One of the biggest misconceptions about breastfeeding is that it is the main cause of physical changes to a woman’s breasts such as unevenness or sagging. In fact, pregnancy itself is the major factor that can alter the shape of your breasts. Try to understand the reasons behind the changes occurring to your breasts in the context of their role as one of your baby’s most important nutritional and nurturing sources.
Is breastfeeding the cause of breast changes?
Generally, there is no muscle in breasts. They are connected to your chest by thin bands known as Cooper’s ligaments. During pregnancy, these thin bands are stretched out and blood is pumped into the breasts, making them heavier and fuller. Creating milk also makes the breast tissue denser and may give your breasts a ‘saggier’ look. The fatty tissue and connective tissue may also gradually change after breastfeeding. Regardless of breastfeeding or not, these changes still happen. The effects of pregnancy on the appearance of breasts affect every woman differently and are dependent on many factors. Some of these factors include:
- Body mass index
- Number of previous pregnancies
- Pre-pregnancy breast size
- A history of smoking
Will breastfeeding cause my breasts to be misshapen or uneven?
Misshapenness is commonly a result of the breasts overfilling with milk. However, each breast is independent. So, changes to one breast may not necessarily occur in the other.
During pregnancy, the ligaments connecting your breasts with your chest will stretch, then eventually shrink after breastfeeding. This can change the contours of your bust line and result in some unevenness. For many women, uneven breasts are a common occurrence regardless of pregnancy. After breastfeeding, it’s possible that that one breast may return to its original shape whilst the other retains a more flattened look.
What treatments are there for misshapen or uneven breasts?
Many beauty procedures exist nowadays with the aim to help women regain their pre-pregnancy physical appearance, including breast lifting or mesotherapy. If you are considering a surgical procedure, further consultation from your doctor is recommended to avoid any unwanted outcomes. If you notice changes to your breasts after breastfeeding, remember that these changes are natural and rarely of medical concern.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding is a tough and enduring process on your body, but breast milk is the most important source of nutrition for your baby and is ideal for their optimal health and growth. Many women learn to love their post-pregnancy/breastfeeding bodies just the way they are.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: February 8, 2017 | Last Modified: December 6, 2019
Breast Problems After Breastfeeding. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/after-nursing?page=3#1. Accessed August 13, 2016.
Will breastfeeding change how my breasts look? http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x543044/will-breastfeeding-change-how-my-breasts-look. Accessed August 13, 2016.
Are sagging breasts inevitable after breast-feeding? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/expert-answers/sagging-breasts/faq-20058322. Accessed August 13, 2016.