I struggled to come up with a more diplomatic title but in the end, I decided to go straight to the topic. In the last week I have met three moms-to-be who mentioned they were considering not breastfeeding exclusively or extensively because they don’t want flabby/saggy breasts. To say I was shocked by this sentiment and the fact that it was echoed by multiple people is a gross understatement. After much thought, I came to two conclusions.
- A lot of women (and probably men) are misinformed about breastfeeding
- The very many benefits of breast milk and breast-feeding are not as popular as I thought
So I thought I would write a post providing some information. In this post, I will address the misconception that breast-feeding makes your breast flat/flabby/saggy and discuss some of the MANY benefits of breastfeeding. I hope after reading this, exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months (at least) and extensive breastfeeding (for at least the first year) will be a clear choice.
Does breastfeeding make breasts flabby?
Quick Answer: No
Detailed Answer: There is actually a medical name for the condition of “droopy or saggy breasts”. It is called “Breast Ptosis” and it is affected by several things including the following:
- Pregnancy: Yep! Contrary to apparently popular belief, pregnancy and not breast-feeding is what can cause Breast Ptosis. During pregnancy, your breasts enlarge and stretch in preparation for milk. Right after birth, the milk comes in and your breasts enlarge and stretch some more and when the milk is gone (whether you breastfeed or not), the breast may appear/become saggy because of all the stretching. So if you decided to become pregnant, I’m so sorry to inform you that you already signed up for potentially saggy breasts so you might as well let your child benefit from it. Also, with every additional pregnancy, the chances for sagging increases. That said, sagging caused by pregnancy can by prevented or reduced by the use of a good nursing bra that provides the right support. Please invest in one and make sure your breasts are properly supported day and night throughout your pregnancy and during nursing
- Age: Thanks to gravity, whatever goes up must come down and the breasts are no exception. With age, the ligaments that support the breast stretch and cause the breast to sag. The timing and extent of sagging is dependent on heredity and the shape & size of the breast
- Smoking: Smoking weakens elastin (which supports the elasticity of the breast) and thus causes sagging
- Weight Gain/Extreme Weight Loss: Like pregnancy, weight gain or extreme weight loss causes the breast to expand (deflate) and stretch and can lead to sagging
- Heredity/Genetics: Like many things in life, Breast Ptosis is affected by heredity. The size and shape of your breasts which is usually assigned by your genes as well as the elasticity and density of your breasts determine whether they will sag or not (especially as a result of all the afore-mentioned causalities.) Smaller rounder breasts are less likely than longer larger breasts. So take a look at your mum 😉
To summarize, research has shown that contrary to popular belief, Breast Ptosis which is the drooping or sagging of the breasts is not caused by exclusive or extensive breastfeeding.
I just decided to split this post into two so that it is not too long. Please check the next post for the importance and benefits of breast-feeding and it’s link to laying the foundation for a GoodLife.
Did you have this mis-conception? Are you hesitating about breastfeeding? What are your reasons? I love hearing your thoughts.
Live a GoodLife!
*This post is not intended in any way to judge or criticize anyone and I apologize in advance if for any reason it comes across that way. My goal is to provide information and ultimately, everyone has to make the decisions that are best for them and their children. I completely respect this. I just want to make sure people have the right information when making these decisions.
- Research on Breast Ptosis
- What causes breast sagging?
- A quick google search will bring up lots of articles discussing this topic