DISCLOSURE: I feel that I have to write this. I understand that every woman’s body is unique and the tips I give below MIGHT NOT work for you. When it comes to breast ptosis, a lot depends on your genetics alone! Another huge factor is how your breast looked before pregnancy (maybe it already wasn’t firm enough or you had a light ptosis you knew nothing of). This article is not based barely on my experience. The information is gathered from trusted resources + my experience. I don’t share things I have no trust in. I am a huge believer in preventative methods. You may try these tips and see if they make any difference to your breast form and appearance. If you have more tips to prevent breast sagging, please share in comment section. Moms crave for feedback! I post all comments (positive and negative ones), providing that there’s no vulgar language. This article is for information purposes only! You should consult your health care provider if you want to take any supplements while breastfeeding listed below. Sorry, it was so long. But I’m sure this disclosure will make most things clear now.
You may have heard this kind of a spooky flick that if you breastfeed for a long time (over a year), your breast will lose its form and become saggy.
I’ve heard this many times from women of older generation. Little did I know about the realility of what may happen with the breast after nursing but I just felt like breastfeeding no matter what. My baby came first and I didn’t care about my breast form at all.
Anyway, we live in the 21 century, the century of possibilities, and changing the breast form (and size) is not a problem! So, I didn’t give up on breastfeeding and made it up to 1.7 years.
And you know what?
As I’ve expected, the deflated breast turned out to be no more than just another breastfeeding myth (of which I’ve heard a lot while I was breastfeeding). As for the beast form, within two-three weeks after weaning, I got my pre-pregnancy breast back: no more, no less, just about the same size and form I’ve always had.
So it made me curious, why do people talk so much about damaged breast form after breastfeeding? The thing couldn’t just appear out of nowhere, right? Then I started really digging in to find the facts, real stories, and even research data to be able to see the full perspective of the problem.
Turned out, there are only TWO things that may REALLY affect your breast’s form after breastfeeding:
- The first one is really unexpected. It’s not the extended nursing as my auntie assured me of. Believe it or not, it’s quite the opposite – it’s the early weaning, which is known to be one of the most common reasons for breast sagging after breastfeeding.
- The second is the abrupt weaning.
The summary: Breastfeed for a long time (over a year) and wean gradually and you’ll be covered!
DON’T MISS THIS ARTICLE: 10 REAL CAUSES OF BREAST SAGGING (AND THEY ARE NOT WHAT YOU THINK!)
This post contains affiliate links! It means that if you click on the link and buy a product, I will earn a small commission to no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Keep in mind that I am not a medical professional, nor am I an IBCLC and nothing in this post should be taken as a medical advice. I am simply a mother who’s been there and wants to share her experience with others.
Now, let’s dive into the things you CAN do WHILE breastfeeding to prevent breast sagging.
1. Breastfeed on demand
Don’t make long intervals between the feeding sessions. They may lead to engorged breasts. As a result, you can get a clogged milk duct, or even worse – mastitis. If your breast often becomes engorged with milk, it won’t do any good to the form either, since the tender skin of your breast may stretch. The stretching can easily lead to ptosis after you stop breastfeeding, or the worst thing that you can’t fix – stretch marks!
What you can do:
- Breastfeed your baby on demand
- Pump and freeze breast milk (for later use) if your breast feels engorged but the baby is not quite ready for nursing
- Pump breast milk if you need to go out without a baby and know it will take more than 2-3 hours
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS: 8 WAYS TO TREAT A RECURRENT PLUGGED DUCT WITH NATURAL REMEDIES.
2. Forget about daily pumping
Disclosure: this statement is only true for mamas who exclusively breastfeed and don’t plan to get back to work while breastfeeding. Obviously, there are many situations when you can’t go without pumping! Starting with power pumping for boosting milk supply to working mommas who choose to support lactation (you are awesome!). It doesn’t mean that your breasts will definitely sag, if you start pumping on a daily basis while working part time of full time. This is mentioned by no means to offend pumping mommas! I personally admire you! This article is for information purposes only. Let’s not take things personally. Mamas need support, not shaming! And I am here for you, if you need to talk, ask a question or look for support.
Pumping on a daily basis is absolutely NOT necessary. Actually, many moms manage to never pump and still be able to stick to exclusive breastfeeding. Frequent pumping may negatively affect the breast (if not done in a right way) – the tissues of the breast may get injured, the skin may stretch and become less elastic, which inevitably lead to breast sagging.
It is better to hold on to breastfeeding on demand. This is a more natural and less traumatic process that lets your breast both get emptied frequently (so it it highly unlikely that you have a clogged duct) and helps sustain a good milk supply (because the more you nurse, the more milk will come next time – it’s the ‘demand breeds supply’ kinda thing).
3. Find the right breastfeeding position
Do not let your baby play with your breast. If the baby is not in a comfortable position while nursing, he can be really fussy, which includes pinching your breast, twisting the nipple with his mouth or even biting.
It especially concerns older babies who can actually injure the tissue of your breast quite seriously while playing with your breast or showing their discomfort, so you might want to offer the baby an alternative – a toy he can play with while nursing, for example these chewbeads. YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS: HOW TO BREASTFEED LIKE A PRO
4. Make weaning gentle
The process of weaning is best if done gradually. Why? Well, for one, to avoid having problems with clogged milk ducts and mastitis. But, generally, gradual weaning allows your breast to involute in a right way.
What is breast involution? It is the process by which the breasts undergo the reverse of development and become smaller with fewer alveoli and become less ready for lactation. If you’re weaning smoothly, the glandular tissue of the breast that makes milk will be slowly replaced with the fatty tissue and the skin will have time to tone up, so that your breasts won’t get saggy.
