Will breastfeeding ruin my breasts for good?

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Pop quiz!

Which of these factors does not influence post-baby boob drop?

A.) A history of smoking

B.) Your age and number of pregnancies

C.) Breastfeeding

D.) Body mass index and pre-pregnancy bra size

Answer: C. Surprised? Even as the duration of breastfeeding increased, a study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal showed that’s it’s not a likely cause of sagging breasts.

If you’re currently expecting a baby and plan to formula feed, all in an attempt to save your breasts from changing, don’t bother. The current party line is that it’s pregnancy that effects breast tissue—and not breastfeeding.

With normal pregnancy weight gain and hormonal changes, a mom-to-be can expect her bra size to jump one to two cup sizes. The incredible hormone surges and drops our bodies undergo during gestation and postpartum can leave breast tissue expanding and contracting at what seems an alarming rate.

While you’re growing your little one, your glandular breast tissue stretches to prepare for nursing—even if you have no plans to breastfeed once baby arrives. After baby is born, when your body begins to return to its somewhat normal state, these glands will decrease in size. But, by then, the damage is done—often resulting in smaller, saggier boobs.

So, what—if anything—can you do about the post-baby boob drop? Save for surgery, there’s not a silver bullet solution to regaining your pre-baby body. But there are a few small steps you can take to feel better about the new body you’re in.

Invest in a good bra

If you’ve spent your life shopping the Target aisles for your intimates, now’s the time to call it quits. Investing in a well-made and supportive bra can make you feel more confident in your silhouette—and may slow further degradation of your breast tissue (e.g. slow the sagging process). Spanx offers a super supportive style, without the constricting feel of its namesake undergarments. We also love ThirdLove.com, as the company has a unique system for fitting women based on breast shape and previous bra issues.

Hit the gym

Heading to the gym? Not without a good sports bra that provides ample support! As we mentioned, giving your breasts good support may actually help stave off further sagging—and it’s especially important to do so when you’re exercising. Note that most sports bras are rated for workout intensity, so that a bra made for yoga, may not be a good pick for marathon training. Before you hit the gym, ensure you’re wearing the proper bra.

Reframe

Sagging breasts are a natural part of the aging process. They literally happen for all women. Instead of stressing over the look of your post-baby boobs, learn to change the filter on your mind. View your changing body as something to be in awe of—instead of a problem to be fixed. After all, your body just spent 9 months growing and nourishing a tiny human being!

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