The size and shape of your breasts can change throughout your life, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Of course, the appearance of the breasts before and after breastfeeding varies by individual, as each woman’s body is unique. Even so, you may notice varying degrees of unevenness in your breasts while breastfeeding.
Continue reading to learn how to restore your breasts to normal after breastfeeding and how to properly care for them.
What Happens to Breasts After Breastfeeding?
Changing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin cause physiological changes in breast tissue during pregnancy. Blood flow increases as milk ducts expand. This may cause your cup size to increase and the veins in your breasts to become more visible.
Along with joint loosening, your Cooper’s ligaments — the ligaments that support your breast tissue — loosen and stretch to accommodate breast growth. Stretch marks on your skin may also appear as a result of breast growth.
The flow of milk while nursing can stretch your breast skin and tissue. This causes some women’s breasts to appear “empty” or “stretched out” when the milk-producing structures shrink to their pre-pregnancy size. It is a common cosmetic breast issue following breastfeeding, but it is not a medical concern.
Furthermore, your nipples may undergo visible changes. They may darken significantly, the bumps known as Montgomery’s tubercules may expand, and your areola may expand. These changes are part of your body’s preparation for breastfeeding, and they make your nipples more visible and ready to feed your newborn.
All of these changes will occur during your pregnancy and are unrelated to whether or not you breastfeed.
Why Breasts Become Lopsided?
If one breast is stimulated more than the other (by a baby nursing or a breast pump), it will produce more milk and grow larger. Uneven breasts can occur when a baby prefers one breast over the other or when you begin nursing on the same breast the majority of the time.
Unevenness is usually more visible in the first few weeks after your baby’s birth, when your milk supply is still adjusting. Even after the first few weeks, however, your breasts can become lopsided, especially if you tend to nurse your baby on one side more than the other.
How to “Get Breasts Back” After Breastfeeding?
You can never completely restore your breasts’ original size and shape, but you can improve the lift and strength of your bust.
1. A Proper Bra With a Proper Posture
Most pregnant women feel bad about their breasts after weaning their child from breastfeeding. A well-fitted bra supports your boobs, which reduces drooping. However, the results are dependent on the appropriate size, shape, and fabric to achieve the desired support and comfort. Consultation with experts is also beneficial in determining the best fit. Furthermore, as you constantly hold and feed your child, your posture changes and becomes slightly bent forward. Correct it, as well as your breastfeeding technique.
2. Exercise Regularly
Working out is unlikely to benefit your breast glands, fat cells, or ligaments, but it may benefit the muscles beneath your breasts (called pectorals). Toning the pectoralis major and minor will make your boobs appear slightly lifted. Consider incorporating push-ups, chest presses, and free weight exercises into your workout regimen.
3. Make Healthier Eating Decisions
Weight fluctuations have a big impact on the appearance of your breasts. Avoid crash dieting to avoid boob drooping because it can affect the elastin and collagen in the boobs, causing drooping. You should also reduce your smoking and junk food consumption. Aside from that, you must drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods to achieve firm and toned boobs.
4. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin
Moisturize your skin daily, focusing on the chest area, to keep it firm and hydrated. Choose a herbal lotion containing natural extracts that will nourish taut, youthful-looking skin. Also, while bathing, use a body scrub or loofah to gently exfoliate your breasts. Dead cell removal improves blood circulation and restores elasticity.
Poor posture, such as a hunched or bent back, can cause the breasts to hang by their own weight, increasing pressure and tension on the breast tissue and exacerbating sagging. Good posture, on the other hand, entails teaching your body to move in positions that place the least strain on supporting ligaments and muscles. Good posture works to evenly distribute weight in your body and protect against sagging by keeping your back straight and your shoulders back.
6. Massage Your Breasts
Breastfeeding provides a lot of stimulation to your breasts, but weaning provides very little stimulation. Massage can help your breasts counteract this more effectively. The various techniques ensure that your breasts are stimulated from all sides, causing blood circulation to revitalise and support the breast tissues’ repair and regrowth. Massages with olive or almond oil can reduce sagging and instill strength in the muscles, allowing them to hold themselves together.
7. A Proper Diet
Your diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding would be different from the diet you must now follow. Whatever you eat, make sure to include foods that improve muscle tone, make your skin supple, and combat elastic skin by tightening it. You should include foods high in Vitamin B and Vitamin E in this diet because they improve skin tone. Aside from that, you should limit your intake of animal-based foods that are high in fat. These can increase the size of your breasts while decreasing their suppleness.
8. Cosmetic Surgery
Some people choose surgical breast augmentation after breastfeeding due to changes in their shape. This is a very personal decision that is not suitable for everyone. Before undergoing any cosmetic surgery, it is critical to consider the consequences of such procedures.
If you intend to have another child, you should wait until you are done having children before considering surgery. Certain breast surgical procedures can make future breastfeeding virtually impossible. Furthermore, even after surgery, future pregnancies will cause changes in the breast tissue.
As with any major medical procedure, consult with your doctor about the pros and cons, as well as any potential complications.
These are some methods for returning your breasts to normal after breastfeeding. Exercises and dietary changes can assist in shaping your breasts. A quality, properly fitted bra provides additional support, reducing strain and stress on the tissues and muscles that support your breasts. Your breasts may not return to their pre-pregnancy shape, but these methods will help to improve the saggy and stretched appearance. However, if you are concerned about your body image and are willing to go the extra mile, then a surgical enhancement may be the best option for you.
However, it is important to understand the costs associated with the freedom to choose how you want your breasts to look. Before making your final decision, you should consider the effect of breast augmentation on a subsequent pregnancy, any effects on your body, and the possibility of a repeat procedure.