Are sagging breasts inevitable after breast-feeding?

Answers from Elizabeth LaFleur, R.N.

It's normal to wonder how breast-feeding will affect your breasts, but take heart. Research has shown that breast-feeding doesn't negatively affect breast shape or volume.

Still, sagging breasts are a valid concern. During pregnancy, the ligaments that support your breasts may stretch as your breasts get fuller and heavier. This stretching may contribute to sagging breasts after pregnancy — whether or not you breast-feed your baby. Sagging breasts may be more noticeable with each subsequent pregnancy, especially if you have large breasts.

Other factors also contribute to sagging breasts, including aging and smoking — both of which reduce skin elasticity. Being overweight can have a similar effect.

Remember, breast-feeding is best for babies. Don't let a fear of sagging breasts stop you from breast-feeding. To maintain the appearance of your breasts at any stage of life, make healthy lifestyle choices. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Eat a healthy diet. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit.

With

Elizabeth LaFleur, R.N.

Jul. 14, 2011