A female’s breasts are attached to muscles by the Cooper’s ligaments. These ligaments are like large rubber-bands that hold the breast into their position. Tension on these ligaments starts during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is when most pregnant females start experiencing a rapid increase in their breast size.
The increased breast size and the weight of the breast puts additional strain onto the ligaments, which causes them to stretch slightly. This is what commonly causes the breasts to sag.
When a female’s milk comes in, the milk ducts grow in size, which results in larger and heavier breasts. This also adds an extra strain on the ligaments, causing them to sag.
This causes the Cooper’s ligaments to lose their elasticity. Females who breastfeed for long periods experience added pressure on the ligaments, which results in sagging breasts.
How to prevent breast sagging during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
It must be clear to you why exactly do breasts sag during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The question now arises how can you prevent sagging of breasts. Here are some effective tips to prevent breast sagging after pregnancy.
Wearing a supportive bra can prevent breast sagging
Wear a correct-fitting and supportive bra to support your breasts and prevent them from sagging. Choose a non-elastic bra with wide straps for support and comfort. Your supportive bra should have a snug fit and hold your breasts (breast tissues) completely into the bra cup. Avoid choosing a supportive bra with plastic underwires.
Also Read- Breast Pain In Pregnancy
Moisturizing your breasts during pregnancy can prevent sagging breasts
Applying a mild moisturizer on breasts maintains hydration and firmness in the tissues, which can prevent sagging breasts after pregnancy. Gently exfoliate your breasts using a gentle body scrub or loofah to boost blood circulation in that area. Exfoliating and moisturizing your skin can help restore elasticity and dry skin, which may result from stretching.
Manage your weight and lose weight gradually
It is important for you to gain weight during pregnancy but you can try not to gain excessive weight. The excessive weight gain during pregnancy might stretch out your breasts, causing stretch marks and reduced elasticity.
After delivery, lose weight gradually and take things slow. A rapid weight loss can result in sagging breasts. Try to lose weight steadily, which may give your skin the time needed to adapt to the bodily changes.
Maintaining a good breastfeeding posture can prevent sagging breasts
A leaning posture during breastfeeding is considered a poor posture. Such a posture for breastfeeding can have a negative effect on your breasts and may make them sag. Follow a good posture for breastfeeding and use a nursing pillow or any other support to raise the baby to your breast level. Also, keep your shoulders, back, and spine in a straight position while breastfeeding.
Don’t smoke- Smoking can increase the risk of sagging breasts
Smoking has many negative effects on a female’s health. It is a known fact that smoking can accelerate the skin’s aging process. Smoking can cause the tissues to lose their firmness and the same can happen with your breasts. Smoking can be a risk factor for breast sagging.
Also Read- What does smoking do to a Woman’s Health?
Take a hot and cold shower or massage
A hot shower or a hot massage improves blood circulation. On the other hand, a cold shower or massage is believed to improve the skin tone. While taking a shower, alternatively switching hot and cold water, and massaging your breasts after the shower can prevent breast sagging and also improve their elasticity. A pro tip- finish your shower with cold water as it is believed that it helps in firming the breasts.
Follow a healthy diet during and after pregnancy to prevent sagging breasts
Eat foods rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to provide the body with necessary nutrition during pregnancy. Proper nutrition during pregnancy can help keep the skin and breast tissues healthy. Eating vitamin E rich foods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seeds and vitamin B rich foods like eggs, poultry, and fish can also improve skin tone.
Exercising regularly can prevent sagging breasts
Following an exercise routine during and after pregnancy can help prevent sagging breasts. Start with simple and low-level strength and weight exercises during pregnancy. After giving birth, your doctor may suggest you wait for 6 weeks before you start exercising. Strengthening and toning exercises after delivery can help in preventing sagging breasts. Wear a supportive sports bra while exercising to provide extra support to your breasts.
Exercises to prevent sagging breasts
There are some exercises that focus on the chest and back muscles and can help tone and prevent sagging breasts.
- Arm raises
- Alternate push-ups
- Bench press
- Chest fly
The above-mentioned exercises may not necessarily help bring back the pre-baby shape of your breasts instantly but might help tone your breasts.
Speak to a gynecologist before starting any heavy exercise routine after delivery.