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Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, with the excitement to see and hold your baby in your arms increasing every month. However, pregnancy also causes numerous changes in your body, some of which eventually fade, and others that are permanent. One of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy are the changes in your breasts. The breasts tend to become larger, and the areola and nipples grow bigger, as well, and begin to darken, due to hormonal changes in the body that prepare for milk production and breastfeeding the baby.
However, these changes can cause your breasts to sag. Every woman would love to have perky and firm breasts, but the breasts usually sag after delivery and during breastfeeding. Here’s what you should know about breasts sagging after delivery and how to prevent it.
Video: Breast Sagging After Pregnancy – Causes and Prevention
What is Breast Ptosis or Breast Sagging?
One of the common post-pregnancy issues women face is breast sagging/ptosis. Breast sagging can happen due to ageing, pregnancy, childbirth, or extreme weight loss. It can manifest in varying degrees for each woman. The ligaments that support your breasts experience stretching during pregnancy, and this can eventually lead to sagging.
Is Breast Sagging Inevitable?
As our body ages, it loses elasticity. Hence, some sagging may be inevitable even if you have never been pregnant. However, during pregnancy, our breast stretches and becomes full and heavy. This may cause the breasts to sag after each subsequent pregnancy. The most common reason for saggy breasts after pregnancy is hormonal changes.
Of course, there are other factors that can increase breast ptosis, such as smoking, ageing, losing too much weight too fast, being overweight, lifestyle choices, lack of exercise, etc.
There are some things you can do before, during and after pregnancy, which will help retain the elasticity of your breasts. Read on for tips and tricks to prevent breast sagging.
How to Prevent Post-Pregnancy Breast Sagging
So how to avoid sagging breasts after pregnancy? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to prevent your breasts from sagging after pregnancy:
Your bra must give good support to your breasts as well as the region around the breasts.
Stay hydrated inside and out. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Keep away from sodas and coffee as they can dry out your skin. This makes it more prone to sagging. Be sure to moisturise your skin daily with a hydrating moisturiser.
A healthy diet is very important before, during, and post-pregnancy. Ensure that you eat healthy and organic foods whenever possible. Avoid dieting fads even before pregnancy because the on-off dieting is known to steal away your nutrition, which ultimately will lead to reduced elasticity and sagging breasts.
After pregnancy, please don’t be in a hurry to lose weight as this will make the sagging worse.
You can also apply an egg, aloe vera and honey mask, which will hydrate and firm up your breasts.
Regular exercise is imperative for firm breasts and to prevent sagging. The exercise for saggy breast can be done anytime, even during your pregnancy, as long as you discuss it with your doctor before starting it.
Exercises to Prevent Breast Sagging
These exercises keep the muscles toned and prevent breast sagging. For it to be effective, you need to do a minimum of 20 repetitions of the following exercises each day.
1. Arm Stretch
Stretch your arms as high above your head as comfortable, and join your palms. Maintain this posture for 20 seconds, and then lower your arms.
2. Wall Pushups
Stand at arm’s length from a wall and place your arms straight at shoulder height on the wall. Slightly spread your legs apart your legs comfortably apart. Now, do 10 push-ups against the wall (just like floor pushups).
3. Chest press
You will need dumbbells for this one (or you can even take one-litre water bottles filled with water). Lie on your back on a flat surface, holding one dumbbell or bottle in each hand. Now, stretch your hands straight, hold this position for a count of 10, and bring your arms towards your chest, till they are nearly touching. Hold this position until the count of 10. Repeat this exercise at least 20 times each day.
Does Breastfeeding Make Your Breasts Sag?
Whether or not you breastfeed your baby, pregnancy hormones will have already stretched your breast. In fact, according to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, research actually showed that breastfeeding is not a risk factor for saggy breasts after pregnancy at all. When you nurse your baby, your breasts will automatically shrink. Else, they remain engorged if you do not breastfeed at all. According to the researchers, the pregnancy itself – due to hormonal changes – is the biggest cause for sagging breasts, and not breastfeeding.
It is normal to experience sagging breasts after pregnancy. But the most effective answer to how to avoid sagging breasts after pregnancy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The right diet, exercise and skincare, will together, help you keep your breasts firm.