Breastfeeding and your breasts - the truth!

Sanctum Health

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Before we even begin, let’s clear one thing up; breastfeeding doesn’t cause your breasts to droop or sag. However, unfortunately, pregnancy and post-breastfeeding can. There are also various nutritional, genetic and lifestyle factors that can affect how pert your breasts are, and how much you can expect them to droop over time. If it makes you feel any better, the majority of women will find that their breasts change, sag, droop and just generally lose that youthful perkiness as they get older, so if you’re worried about your breasts, you’re not alone.

One very important thing to consider when it comes to breasts is that they’re lacking in one rather fundamental anti-sagging ingredient. Muscle. Your breasts are made up of fat, glands, milk ducts, lobules, and ligaments; but no anatomical scaffolding. The ligaments (called Coopers ligaments) do offer a small amount of support, but essentially your breasts are fighting a constant battle with gravity. And, as we know, gravity inevitably wins.

So, if breastfeeding itself doesn’t cause sagging, what does? When it comes to babies, it’s the period before and after breastfeeding that causes all the trouble. Hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy can really take their toll on your breasts, but the main “structural” change happens once breastfeeding stops.

When you stop breastfeeding, if you choose not to breastfeed, or when you reach menopause, your magical milk-making system shrinks. The lobules and ducts are no longer needed, so they shrink away. Your body will deposit some extra fat back into your boobs, but the “damage” has already been done. Because your skin doesn’t shrink, the result can be looser skin, less bounce and almost always some degree of sagging.

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As you age, you’ll also be fighting against a loss of elastin, reduction in collagen production, and stretched or even torn ligaments. If you smoke, or lack vital vitamins and minerals in your diet, you’ll find that your even more prone to sagging as these factors affect your elastin and collagen production.

Hey, it’s not all doom and gloom! Look after your breasts and they’ll do their very best not to let you down. When you exercise, make sure you wear a really fantastic sports bra. All that bouncing about can cause your delicate Coopers ligaments to stretch or even tear - no good for those in search of forever-perky boobs. Nutritionally, make sure you’re getting plenty of Vitamin C, and that you’re keeping things healthy food-wise. Smoking is a complete no-no - the chemicals can drastically affect your elastin production, so quit the habit or at least take steps to cut down - your doctor can help you find a programme that works for you.

There are some fabulous supplements that can help you make sure you’re treating your boobs as well as you can - just stay away from products that contain synthetic compounds, artificial additives or fillers - these are unlikely to do you any harm, but they certainly won’t do you any good, either. Natural products and extracts that contain plenty of flavonoids, phyto-oestrogens or GLA (gamma linolenic acid) are perfect for helping you keep your breasts firm, youthful and perky for as long as you can!