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.
During pregnancy, the ligaments that support your breasts might stretch as your breasts get fuller and heavier. This stretching might contribute to sagging breasts after pregnancy — whether or not you breast-feed your baby. Sagging breasts might be more noticeable with each subsequent pregnancy.
Other factors also contribute to sagging breasts, including aging and smoking — both of which reduce skin elasticity. Being overweight and having large breasts 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 help 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.
Elizabeth LaFleur, R.N.
May 14, 2014
- Rinker B, et al. The effect of breastfeeding on breast aesthetics. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2008;28:534.
- Rinker B, et al. Breast ptosis: Causes and cure. Annals of Plastic Surgery. 2010;64:579.
- Pisacane A, et al. Breastfeeding and perceived changes in the appearance of the breasts: A retrospective study. Acta Paediatrica. 2004;93:1346.