Mother’s milk is the best for the baby and its benefits do not end just with nutrition. After all, breastfeeding creates a special bond between the mother and her child.
Breastfeeding is really beneficial for the baby but the process can be very taxing on the breasts. The breast size increases considerably during pregnancy. While feeding your baby, your breasts experience a lot of changes: engorgement, loss of volume, and sagging which are all quite common.
Poor moms who are already dealing with weight issues have another reason to worry – sagging sisters. However, there are many ways to tackle this problem. With the following little tips, your breasts can regain their perky appearance once the weaning process is complete. But first, let’s look at the possible causes of breasts sagging after breastfeeding.
Reasons Behind Sagging After Breastfeeding
There are many reasons why breasts sag or droop after breastfeeding. Most women think that breastfeeding is the only reason behind this but the process actually starts with pregnancy itself.
During pregnancy, the ligaments that attach the chest to the muscle (called as the Cooper’s ligaments) stretch as the skin stretches. This directly increases the size of the breasts and this is how the body prepares itself for breastfeeding. This additional tension put on the ligaments cause the breasts to droop. Over a period of time, these ligaments lose elasticity, just like your old elastic hair tie.
Once the baby is born the process of breastfeeding starts and this creates another change in the breasts. Now, the milk ducts become active and are filled with milk. Breasts become heavier thus stretching the ligaments even more. Once the breastfeeding routine is set then the size of the breasts returns to what they were during the pregnancy. This size is more or less maintained till you wean off your baby. Hence, your breasts remain big for a considerable amount of time adding to the process of sagging.
Another reason behind the drooping breasts is the mom’s age. Experts explain that women who are in their late thirties tend to lose their skin elasticity much faster. So their breasts are affected too during pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
Aside from these factors, women who drink more alcohol, aerated drinks, and who consume a lot of nicotine are more prone to premature ageing and weakening of skin.
Now, let’s take a look at preventive measures that can be taken.
How To Prevent Breasts From Sagging
There are many non-surgical ways through which you can prevent sagging of the breasts.
1. Wear A Good Supportive Bra
Wear a bra all the time while you are still breastfeeding and even when you sleep. This will surely help the breasts from fighting against gravity and keep them firmly in the correct position. This will not help maintain the size or weight of the breast, however, the constant support will prevent any unnecessary sagging. Ensure that the bra is of good quality and is of the correct size. A nursing bra with a supportive band and wider straps serves the purpose.
2. Maintain A Correct Posture While Breastfeeding
Ensure that you are sitting in a relaxed but correct posture while breastfeeding. Avoid leaning over to feed your baby; instead, use some support like a nursing pillow to raise the baby to the breast’s level. Also, avoid slouching while nursing. This simple tip of correct posture and position will help prevent breasts from sagging.
Your doctor will guide you and tell you when you are ready to start exercising. Regular workouts will help in losing those extra pounds you gained during pregnancy and also help in toning your muscles. This will be beneficial not just for your breasts but your entire body. You can start with light exercises like walking, swimming, or yoga.
Make sure that you are not dropping weight too quickly as this will result in sagging and loose skin. So, take it slowly.
If your breasts have already become saggy then there needs to be a different exercise routine. This routine should involve targeting the pectoral muscles which are responsible for the strength and the tone of your breasts.
4. Massaging The Breasts
Massage the breasts with warm and cold water while taking a shower. Start massaging with hot water as this would enhance the blood circulation. Finish your shower with a cold water massage as this will help in tightening and toning of the skin. You can even use a towel for massaging with warm water and use ice for cold massaging. Do not use the ice cubes for more than a minute as this will cause numbness.
5. Use A Moisturizer
Keeping the skin moisturized while nursing will help keep it supple and maintain its elasticity. Choose moisturizers that are rich in vitamin E or have cocoa butter or Shea butter and apply a generous amount of it twice a day.
6. Correct Diet
Eating the right kind of food can also prevent breasts from sagging. Follow a diet that is rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates which provide nutrients to the skin. Breastfeeding moms should eat more fruits and vegetables to prevent drooping of the breasts. Low saturated fats can also help maintain the firmness of the skin.
All this may sound too exhausting, especially with a baby to look after. But, a little effort from the very beginning can take you a long way on this re-shaping journey!