeding while you are still pregnant by getting larger, fuller, and heavier. As your breasts increase in weight, the ligaments that attach them to your chest muscles tend to stretch. When they stretch, these ligaments pull your breasts farther away from your chest muscles, which can cause your breasts to look saggy. In reality, your body’s natural (and unpreventable) preparation for breastfeeding, not breastfeeding itself, is the major culprit of saggy boobs.
Breastfeeding is a personal choice that every woman must make when her baby is born. Recent statistics show that more than seventy-five percent of women breastfeed their newborn babies and approximately fifty percent of those women continue to breastfeed for the recommended period of time, or until their baby is six months. While the majority of women breastfeed their children for benefits like decreasing their child’s risk of sickness and promoting a closer bond between mother and child, about a quarter of new mothers do not breastfeed their babies. These mothers’ reasons for going the formula route include having a physical inability to breastfeed, finding it difficult to get their child to latch to their breast, or simply preferring not to breastfeed.
Not breastfeeding your newborn is a valid option, but you shouldn’t make the decision to forgo breastfeeding just because you’re worried it will make your boobs saggy. If the only thing stopping you from breastfeeding your baby is a fear of sagging breasts, you’ll probably feel disappointed after you spend a fortune on formula just to end up with breasts that look exactly the same as they would have post-breastfeeding. You should also not stop breastfeeding prematurely because you notice that your breasts are sagging. The duration of your breastfeeding period should depend on your child’s needs and health. While your breasts might return to their normal size and shape more quickly if you stop breastfeeding earlier, the end result will be the same no matter how long you breastfeed.
If anything, breastfeeding actually has the potential to make your breasts look perkier. Breastfeeding your baby every day burns off a significant amount of extra calories, which can make a big difference in how quickly and easily you lose the weight you gained during your pregnancy. Obviously, most brand-new mothers don’t hit the gym for quite a while after giving birth, so those extra calories you burn breastfeeding can cause a noticeable drop in the numbers on the scale. Since carrying around unnecessary excess weight on your body is one of the major factors that contributes to sagging breast post-pregnancy, breastfeeding can help you stave off weight-related sagging. While there are several things you can do to help prevent your breasts from sagging after your pregnancy, planning not to breastfeed your child is not one of them.
You wouldn’t expect your stomach to be flat a week or even a month after you give birth. Don’t expect any more of your breasts. It takes time for your body to change drastically. Your body spent nine months changing your body to accommodate the growing human inside of it. You can’t expect it to snap back to normal immediately. Don’t freak out if your breasts remain slightly saggy in the first few months after you give birth.
It is normal for breasts to take six to nine months for them to return to their pre- pregnancy size, shape, and perkiness, even if you take extra measures to prevent and reverse sagging. Also remember that if you breastfeed your baby, your breasts won’t be able to return to normal until after you stop nursing your child. Keep this in mind before you get worried about your new mom friends getting their pre-pregnancy bodies back while you’re still struggling with heavy, sagging breasts. Once you stop breastfeeding, your breasts will quickly return to near normal, just like non-nursing mothers’ breasts do post-birth.
Becoming impatient and fighting back against sagging breasts with extreme measures will not help prevent lasting saggy breasts. In fact, it can even delay your body’s healing process and encourage more sagging. If you think your pregnancy weight is worsening your sagging breasts, maintain a healthy diet but don’t put yourself on a calorie- restrictive diet. Losing weight too quickly puts more strain on your skin, which causes it to stretch and leads to more sagging. Remaining patient will benefit you most in the long run, no matter how difficult it may seem in the moment.
Smoking is an incredibly unhealthy habit that dangerously affects almost every part of your body, inside and out. It commonly leads to lung cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks, stomach cancer, blood clots, and much more. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be too surprising to most people that smoking cigarettes is also one of the top causes of sagging breasts. Smoking causes your skin to lose its elasticity, which leads to saggy boobs. While smoking can led to sagging breasts whether you’re a mother or not, it puts women who are already prone to saggy boobs due to pregnancy at an even higher risk of irreversible sagging.
You should never smoke while you are pregnant. Smoking even infrequently during your pregnancy puts your child at a much higher risk of having a dangerously low birth weight, being born much too early, being stillborn, or developing sudden infant death syndrome. Fortunately, knowing these risks deter most women from smoking during their pregnancy even if they had a smoking habit before they got pregnant.
However, women who have a nicotine addiction are likely to return to their smoking habits after they give birth and are no longer at risk of harming their unborn child. While smoking post-pregnancy might not be a threat to your baby, it is most certainly a threat to the perkiness of your breasts. Smoking soon after you give birth causes your skin to lose its elasticity, which prevents your breasts from returning to their pre-pregnancy shape and perkiness and can even lead to more sagging.
Establishing a regular, well-designed exercise plan during and after your pregnancy can be very effective at preventing sagging breasts. During your pregnancy, start incorporating simple, low-level strength exercises into your daily routine. Target your back and pectoral muscles primarily. Strengthening and toning these muscles can help your breasts appear more lifted and tighter against your chest. Be sure to wear a very supportive, high-impact sports bra while exercising.
Most women are instructed not to exercise for at least six weeks after giving birth. If those are your doctor’s instructions, listen and wait the six weeks. Trying to exercise earlier won’t get your breasts back in shape any faster. In fact, it will likely lead to injury that will delay the process even further. Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, though, start building strength exercises back into your routine.
Even if you were a gym rat before you got pregnant, take it easy while exercising during and post-pregnancy. Your body goes through a lot of changes that require a significant amount of energy while you’re pregnant and after you give birth. That being said, it is normal to perform at a much lower level than you did before you got pregnant when you work out. Listen to your body and take feelings of fatigue seriously. Only ten to fifteen minutes of targeted strengthening and toning exercises every other day can make a big difference in preventing and reversing sagging breasts.