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Why do womens breasts shrink after breastfeeding

FAQ on Coronavirus and Mefi : check before posting, cite sources; how to block content by tags. Can I get my boobs back??? I'm going through a crisis about the shrinking of my boobs since I stopped breast-feeding a couple of months ago. Prior to pregnancy I was a solid B-cup, and now I feel I have shrunk to an A I haven't tested with a new bra but my old bras are a bit baggy. What's more, my once firm breasts are now soft and inconsequential. I know it's a first world problem but I can't help but feel sort of devastated!

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Breast Sagging & Breast Engorgement Problems After Pregnancy

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: My Breast Reduction after Breastfeeding

Why Are My Breasts Smaller After My Pregnancy?

Bras can be many things—sexy, supportive, confidence-boosting, confidence-crushing, liberating, restricting—but one thing they're not is unmentionable.

This week, ELLE. Here, we look at the trials of post-breastfeeding bra-shopping. Sometimes I think about the amount of time I've spent contemplating boobs and I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on what it must be like to be an adolescent boy. And then, finally, there they were.

Except they weren't really there. As Gertrude Stein might have said, there was only a little bit of there, there. I went to college wearing the same triangle-shaped cotton bralettes I'd been using since I was 14, more for an extra layer of insulation than enhancement.

Enhance what? It took until my sophomore year of college to graduate from a scant half-peach A cup to a decent B-cup orange —an accomplishment I attributed to a new birth control prescription more than late-breaking development. The B cup delivered me into underwire territory, and a decade of devotion to Victoria's Secret push-ups. You know the kind I'm talking about. You can toss them out already; that underwire has escaped and it's not going back. I wore them for years. If you'd asked me back then—or if you ask me now—I'd say that I was, am, confident in my body.

It treats me pretty well and so we generally get along. And yet, I couldn't shake the sense that there was something I was missing. And then, when I turned 30, I got a pair!

Along with a baby, but what's a lifetime of responsibility when it comes along with a larger cup size. I was standing in the dressing room of a Macy's, trying on some Jessica Simpson maternity gear when I realized it: those B cups weren't gonna do. That's the annoying thing about time and experience and what it does to your body, you just can't make it go the other direction. Six months after giving birth a second time, I'd basically regained my general physique emphasis on the "basically" and—bonus!

When I wore my old VS standbys, I was positively spilling over. For the first time I was conscious of certain tops not being fully appropriate for the office. There was actually something for my kids sorry Dad, not interested yet to nuzzle. And my nipples were bullseye advertisements for my new endowments, protruding past padding and textured tank tops if the AC was set a degree below balmy.

Was this the new normal? My smallish half oranges had become decent sized half grapefruits. See, fruit analogies aren't only useful when you're anthropomorphizing vegetablizing? When I started weaning the second child, there was some sadness no more cuddling in the middle of the night and some relief no more cuddling in the middle of the night , but most of all I felt a desire to regain ownership over my body. I mean, it was never going " back "—that's the annoying thing about time and experience and what it does to your body, you just can't make it go the other direction, and screw that pressure anyway—but I was hoping to be able to run and dance and swim and eat without factoring in the nutritional needs of a small human being.

Never going to happen but a mom can dream. The internet has all kinds of tepid, inconsequential advice to offer about the process of weaning. But what the internet won't tell you much about is the mind fuck that comes along with getting the body you've always wanted only to have it taken away again. Bye bye grapefruits. Hello sad lemons. According to my favorite doctor WebMD , in a normal non-nursing breast, breast size is determined by the amount of fatty tissue, but in a breast-feeding breast, size increases due to the development of denser tissue used to make milk.

To be more specific, "the breast is like a branched tree made up of hollow ducts," says Nasreen Akhtar, a researcher at the University of Sheffield. At the ends of the ducts are ball-shaped structures called alveoli imagine a bunch of grapes—the breast is similar.

In pregnancy the breast has to convert into a milk-producing organ, so it grows new alveoli and the pre-existing ones start to differentiate so they can secrete milk. What the internet won't tell you much about is the mind fuck that comes along with getting the body you've always wanted only to have it taken away again.

