Many of my Baltimore breast enhancement patients come to me because pregnancy and breastfeeding seem to have given them a flat, less shapely look. But does breastfeeding really make a big difference in how saggy your breasts look after pregnancy?
A recent study aiming to answer that question offers the surprising conclusion that while factors like smoking and a larger pre-pregnancy breast size can dramatically contribute to breast ptosis (sagging), breastfeeding alone does not seem to worsen it.
Unfortunately, while breastfeeding may not cause breasts to sag, the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy do contribute to breast sagging. Here’s what you need to know:
Know the Facts: How Pregnancy Affects Breast Aesthetics
- During pregnancy the breasts swell with milk, stretching out the skin and surface tissues. Whether or not you choose to breastfeed, and even if the breasts do not lose additional volume after pregnancy, they will generally appear flatter and seem to “point downward,” simply because the skin is no longer supporting the breast mound properly.
- Hormonal fluctuations during and after pregnancy can also affect the quality of your skin, but more noticeably prompt your body to change the ways it stores fat in your breasts (and elsewhere). Many women find that after childbirth they have smaller, very droopy breasts even if they had a much fuller form beforehand. In some cases they will also notice new, diet-resistant pockets of fat in the hips or other problem areas.
Understand the Differences: How to Recognize Which Changes Are Key
Breast lift and / or breast reduction are typical components of mommy makeover cosmetic surgery for Baltimore, Maryland women, but many patients are not sure which procedure is “right” for them. Factors to consider when you examine your breasts and formulate your goals:
- Volume – In some cases, even breasts with good position may look “saggy” if they have lost significant volume, so augmentation alone may be enough to reverse the problem. Alternatively, breasts with good volume sometimes look “flat” because overstretched skin allows the breast tissue to spread out. In this case, a breast lift may be enough to tighten the surface tissues into the appropriate shape, though more often combined augmentation / lift is more effective.
- Nipple position – With a breast lift particularly, a Baltimore area breast enhancement plastic surgeon can often improve the position of the nipple, but in augmentation alone this can be tricky. In most cases, women who need to correct the volume of their breast and the position of the nipple will need a combined augmentation-lift, even if the breast mound itself is only moderately saggy.