Breast milk is the best thing you can ever give to your newborn. It is the only nourishment your baby enjoys. I have breastfed twice. The bond that I create with my babies during breastfeeding is like no other. I enjoyed it! However, just like all new moms, I kept my interest in knowing how to prevent saggy breasts after breastfeeding. I knew it was coming!
It’s one of those things that you just can’t help but worry about. Breastfeeding moms and those that have recently weaned are most concerned whether there are ways to keep breasts from sagging. As much as you want to give your baby the best we can’t help but get concerned whether those perks will keep up.
Breasts after Breastfeeding
Do breasts sag after breastfeeding? Well, that’s the most annoying bit about time and experience. It wears your body down. Since we can’t make it go away, the best we can do is work harder at making it better.
The shape and size of breasts changes throughout life especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Changes in breast size are often determined by how much fatty tissue you got. This together with the connective tissue may change and create a shift after breastfeeding.
One you begin nursing the flow of milk increases. Depending on much, your breast skin and tissue will stretch. As you get closer to weaning your baby, the production and flow of milk reduce. Your structures shrink leaving your breasts looking all empty, flat or stretched out.
Engorgement and inflammation of breast tissue may make boobs misshapen. The stretch may not be equal for both breasts and over time breasts become asymmetrical.
It is very important to know that our bodies are different. We adapt to situations differently. Your breasts may or may not return to their pre-breastfeeding size and shape. One thing for sure is that our breasts will never be the same after breastfeeding.
Factors that cause saggy breasts other than breastfeeding
Let’s not blame it all on breastfeeding. Here are other reasons why your breasts may be drooping
- Age- normally, skin begins to lose its tone in the late 30’s
- Body mass index- it is the measure of your percentage body fat
- Number of pregnancies
- Diseases that cause weight loss or weaken cells such as breast cancer and tuberculosis
- History of smoking and alcohol abuse
How to Prevent Saggy Breasts after Breastfeeding
Droopy breasts are not a medical concern. However, it’s a common cosmetic concern. Breasts are a special part of a woman’s body. Below are ways or things you can do to prevent saggy breasts after breastfeeding.
If you are still breastfeeding
Our babies come first. While we want to look great, definitely not at the expense of out babies satisfaction. These are things you can do to maintain breast shape while breastfeeding without affecting the quality and quantity of breast milk.
Wear a good supportive bra
A good bra provides support for your breast’s skin. It will hold them up and prevent further sagging. Gravity wears down on boobs. Breasts grow big and heavy during breastfeeding. Wearing a good bra to combat gravity is one of the best methods to prevent sagging.
Most moms like to hit the gym as soon as possible. While exercising, be it aerobics or any other high-impact exercises, the up and down bouncing can tear and break connective tissue. Wearing a sports bra hold your boobs in place.
Avoid leaning over while breastfeeding
Adopt a proper sitting posture while breastfeeding. A comfortable breastfeeding place should be one of the most important things in prep for the new baby. Get a comfy place with sufficient support for your back to avoid leaning over while breastfeeding. Invest in a good nursing pillow to lift your baby (when tiny) to the level of your breasts. This prevents breasts from drooping due to stretching of the skin.
Support our breasts while breastfeeding
Latch your breast to provide support to ensure that you do not strain your breast tissue too much.
Eat more legumes, whole grain cereals, and vegetables. Foods rich in vitamin B and E help maintain the tone and elasticity of your skin. Note that fats make a big part of your breast tissue. While cutting down on them is recommended for post-baby weight loss, do so gradually.
Avoid foods that contain low saturated fat. Your cells need at least 50% saturated fat to maintain elasticity and firmness. Cutting off these healthy fats starves your skin making it more vulnerable to damage.
Gradual weaning and at the right age
The age of weaning your child has a big impact on whether you get saggy boobs after breastfeeding. Most moms do sudden weaning at around the age of 4-6 months or once their baby starts eating solid foods. Did you know that this is the time needs breastmilk the most?
The best age to wean off is between 2-4 years. At this age, the baby’s appetite for solid food is on a high. This slowly eases baby off breast milk thus giving the body time to adapt to changes. It allows the breast tissue and skin that had expanded to accommodate large quantities of breastmilk to shrink back slowly.
