Breast-feeding a beautiful new baby has endless benefits for the child. It
- Helps develop a strong immune system
- Fights disease
- Builds a stronger connection between mother and child
It’s also wonderful for mothers. According to WomensHealth.gov, breast-feeding is linked to
- Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- Reduced risk for type two diabetes
- Reduced risk of post-partum depression
Despite all the benefits, Costhetics knows that many women are concerned about the effects of breast-feeding. They’re concerned that their breasts will sag, droop, lose volume, and generally lose their pre-pregnancy beauty forever.
They can stop worrying. Breast-feeding seems to have been unjustly accused of robbing women of a shapely bosom. A study presented at a 2013 conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) appears to exonerate breast-feeding from contributing to sagging breasts with the this statement:
“…no difference in breast sagging between women who breast-fed and those who formula- fed their babies”
Researchers have concluded that future breast firmness is a result of pregnancy, not breast-feeding. Intrigued? We were, too.
Here’s what we discovered…
Costhetics Explains How Being Pregnant Affects Your Breasts
Sore breasts are a common problem for mothers-to-be. In fact, breast tenderness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Long before they give birth, pregnant women experience hormonal changes. These trigger changes in the breast tissue itself, as well as increased blood flow.
The result is that a pregnant mother’s breasts become sore, tingly, swollen, and sensitive to the touch months before she begins nursing her baby.
There are two things that you can do to minimise changes to your breasts:
- Be at your target weight before you conceive – overweight women are more likely to experience breast sagging after having a baby.
- Stop smoking – Smoking reduces the elasticity of the skin and increases the likelihood that temporary changes in the breast during pregnancy will become permanent. Smoking is also really bad for the baby.
Costhetics Explains Breast Changes During Pregnancy
The breasts usually spend the first four to six weeks after birth adjusting their milk supply to how much the baby needs. A mother who chooses not to breast-feed may experience stretched or sagging breasts as soon as her milk dries up. Breast-feeding mothers will experience four to six weeks of extreme fullness before the breasts adapt. After this initial adaptation period, the breasts become noticeably softer and less full, although milk production continues whenever the baby nurses. The shape of your breasts during breast-feeding may differ from the shape after you wean, since breast-feeding keeps you from experiencing the normal sagging that occurs as a result of pregnancy changes.
Myth: Breastfeeding Causes Sagging in Women with Breast Augmentation
Women who want to have more than one child are often advised to forego breast augmentation until their family is complete. This appears to be unnecessary.
“Breast sagging, often experienced after childbirth, results from changes brought about by the pregnancy itself, not breastfeeding…Breastfeeding does not appear to further cause breasts to sag in women who’ve had breast augmentation.” – Dr Norma Cruz, ASPS member surgeon and study author.