Firm to Flop – A tale of postpartum boobs

We talk a lot about boobs in this blog series, that’s because they ‘re precious!!

Whatever size you are, your breasts are special, like our recent blog suggests ‘Boobs are amazing and unique”!

We’ve all had bad boobie days, when they just don’t seem to want to cooperate and sit nicely in our favorite bra. Or when after having kids, you bend over and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and wonder why your nipples are grazing the floor. Or when you finally have the courage to put on a bathing suit and all you see are stretch marks. 

As women we try to see the positives, even when we feel insecure that we lost our pre baby bodies. In this blog we’re going to talk about what REALLY happens to postpartum boobs and why.

Pregnancy boob changes

Those amazingly uncomfortable nine months of pregnancy see a lot of body changes. Rib cages expand, feet spread, faces swell and boobs engorge. And just when you think your breasts couldn’t get any bigger, you give birth and around three days later those suckers are the size of footballs! There will inevitably be a moment when you wonder if you will ever be a real human again or forever be one big tit!

But when you get into a breastfeeding or pumping routine and your body knows how much milk it needs to produce for baby, your boobs will go down in size. And if you never breastfeed, your breasts will get smaller quicker.

You will also notice that your breast size will fluctuate throughout the day, getting bigger and smaller the more or less you pump or feed.

The stretchy skin

One thing we do know is that our bodies are amazing, and everything we go through is to grow and birth the miracle of life. But that doesn’t stop us obsessing over our postpartum body and breasts.

The constant expanding and contracting of the skin is to thank for the eventual sagging. During pregnancy, the glandular elements of the breasts get larger because the dormant fat tissue gets replaced by functional tissue in preparation for breastfeeding, hence the increased cup size. During postpartum the breasts gland goes back to its original size (or smaller), as it’s not being used anymore.

Since the skin stretches during pregnancy to a much larger size, the skin will always remain a little loose afterwards.

The droopy side of pregnancy

I hate to write this, but sadly, once breasts droop they will not perk up again, and unless you are a Goddess sent from above to make us mere mortals jealous AF, then you will have some sag!

The cause for the post baby droop is the stretching of the ligaments and elastic that holds the fatty tissue in place. That tissue becomes looser and thinner which can affect breast shape and texture. So spending all that money on firming creams may be futile. It’s important to invest in a quality maternity bra so that you get enough support.

The good news is – according to a 2010 study in the Journal Annals of Plastic Surgery – women who had been pregnant had more sagging than those who had not, but while weight gain, smoking and additional pregnancies worsened droopiness, breastfeeding did not.

The stretch marks

Another inevitability is that you will be able to follow the stretch mark maze on your breasts, and when the light catches them perfectly they will light up like tiger strips and you will remember just how fierce you are!

Over time those stretch marks will lighten and fade slightly, but once you get pregnant again or lose weight they will be more pronounced.

But here is a little fact to make you feel better – roughly 80% of Americans have stretch marks, so you are in good company mama!

The memories

Annoying and embarrassing body changes are the side effects of wonderful things: growing a beautiful baby and a whole organ, birthing a small human, feeding your child and helping them grow strong.

We are amazing, fierce and can take on any challenge; the droopy boobs and the stretch marks are reminders of our superhero powers!

How have you readjusted to your new body? Are you proud of what it has achieved?