But what happens to all that extra tissue once breastfeeding is over? For a long time it was thought that immune cells flushed away the no-longer-needed milk-producing cells in an ordinary process called "phagocytosis. But new research by Akhtar and her colleagues has demonstrated that a protein triggers those breast cells into temporary phagocytes—that is, the milk-makers turn into little cannibals to clean up after themselves.

But that cleaning up, as many women know, can leave you with some pretty lumpy after effects when it comes to overall anatomy. There doesn't seem to be a lot of uniformity in how this plays out more on that on ELLE. As Tiffany Tipper Gallagher, a lactation consultant who blogs at The Boob Geek , put it to me, "breastfeeding itself doesn't lead to dramatic changes in breast shape, but pregnancy does. Basically: Just about anything might happen, so steel yourself.

Gallager has some perspective on that, too: "As a mother of four, I have absolutely no idea what my life was like before I had kids, let alone my breasts.

Whatever science or the sisterhood offers as explanation, the most relevant factor, of course, is attitude. You know that scene in Judd Apatow's This is 40 in which Leslie Mann lugubriously compares Megan Fox's pert melons fruit again, sorry to her own saggy, post-breastfeeding boobs? They didn't even say goodbye. The downsizing from moderately curvaceous to bumpy washboard was all the more painful because it was tacked onto the push-pull of acceptance and desire that had been thrumming through my brain with irritating persistence my entire adult life.

You can sometimes get what you want, it seems, but those unexpected gifts might not stick around. I would blame the patriarchy for this one-way unfulfillment road, but no man I've ever slept with has seemed anything but delighted by my naked chest. I would blame "celebrity culture," but there are some delightful role models out there for those of us with less.

At the conclusion of breastfeeding, with a graveyard of stretched out, ill-fitting undergarments in my underwear draw it occurred to me that there was something I could do to ease this discontent: get myself to a bra shop to have my post-breastfeeding boobs properly fitted—and stat. I had been walking around with a reminder that I wasn't quite the woman I thought I was. I'm usually the type who shoos away the sales women at clothing stores, let alone underwear stores. Shirt off, tape measure out, I put my chest in her hands.

I was back to my teenage size. C'est la vie. But if my fitting induced a wave of violet-tinted tristesse, it also brought with it a profound relief. I had been walking around with a pocket of air separating my flesh from my undergarments where the underwire held up the essentially empty cup—a persistent reminder that I wasn't quite the woman I thought I was. My Journelle friend tsked tsked at this gaping abyss and found me models that lay flat against my skin.

I remembered that it was pretty nice to have silk, satin, and lace actually fitted to my body. And I walked out looking less like the woman I thought I had become and more like the woman I thought I'd always been. Not a bad exchange. I'm not saying undergarments are the key to self-acceptance, or that dropping a couple hundred dollars to overhaul your bra drawer is the means to postpartum body zen. One of my oldest childhood friends told me when we were teenagers that she did not want to be buried in a bra.

And that's a sentiment I respect. For some women true comfort only arrives at that moment every evening when they remove the trappings of their chests. Or they've just decided that in life and death , they'll do without.

But for me, the bra is not ultimately about punishment or insulation or enhancement. It's the first layer of the armor we put on when we're getting ready to face the battle of the day.

As a working mother with two tiny ones at home, I'll take all the protection I can get. United States. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Kathryn Wirsing. My oranges.

My grapefruits. My lemons. More Bralitics. This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Not my melons. Hi again. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.

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Life After Breastfeeding

It wasn't until a neon push-up triangle bikini promising to make me two cup sizes bigger landed on my desk that I realized just how excited I'd become at the thought of having boobs. Well, boobs again. As someone who developed very early in life — around fourth grade people were telling me I needed a bra — I'd been fortunate to never have to really think about them.

When you were pregnant, everybody from your well-meaning aunt to your OBGYN probably talked to you about breastfeeding. Once your new baby was born, nurses and lactation consultants were available to help you as you began your breastfeeding journey.

Breastfeeding offers a remarkable experience for mothers and their babies. Nothing beats this bond with your baby as you nurse your little one. Moreover, many experts around the world agree that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants. With plenty of benefits, a lot of mothers choose to breastfeed their babies right from the start. However, many moms can become concerned about what their breasts will look and feel like once they have stopped breastfeeding.

