The Effects of Breastfeeding, and How They Can Be Reversed

Many women believe that breastfeeding can negatively affect the shape of their breasts, causing them to sag and lose shape (a medical condition known as breast ptosis). This widely-held belief even leads some women to avoid breastfeeding entirely, in hopes to retain the shape of their breasts.

However, the idea that breastfeeding leads to breast sagging has been medically disproven. Instead, it is the breast engorgement during pregnancy and the post-pregnancy regression of hormones that ultimately lead to breast sagging. Larger cup sizes prior to pregnancy increase the effects of breast ptosis, as do multiple pregnancies.

So, if you are pregnant and making a decision about whether you should breastfeed or not, you should know that breastfeeding is not likely to negatively affect the shape of your breasts.

You may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to counteract this problem. You will likely see some changes to the shape of your breasts with each consecutive pregnancy you go through, but there are things, both preventative and after the fact, you can do to address the problem of breast sagging:

  • Good skin elasticity is one of the key factors that can help prevent breast sagging after pregnancy. If you’re worried about breast sagging and are a smoker, you should know that smoking has been linked to significantly decreased skin elasticity. So, while you’ve probably stopped smoking during your actual pregnancy, the best thing you can do to prevent breast sagging post-pregnancy is to not take up smoking again.
  • Providing your breasts with plenty of support as they fluctuate in size during the pregnancy can also help them keep their shape.
  • Some weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy, but avoiding drastic weight fluctuation can help to decrease breast sagging post-pregnancy.
  • Finally, exercising the pectoral area post-pregnancy can help you build muscle behind the breast, which can provide some lift and counteract the effects of sagging.

Of course, no amount of preventative measures will fully address breast ptosis after pregnancy. If you’re experiencing breast sagging and would like to reverse these effects, a cosmetic procedure can help you get rid of loose skin, provide lift, and reverse changes in breast shape to get you back to your pre-pregnancy look. This procedure can also be combined with other breast procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift to give you the shape you desire.

If you are interested in reversing the effects of pregnancy through breast lift surgery, contact our Chicago area office for more information, or to schedule a consultation.