Breast Shape and Changes

Will nursing make your breasts sag? Honestly, it’s pregnancy and aging that most affect and change your breast shape.

Here’s the basic biology. Your ligaments and skin stretch for your growing baby. With more pregnancies, there’s more stretch. Dramatic weight fluxes (losing 70 pounds for example) also affect your skin and muscle tone. Cigarette smoking lessens your skin elasticity. You also inherit a certain kind of body type. Good nutrition keeps your skin and tissue healthy. Regular exercise maintains good muscle tone and posture.

With nursing, your nipples become longer. With a proper latch, your baby’s tongue reaches out and pulls your nipple into his or her mouth. Your nipple elongates to touch the middle of the palate, stimulating a swallow. Nipples don’t return to a pre-pregnant size.

The most dramatic changes that mothers notice are in the first weeks. With a sparkling newborn, in the first days/ two weeks, you’ll feel the cycle of full to soft more obviously. In time, your body learns your baby’s rhythm and the ebb and flow is less dramatic. Your breasts adapt and make as much milk as your baby needs.

Around three to four months, you may not feel as full. That doesn’t mean your supply has dwindled. What’s happened is that your body has adjusted. You will have enough for your baby. In each phase of breastfeeding, your milk changes to provide the best ratio of fats and proteins for your growing child.

If you are expressing to provide breast milk, not breastfeeding, your nipples and breasts still go through these changes. And you still reap the health benefits of lactation, because your body is making milk.

About a month after weaning, your hormones and breasts change again. That’s another stage of Life. In these invisible ways, your body and your baby coordinate. Growing and aging, throughout these changes, breastfeeding protects you and your baby’s good health.