The Real Reason Boobs Shrink After Breastfeeding

Bras can be many things—sexy, supportive, confidence-boosting, confidence-crushing, liberating, restricting—but one thing they're not is unmentionable. This week, ELLE. Here, we look at the trials of post-breastfeeding bra-shopping. Sometimes I think about the amount of time I've spent contemplating boobs and I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on what it must be like to be an adolescent boy. And then, finally, there they were. Except they weren't really there. As Gertrude Stein might have said, there was only a little bit of there, there. I went to college wearing the same triangle-shaped cotton bralettes I'd been using since I was 14, more for an extra layer of insulation than enhancement. Enhance what?

How to Reshape Your Breasts After Breastfeeding

The medical term for sagging breasts is ptosis. Breast changes such as ptosis happen naturally with age. But, many other factors can lead to breasts that droop. Here's what you need to know about the causes, prevention, and treatment of sagging breasts. There isn't a specific age when you can expect your breasts to begin to sag.

How your breasts change from pregnancy to breastfeeding and back.

As a mother, you may want to improve the shape of your breasts once you have weaned off your baby. You may want to look your best and looking at those post-pregnancy pictures, and you will do everything possible to get back in shape. But, there is no need to worry. Here is what you can do to improve the shape of your breasts after breastfeeding.

Breast Changes After Breastfeeding

Every woman who is breastfeeding or recently weened their baby is interested in whether her breasts will ever look the same as they used to. Your breasts used to be toned and firm and now, especially if you used to breastfeed and have stopped, the skin is stretched and the breasts hang lower. We all like to take good care of them want them to be healthy and look beautiful.

Many women expect the belly changes, but what may take you by surprise is the appearance of your breasts. You may be like many who lose volume after pregnancy, and their breasts are smaller than before they had their baby. Why is that? Your breasts grow significantly during pregnancy because your milk ducts are coming in and filling with milk. Throughout nursing, your breasts will stay full. However, when you stop nursing, you slowly lose the ability to produce milk.

6 Major Ways Your Boobs Change After Breastfeeding

A woman's breasts can easily grow one to two cup sizes over the course of her pregnancy. But after birth, many women lose this added volume in their breasts, and some women's breasts become even smaller than they were before giving birth. Maintaining the added volume gained during pregnancy is more difficult for women who breastfeed, because women who breastfeed are restricted as to the drugs they can take to maintain weight while breastfeeding. Choose to breastfeed your baby. Since your breasts will often be full of milk, you'll be able to successfully maintain your bigger breasts as long as you breastfeed. You'll also be providing your baby with solid nourishment.

Many women expect the belly changes, but what may take you by surprise is the appearance You may be like many who lose volume after pregnancy, and their breasts are smaller However, when you stop nursing, you slowly lose the ability to produce milk. Your milk-making cells shrink, and new fat cells are laid down.

As we've said before, there is no set time to stop. Some do it when their child is a year old, while others do it when breastfeeding ceases to be enjoyable. Some moms breastfeed much older babies and toddlers and do not wean till later than the "social norm". Whatever your reasons for stopping breastfeeding, it's important to remember that your baby will still need lots of your attention. Weaning doesn't mean losing that special bond with your child.

7 Ways Your Breasts Change After Breastfeeding

Throughout pregnancy and childbirth, your breasts have probably stretched, swelled and leaked more times than you care to remember. And after you finish weaning, you may notice that they look different than before — in size, shape and even appearance. But is breastfeeding really to blame? Not exactly.

What Really Happens to Your Boobs After Breastfeeding

I breastfed four babies and, boy, do I have the boobs to prove it. My breasts haven't been the same since I weaned my last kid, and I'm not talking about the changes that come just from aging. Years of repeated inflating and deflating, baby sucking, and a few rounds of infected nipples and mastitis mean I can officially add my boobs to the list of things my children have taken from me. They fall somewhere on that list between my shoe size and my sanity.

The question is, what will become of your breasts after breastfeeding? Still, there are several changes likely in store for you.

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Will Your Breasts Ever Be the Same After Pregnancy?

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Common Causes of Sagging Breasts and Tips for Prevention

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