10 Things to Do While Breastfeeding to Prevent Breast Sagging
There are certain things to do while breastfeeding to prevent breast sagging.
You might have heard a myth that if you breastfeed for as long as a year or more, your boobs will lose their shape and sag. In reality, not breastfeeding or abrupt weaning can increase your chances of having saggy breasts.
Saggy breast is one of the natural changes that happen after pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It is also called “breast ptosis,” which is a natural phenomenon or medical condition.
Have you thought of what could cause breast sagging while breastfeeding?
Causes of Breast Sagging After Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
Flexible connective tissues, Cooper’s ligaments attach our breasts to our muscles and hold them in position. From the first trimester, these ligaments undergo tension as they become fuller and heavier throughout pregnancy.
The stretches or stressed Cooper’s ligaments are likely to lose their elasticity with time causing breast sagging. Breastfeeding alone does not cause saggy breasts. Other factors such as genetics, pregnancy, lifestyle, among others, contribute to breast sagging.
Other Factors That Contribute to Breast Sagging After Pregenancy
Your breasts experience changes while preparing for breastfeeding. The milk glands increase in size, leading to breast growth.
These breasts increase can cause breast sag.
The postpartum period is the moment after delivery—the breasts during this period increase in size. As breast milk constantly fills your breast, your skin (breast) stretches further. You are likely to notice that your breasts are swollen and inflamed, changing the breast form.
As soon as you wean, your milk-producing glands go back to their initial size. This process of weaning could leave your breasts empty while shrinking the fatty tissues in the breasts. Thus, making the boobs appear loose and saggy.
Eating unhealthy foods that lack nutrients but satisfy your taste can also contribute to breast sagging. Eating healthy diet is one of the things to do while breastfeeding to prevent breast sagging. Processed foods, diets containing high refined sugars, and even alcohol weakens your skin structure and causes premature breast sagging.
Ageing is a natural phenomenon that has a great effect on breast sagging. As our bodies age, it loses elasticity quicker. A study suggests that women that get pregnant and breastfeed in their 30s have a high chance of getting saggy breasts since their breast elasticity is already decreasing.
When you have to add weight during different pregnancies and breastfeeding then lose weight afterwards, you strain your breast skin and even your tummy. The continuous expansion and contrasting of skin, especially breast and belly, can lead to premature sagging.
Women with larger breasts are usually affected by gravity than those with small boobs. This explains why women or mothers with big breasts experience breast sag faster.
Heredity plays a role in how fast your breast droops before, during and after pregnancy. The genes you inherit from your family can also affect your Cooper’s ligaments strength, body weight and breast shape.
Higher Body Mass Index (BMI)
Women with higher BMI are likely to have bigger breasts than those with lower body mass index (BMI).
Smoking, over time, can cause your skin to lose its elasticity. Therefore, premature breast sagging is more likely to occur in smokers.
10 Things to Do While Breastfeeding to Prevent Breast Sagging
Breastfeed Your Baby on Demand
Don’t take too long to feed your baby, as this may lead to swollen breasts. Over time you can get a clogged milk duct or even mastitis. If your breasts are always swollen with milk, it will affect their form since your breasts’ tender skin may stretch.
This stretching can easily result in ptosis (sagging) after you are done breastfeeding. You are also likely to experience the hard-to-fix skin issue- Stretch marks!
You can do the following to prevent an engorged or swollen breast:
- Breastfeed your infant on demand
- Pump and refrigerate your breast milk for later use if your breast feels swollen and the baby is not ready for nursing.
- Pump your breast milk if you plan on going out without your baby.
Make Weaning Gradual
Why is it best to gradually wean? One of the reasons is to avoid clogged breast ducts or mastitis issues. Another primary reason, as regards this topic, is that gradual weaning enables your bust to involute the proper way.
Breast involution is a process where your breasts experience the reverse of development and become smaller with lesser alveoli and are less ready for lactation.
When you wean gently, the glandular breast tissues that produce milk will slowly be replaced with fatty tissues, and the skin will take time to tone up. This will prevent your breast from getting saggy.
Wear a Quality Supportive Bra
You should not negotiate to wear a good maternity and nursing bra while pregnant and breastfeeding.
This is one of the important things to do while breastfeeding to prevent breast sagging.
Make sure that the breastfeeding bra you want to wear properly fits your breasts. If you wear one smaller than your breast size, it will add more pressure on your breast, leading to clogged ducts or higher medical issues.
While breastfeeding, we recommend that you wear a quality supporting and fitting bra 24/7 to hold the ligaments in place.