5. Check your breast health regularly
Always pay attention to your sensations while breastfeeding, during the weaning process, or even afterwards (when you stop breastfeeding). If you feel any kind of discomfort in your breasts, you should contact a mammalogist or a lactation consultant as soon as possible. This discomfort may be a sign of a clog or infection that may lead to severe consequences you surely don’t want to deal with. So make sure to check with your doctor if any kind of discomfort occurs.
6. Wear good supportive bra 24/7
The breastfeeding bra you’re wearing should fit you perfectly. If you choose a bra with a small cup, it will put extra pressure on your breast, which can lead to a clogged duct or bigger problems. When you’re breastfeeding, it is higly reccomended that you wear a good fitting and supportive bra around the clock. Wearing no bra at all may lead to sagging.
So you have to choose the one you’re comfortable with. As for me, I hate bras with underwires, so I used to wear a sports bra while breastfeeding which was absolutely amazing and super comfy. The greatest thing about it was that it didn’t feel like I was wearing a bra. The bonus was an easy access to the breast in case I wanted to breastfeed. Just LOVED this option! You can try a sports bra, too.
7. Exercise regularly
Keep in mind that the baby weight will go away sooner or later. Start exercising postpartum as soon as your doctor allows you to but don’t overindulge yourself. What you have to avoid is rapid weight loss or weight gain. Neither will do any good to your skin elasticity and your breast may lose its form after breastfeeding. On top of that, the stretch marks can appear because of constant weight fluctuations. So you would want to take everything slow.
Things to consider:
- start your exercising routine
- be consistent
- do push-ups to keep your breast muscles engaged
- aim for gradual weight loss
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS: HOW TO GET YOUR BODY BACK AFTER BABY
8. Drink water (A LOT!)
Oh, this one! You must have been tired of reading about staying hydrated in every freaking article. But this thing cannot be underestimated. Water is what helps you get rid of toxins, clears your blood, supports just about every system in your body, nourishes your organs and tissues, AND your SKIN! So keep this water intake up!
9. Massage and moisturize your breasts regularly
Massage will tone up your skin, make your breasts firm and help prevent stretch marks. If you already have stretch marks, massaging your breasts with a moisturizing cream will help to soothe them. (Unfortunately, there’s no way to get rid of stretch marks ones they are there.
The appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight fluctuations depend on genetics (80%) and skins elasticity. So make a breast massage with a moisturizing lotion your daily habit. You will see its benefits quite fast.
Things to consider:
- Use either a great anti stretch marks cream, like my favorite Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks (that I’ve been using for over 10 years!) or just the coconut oil (it will do just fine).
- Learn the right technique to massage your breast (it will also come in handy if you get a clog in a milk duct)
- Massage promotes skin’s resilience
- It just FEELS GOOD! 🙂
10. Take contrast shower
A contrast shower improves blood circulation, while helping the muscles and skin to tone up. Don’t forget to moisturize and nourish the skin of your breast after the shower.
11. Stick to a healthy diet
Healthy nutrition is crucial when it comes to thriving and beautiful body (AND mind). Evaluate what you’re eating. You don’t need a diet but you need to choose the right food. Always stick to healthy alternatives. Eliminate the “bad” stuff. Plan your meals ahead to avoid pangs of hunger.
The following nutrition tips are great for moms who want to shake off the baby weight, for breastfeeding moms, for all people, in general, who want to live a healthy life having healthy bodies and glowing resilient skin.
- soda and fizzy drinks
- pre-packed sauces
- alcohol (one glass of red wine once a week is okay)
- fruit juices
- refined grains (flour, white bread and white rice)
- sweet fruits
- starchy veggies (potatoes, carrots, peas)
- dark chocolate
- lean protein (organic, non-GMO fish, beef, and turkey)
- healthy fats (avocado, salmon, nuts, coconut oil)
- whole grains
- leafy greens
12. Stock up on supplements
You may consider taking the following supplements to keep your skin healthy, glowing and resilient:
- B-complex vitamins – improves the ability of the epidermis to retain moisture – leading to softer, smoother skin with less dryness and flakiness
- Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, supports healthy cell turnover
- Omega 3 – supports collagen production, regulates your skin’s moisture balance and improves the overall appearance of your skin
- Collagen Type 1 + 3 – promotes skin elasticity, helps the skin on your belly to shrink faster after delivery
- Vitamin D – crucial to epidermis cell replenishment, repair and metabolism (supports skin immunity and locks the moisture inside the skin cells)
- Zinc – a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial properties
- Vitamin C – protects from free radicals, supports cell strength, and promotes collagen production
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, have any medical issues or are on medication right now, consult your doctor before taking any of these supplements. I am not a doctor I just give you some information to consider.
I was taking Omega 3, collagen, vitamin D and Zinc while breastfeeding. I can say, they all worked pretty well together and tremendously helped my skin in terms of moisture balance and elasticity. My skin has never felt so nourished and glowing! Coupled with a healthy and nutritious diet, these supplements make wonders to your body.
Make sure to take vitamins and minerals separately, to ensure their absorption. Collagen must be taken on an empty stomach mixed in a cold water. It doesn’t work if taken any other way. I mix a spoonful of collaged in a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. Then I have my breakfast and take vitamins + fish oil. I drink my mineral supplements with lunch.
If you’re on the go since the very morning, it’s great to have this pill organizer. It saved me many many times so I didn’t forget to take my daily doze of supplements.
What about you?
Share your experience in comments below. Have you had breast sagging after breastfeeding? Did your breast manage to involute? What measures did you take to prevent breast ptosis, if any?
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