Keep in mind that, breastmilk provides optimal nutrition for your baby. This goes a long way in providing necessary immune boosting factors. Breastfeeding your child also provides a natural form of family planning.
Alternate hot and cold showers
While taking your shower, alternate between hot and cold showers to boosts circulation of the skin. A good blood supply to skin improves skin tone which firms up your breasts.
Avoid rapid weight loss
We all get eager to lose baby fat as soon as possible. However, if you lose weight too fast, your skin may not be able to keep up. Shed off the extra pounds gradually to allow your skin enough time to change too.
Did you know that breastfeeding can help you lose weight?
Avoid smoking, sun exposure and any other habits that lead to breakage of collagen fibers in your skin.
Weight gain during pregnancy
During pregnancy, gaining weight is natural and very important. It is a good idea to keep your weight in check by watching how much you gain. Consult with your doctor on how much weight gain is healthy and how to maintain it.
Moisturize your skin
To keep this in check, begin moisturizing your breasts and skin tissue as soon as you find out you are pregnant. This keeps your skin supple and helps to get back to shape even after stretching. Creams, oils, and lotions with aloe and cocoa butter are best.
Massage your skin daily to improve production of collagen and general elasticity of the skin. It also helps to prevent the development of stretch marks.
Usually, after weaning and once we stop breastfeeding, milk supply goes down. The once full breast tissue becomes empty and floppy. Well, there are a few things you can do to effectively prevent sagging breasts after breastfeeding.
For one reason or the other, you may not be able to work out as soon as possible. For most moms, especially those of us who have our babies through Caesarean section, it takes a while before we can do any chest workouts.
It is also important to remember that breast tissue is not made up of muscle but rather fat. It is therefore not possible to work and build it up like other parts of the body. Chest workouts aim at strengthening the chest muscles that hold the breasts up.
Do not forget to work on your back muscles as well. This helps to strengthen them and also improve your posture.
A great exercise for chest, arm and back muscles.
- Start on all fours with your palms slightly widely placed than your shoulders and feet close
- Your body should form a straight line from the head to the toe
- Lower your chest until it almost touches the floor while keeping your hands at a 45 degrees angle
- Pause then push back to the starting position
- Do ten reps and rest for 90 seconds
Dumbbells Keep Breasts from Sagging
The trick here is to choose weights that challenge your muscles. You should feel like the last few reps are tough. Eat enough protein to build and maintain muscle mass.
- On a bench (flat or inclined), lie face up with your feet flat on the floor
- Hold a pair of dumbbells with your elbows slightly bent
- Elbows still bent, lower the weights till the elbows are on the same level as your chest
- Maintain the elbow bend as you push the weights back up
- Do ten reps and rest for 90 seconds
- Lie face up on a flat bench
- With a dumbbell in each hand, hold your hands out straight over your chest
- Lower the weights till they are close to the sides of your chest
- Press them back to the starting position
- Do this 10 times then rest for a minute
Creams to Maintain breast shape after breastfeeding
There are quite a number of breast firming products in the market. They include creams, gels, and lotions with substances that are touted to perk up your boobs. Most of these products have chemicals that improve blood circulation to the breast tissue and also trigger the growth of breast tissue.
I am personally not a fan of these because most products sell on a hype. Buy breast firming products relying on the credibility of a manufacturer. You may need to try out a few before getting one that provides good results for you.
Breast Implants and Lift
Of all the considerations I’ve had on improving the appearance of my breasts, I will pass on this one. However, I am not judging in the slightest sense those who have. While the idea of perky and full breasts is luring, I choose my padded bra any day.
Drop your comments below on whether you’d consider getting breast implants after childbearing and breastfeeding. And for those who have, are there downsides to it?
Patience is key! The extra skin around your boobs will take some time to disappear. Fat deposits may fill out your boobs again. Breast changes after breastfeeding may be related to the amount of weight gain, your skin’s elasticity, and genetics.
Your breasts post pregnancy will not be same especially after your wean off baby. The breasts that were previously full will appear empty and a little droopy. Most times, you have to deal with stretch marks too. It is important to note that your breasts will improve with time. The best you can do is prevent further damage by improving what you can.
Above all, be grateful for your baby.