Before you have children you never think about what will happen to your breasts after pregnancy.
In your mind, you probably think they will remain round and perky all the way up to your neck.
Ok, perhaps I’m only talking about me.
The truth is that pre-children I just didn’t appreciate my breasts enough.
I was in my 20’s with perky firm breasts that could never fail me.
I was blessed with a good cup size and I had nothing to complain about at that point. I regarded them as one of my better features.
When I fell pregnant I noticeably went up a cup size and my breasts were even more round. So was my stomach (haha) but I was happy.
Fast forward to breastfeeding and believe it or not I went up a couple more bra sizes.
A little more than I would have liked but I had a baby to feed so I didn’t mind too much.
From pregnancy up until you stop breastfeeding. There will be many changes that happen to your body but in particular with your breasts.
I really want to explore the different stages with you as I have experienced them all!
Your breasts can have the power to change how you feel about your body in massive ways.
You must realize that you are not alone, every woman has had the same struggle as you at some point.
You are not the first woman to feel strange about their breasts after pregnancy and you likely will not be the last.
You may even have saggy breasts with stretch marks after pregnancy and that’s okay too.
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BREAST CHANGES DURING EARLY PREGNANCY
When you get pregnant one of the first symptoms that you will see is an increase in breast size.
It can sometimes also happen when you experience a period.
The reason for this is because of an increase in hormone levels.
You will notice this breast change quite early on in your pregnancy and so will other people.
Has it ever happened to you where you are minding your own business and someone comes up to you and whispers “are you pregnant?”
It’s happened to me a couple of times although the person wasn’t always correct.
Sometimes it was just a period symptom.
You may also observe that your areolas will get darker in color during pregnancy.
It’s also quite common that when your breasts start to increase in size you may feel a little itching as the skin starts to stretch.
Unfortunately, this can lead to stretch marks.
WHAT YOUR BREASTS WILL BE LIKE WHILST YOU BREASTFEED
If you decide to breastfeed you will once again notice even more changes to your breasts.
As you prepare to breastfeed your baby, your body needs to make some changes in order to produce milk.
The breast ducts and glands will become stimulated in order to deliver milk to your baby.
When you first start to produce milk for your baby your body will work really hard to make sure you have enough supply.
As a result of this, you may experience going up another cup size or 2 to accommodate your new breastfeeding boobs.
Over time this will settle down as your hormone levels even out a little better.
It is entirely possible that as your breastfeeding journey continues to progress you could experience your breasts begin to shrink down again a little in size.
A shrinkage in breast size is unfortunately quite normal.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BREASTS AFTER PREGNANCY?
If after pregnancy you decide not to breastfeed, you will still experience an enlargement in your breasts.
Your body will still prepare to produce milk as explained above.
After some time, once your body realizes that you are not breastfeeding you will likely get engorged breasts.
Then they will begin to shrink again over time.
Unfortunately, after pregnancy or after breastfeeding a woman’s breasts begin to change in size and even shape.
You will more than likely see that your breasts will get smaller.
They can even get smaller than before you got pregnant.
I have personally experienced this and I really wasn’t expecting it.
They not only just got smaller but they looked and felt completely different.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR BREASTS AFTER PREGNANCY?
There are so many words I could use here but I’ll limit it so this doesn’t turn into a dissertation.
Your breasts will feel like empty sacks
I remember having this exact conversation with some other mothers a few years back when I first experienced my breasts shrinking in size.
I recall saying to someone that I felt like I should roll up my breasts before putting them into my bra because they felt so saggy.
Having saggy breasts after pregnancy is no fun at all, especially if you are used to a much fuller look.
It was a real knock on my confidence. I was not happy with my postpartum body at all.
As we talked more I was assured that my breast gradually over time would start to fill out again.
At this point, I was literally counting the days until I would get at least some of my body back.
Sagging is not the only thing that can happen to your breasts after pregnancy.
Some women experience uneven breasts, there have been instances where the difference between the two breasts have been major and completely noticeable.
WHY DO YOUR BREASTS GO SAGGY AFTER BREASTFEEDING?
There are many reasons that breasts can sag after pregnancy. I will list a few of the main reasons here:
Over time the ligaments in your breasts start to stretch.
These ligaments are what make your breasts stay up and perky. This is why a lot of young people have “firm” breasts.
When you get pregnant and breastfeed your breasts stretch to accommodate your milk supply.
This can contribute towards the ligaments being stretched even more, causing the sagging effect that you often see.
2. INITIAL SIZE
The initial size of your breasts matters because bigger breasts are heavier and therefore more subject to the force of gravity.
Genetics will always play a large role in what happens to your body as you get older.
You can tell a lot about what your body may look like by looking at your parents.
Your age is also a factor as the longer you have been around, the longer your breasts have been around.
Therefore your breasts have more cause to sag.
It would be unfair of you to compare your breasts now to 20 years ago.
ARE THERE WAYS TO PREVENT YOUR BREASTS SAGGING AFTER PREGNANCY?
We need to be really clear here, once your breasts have become saggy there is not a whole lot you can do to correct this.
It is for this very reason that women have begun running to the operating room for breast augmentation after pregnancy.
The only advice I can give is that when you are pregnant take extra precautions with your breasts.
1. SUPPORTIVE BRA
Make sure you wear an extra supportive bra as much as possible (try to avoid anything with an underwire)
I’m not 100% if wearing an underwire bra poses a major risk to producing breast milk but personally I would rather not take the risk.
There is not yet enough sufficient data to categorically say if wearing a more supportive bra during pregnancy will reduce the risk of sagging breasts after pregnancy.
Some people think that it does.
Try to keep your weight as steady as possible by doing gentle exercise. Rapid weight gain and loss can contribute towards saggy breasts.
I strongly believe that if you keep your body (breasts) moisturized as much as possible you reduce the chances of stretch marks and sagging.
That’s not to say that you won’t get it at all but it will help as dry skin has more of a tendency to crack.
WILL YOUR BREASTS GO BACK TO THE WAY THEY WERE BEFORE PREGNANCY?
You may get a version of them but the chances are they will never be the same again.
Try not to get too bogged down with your new body. It’s just a new version of yourself that you have to get used too.
Look at it this way.
You can’t expect your body to be the same way it was when you were 20.
Even if you are an avid gym goer you will still see some changes that you can do absolutely nothing about.
Unless you are willing to go through surgery you have to learn to love your new breasts after pregnancy.
Don’t get me wrong, all is not lost and you may see some of your breast mass come back over time but it will take some time.
You are no different from any other woman, we all have the same struggles. It’s just about acceptance.
Learn to love your body. Remember that beauty is much deeper than the outward appearance.
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