Breastfeeding allows you to nourish your baby with your milk, providing nutrients and antibodies that help fight diseases. However, most women who breastfeed will notice that their breasts are different when they stop nursing. But does breastfeeding cause sagging breasts?
The truth is that breastfeeding doesn’t affect breast shape or volume. Instead, the ligaments that support a woman’s breasts stretch as breasts get heavier during pregnancy. After pregnancy, even if a woman doesn’t breastfeed, this stretching of the ligaments might contribute to sagging breasts.
In other words, breasts are affected by the natural increase in fullness during pregnancy and decrease in weight after pregnancy. Breasts stay enlarged with breastfeeding. After nursing, breasts slowly shrink back down. Any considerable amount of weight loss for any reason can have a similar effect.
Other dynamics, such as smoking and weight gain, contribute to sagging breasts. And as women get older in life, the ligaments in the breasts that help them keep their shape naturally stretch out.
Lifestyle and health choices can make a difference for breast shape at any stage of life.
What Can I Do to Help Prevent Sagging Breasts?
Include regular physical activity in your daily routine and maintain a healthy weight. Yo-yo dieting will stretch breasts out from the continual changes in body weight.
Eat a healthy diet. Following a clean diet (one that is rich in complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats) can help women who are breastfeeding to provide their body with the necessary nutrients required for healthy skin and the connective tissues, which appears in the breasts.
Drink plenty of water.
Wear a supportive bra during exercise. The bra should feel comfortable and hold your breasts firmly in place in an upright position. Check out this list from Goodhousekeeping for sports bra suggestions.
Smoking also reduces skin elasticity. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit.
Don’t let a concern about sagging breasts keep you from breastfeeding. If you have questions about breastfeeding and pregnancy, the healthcare providers at Creekside Center for Women would be happy to discuss them with you. Call our office at 479-582-9268 to set up an appointment.