We hear it time and time again, “What will happen to my post-baby boobs?” Pregnancy and childbirth have a way of taking a woman’s body and later, leaving it almost unrecognizable to her. There’s that expanding rib cage, the widening hips, postpartum hair loss, the extra pounds, and on, and on, and on. Blame these pregnancy-related phenomenons on surging hormones and our bodies’ miraculous way of expanding to make way for new life.
Make no mistake: this freshly postpartum experience is beautiful—but tell that to a woman who’s in the throes of it and you’ll likely get the stink eye.
No matter the medical explanation behind the changes our bodies undergo, for many women, facing themselves in the mirror post-baby may not be easy. Especially when it comes to our breasts. Because breast tissue is particularly sensitive to hormonal changes, our bra sizes seem to change with the wind during pregnancy and well beyond. Here’s what you can expect and what’s totally normal for post-baby boobs.
Sagging breasts are a natural part of the aging process. Over time, all women can expect to deal with this issue. For the majority of new moms, it’s almost an inevitability. A 2008 study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal debunked the long-held belief that breastfeeding is to blame. Instead, researchers cited pregnancy itself as the culprit behind postpartum sagging. What can you do about it? Wear a good sports bra when exercising to stave off further damage—and invest in a supportive bra to keep you looking and feeling good day-to-day.
The hormonal changes pregnancy brings can cause dramatic changes in our bra sizes. When all is said and done and baby is born and weaned (if breastfed to begin with), some women will actually return to their pre-baby breast size. Some may find their chests larger. But most, however, find their breast size decreases post-baby.
Again, blame it on your hormones: during pregnancy, you may notice your nipples grow larger and darken in color. Give them a few months after baby is born and they should return to normal.
For many women, stretch marks and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. Despite the sheer volume of creams and ointments flooding the market today, there’s little a new mom can do to prevent these telltale new baby stripes. When it comes down to it, it’s all about genetics. You may spot stretch marks on your stomach, legs, arms, and yes—even breasts—post baby.