Every mother who has ever nursed a baby knows that breastfeeding is not exactly a walk in the park. Cracked nipples, blocked milk ducts, tender and swollen breasts, mastitis: women undergo a lot to nurse their little ones! But one commonly discussed downside of breastfeeding — breast sagging — is not actually related to breastfeeding at all. In this blog, we’ll discuss the real culprits that cause breast sagging and how a breast lift can restore your breasts to their formerly perky, youthful glory.
Why are my Breasts Sagging After Nursing?
Many women believe that breast sagging is caused by breastfeeding. But in reality, breastfeeding has no effect on breast sagging. Instead, several other factors are the culprits.
First: Pregnancy. Pregnancy is the main cause of breast sagging that people falsely attribute to nursing. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy combined with the breasts swelling in preparation for nursing — before any breastfeeding has even begun — work together to stretch and overtax the breast tissues. As a result, the breasts often appear deflated and saggy after pregnancy is over. If you have any doubts about this, talk to formerly pregnant women who did not breastfeed, and you’ll quickly discover many of them have the same issues with breast sagging that breastfeeding mothers often experience.
Second: Weight Gain. During pregnancy, a woman’s body weight changes significantly. Even if you only gain the recommended amount of pregnancy weight for your body size, this weight gain and subsequent weight loss after pregnancy takes a toll on the breasts. Women who gain excess weight during pregnancy or who have multiple pregnancies usually notice even more profound effects on their breasts.
Third: Aging. This is an inescapable fact of life, and it eventually affects all women to some degree or another. Age-related breast sagging can be exacerbated by the overstretching of the breast tissues due to pregnancy and weight loss.
Fourth: Gravity. Gravity is a powerful force that pulls all objects toward the center of the Earth. A woman’s breasts are no exception to this rule; over time, gravity pulls the breasts downward. These effects may seem more noticeable after pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the other breast and body changes that women go through. This is also related to why women who have naturally large breasts often experience premature breast sagging, even if they have never been pregnant.
When breast sagging is noticed after breastfeeding, it’s often due to a combination of these factors. Additional culprits can include poor diet, smoking, excess sun exposure, and genetics.
What Can I Do About Breast Sagging After Breastfeeding?
If your breasts are sagging, there is only one real solution that can help: breast lift surgery. A breast lift can help restore perkiness and youthfulness to breasts that have become saggy after pregnancy and nursing. During this procedure, excess skin is removed and the soft breast tissues are repositioned and reshaped to create a more youthful breast appearance.
There are a few important things to know for breastfeeding mothers who are considering breast lift surgery. First, the effects of this surgery can be real and profound, even life changing. Most patients are quite pleased with their results! Second, this procedure should only be performed after you are done breastfeeding, which means you may need to be patient for a while before you can undergo this surgery. Lastly, although breast lift surgery can have long-lasting results, it cannot prevent future breast sagging. Gravity, aging, weight gain, and especially future pregnancies can eventually cause the breasts to sag again. For this reason, it is best to wait to get a breast lift until after you are done having children and you are able to maintain a stable body weight. This way, you can ensure the best possible and longest-lasting results.
Breast lift surgery is an excellent option for women who have experienced breast sagging after breastfeeding and pregnancy. To learn more about how this procedure could benefit you, schedule your personal consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joyce Aycock. Call (720) 634-7400 or contact us online to book an appointment with Dr. Aycock today.