A supportive bra helps to maintain the firmness and shape of the bust when under strain. Activities such as premenstrual increase, pregnancy, exercise, and breastfeeding can put stretch the breasts.
Alternatively, you can opt for supportive sports bras as they give you the feeling of not wearing a bra and make it easier to breastfeed. Not wearing a bra at all may also cause sagging.
Adopt a Good Breastfeeding Position
Finding the correct position for breastfeeding is vital to make you and your baby comfortable during nursing and prevent saggy breasts after nursing.
Don’t allow your baby to play with your breasts. When a baby is not comfortably positioned while nursing, he’s usually fussy and can do things like twisting, biting your nipples or pinching your breasts. This advice is particular for older infants who can injure their breast tissue very seriously while playing with the busts or displaying their discomfort.
Instead of allowing them to play with your breasts, you can offer them a toy like chew beads that they can play with while nursing.
Drink a Lot of Water
We know you must have been seeing many blog posts and articles on staying hydrated, but you can never underestimate the benefit of drinking water.
Water is highly beneficial in eradicating toxins from the body, purifying the blood, keeping the body hydrated, and nourishing your tissues and organs. It also helps in maintaining hydrated skin and preventing wrinkles.
Eat Healthy Meals
If you want to keep glowing and looking beautiful, then you should stick with healthy meals. Check the foods you are eating. You don’t have to be on any diet, but you need to select the right kind of foods.
Plan your meals to avoid staying hungry or skipping meals. So, if you want to take out the pregnancy or baby weight and stay in shape after breastfeeding, then do the following:
- Eliminate processed and unhealthy foods like sugar, pre-packed sauces, soda, fruit juices, refined grains, alcohol, etc.
- Instead, go for diets like lean proteins, whole grains, leafy greens, veggies, berries and water.
Protect Your Breasts From Sun Rays
If you are always outside and likely to be exposed to the sun, use a high protection sunscreen. It will help you protect your bust from harmful UV sun rays, save your skin elasticity, and maintain breast firmness.
The skin around your cleavage is thinner and more porous than your legs and arms, so ensure to wear a protective outfit if you plan to expose yourself to the sun.
Increase Your Supplements Intake
Dietary supplements support a healthy and glowing look, boost your immune system and prevent you from feeling ill.
Consider using the following dietary supplements to maintain healthy, glowing and resilient skin.
Omega-3 helps increase collagen production, regulate the skin’s moisture balance, and enhance your overall skin appearance.
They help the epidermis to hold in moisture, resulting in smoother, softer skin with less dullness and dryness.
Vitamin E supplements are potent antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Collagen Type 1 + 3 supplements enhance skin elasticity. It helps your belly skin to shrink quicker after delivery.
Vitamin D promotes skin cell repair, replenishment, and metabolism.
Zinc supplement is another powerful antioxidant that has antibacterial properties.
Vitamin C helps to fight free radicals, enhance cell strength, and improve collagen production.
As a breastfeeding mother, if you have any medical history or are receiving other medications, consult a physician before using any of these dietary supplements.
Regularly Moisturize and Massage Your Breasts.
Massage helps to tone the skin, increase breast firmness, and prevent stretch marks.
If you are already experiencing stretch marks, massaging your bust with moisturizers or stretch mark creams will help to alleviate them. Unfortunately, getting rid of stretch marks entirely is almost not possible.
Stretch marks may appear during weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, which depend mainly on genetics and skin elasticity.
Breast massage also increases skin resilience.
We recommend that you massage your breast with a moisturizing lotion daily for an immediate effect.
Remember that you will lose that baby weight now or later, and so you need to engage in regular exercises to maintain skin firmness and reduce body fat. But before you begin any exercise after delivery, consult your doctor and try not to overindulge yourself.
We recommend that you carry out minor to moderate exercise levels to avoid gaining unnecessary weight during pregnancy.
Even after giving birth, try not to gain weight or lose weight rapidly as either can affect your skin elasticity and cause your breasts to lose their forms. You could even have stretch marks due to continuous weight fluctuations.
While working out, ensure you wear a supportive bra to avoid straining your breast’s skin. Exercises like push-ups will strengthen the pectoral muscles under your breast, core, back and shoulder muscles.
In general, post pregnancy exercises help to form your overall body posture and tone, thereby preventing sagging.
Did you experience saggy breasts while breastfeeding? Did you manage to lift them? What did you do while breastfeeding to prevent breast sagging? Kindly share your experience with us in the comment section below.