Breastfeeding often accompanied with the strapline “the most natural thing in the world” has been proven to be the best option for your child’s health and development. This much we all know. But what happens when the breastfeeding stops? For better or worse “ many women agree that after the milk stops, their breasts change in both shape and size, and for some this can affect their self esteem and body confidence.
It’s the most natural thing in the world
Fluctuations in the shape and size of a woman’s breasts will be common throughout her lifetime. Puberty, weight loss or gain and the ageing process can alter both the volume and shape of a woman’s breasts. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are arguably the biggest game changers however bringing both positive and negative effects. No two women are the same and every woman’s journey and experience is different.
The most important thing to remember is that changes in your breasts are very normal and natural.
One of the most common experiences after breastfeeding is ptosis – which is the medical term for the drooping or sagging of the breasts. Breasts fill with milk throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the skin stretches accordingly. When the breastfeeding stops, the milk disappears but the skin does not recoil. In other words, breasts do not always go back to their original shape or size.
Gravity also forces the breasts to droop and this can leave some women feeling frustrated about how their breasts have changed.
Some fitness experts or Doctors will advise to do special exercises, which can help build up muscle again.
This can be a successful option for some. However, many women feel that plastic surgery is the best option for them. If you are thinking about plastic surgery to restore or enhance your breasts after breastfeeding, there are a number of areas to think about carefully. First of all, we recommend that you only consider surgery at least a year after your baby is born and when you have finished breastfeeding.
If you decide to have either a breast augmentation or a breast lift, both are significant operations and you will need time to recover. Lifting and carrying a baby might prove difficult in the initial stages of recovery, so we suggest waiting at least until your child starts walking. In addition, this gives time for your hormones to settle after giving birth, which can take up to a year. In an ideal situation, it’s best to have surgery when you have finished your family completely. This lessens the likelihood of repeat operations on your breasts as they are unlikely to change as much again.
Breast lift, breast implant or both?
There are different operations you can consider with your surgeon. The most common after breastfeeding is a breast lift. This is a procedure which involves removal of excess skin to lift the breast. During the procedure, the nipple is lifted to a higher position and the width of the breast is narrowed to create a better shaped breast.
It is important to be aware that scars will be inevitable and the extent of the scarring depends on the amount of tightening that is required. Scars are red and visible for the first 3 months but often fade within 6- 18 months.
A breast lift can change the shape of your breasts however it does not always address the issue of volume or size. The breasts sit higher after a breast lift but you may still feel they lack the volume you desire. If this is the case, you may choose to have a breast enlargement as well as a breast lift. This operation is called an breast lift with implants or augmentation mastopexy and it involves implants being inserted into your breasts as well as the excess skin being taken away. It can be done in two operations or it can be performed in one operation, although it is technically more difficult.
The right decision for you
Many women report renewed confidence in their bodies after undergoing a breast reshaping operation. Whatever you decide, it is important to make sure you take time to discuss the right options for you with a Consultant Plastic Surgeon (not with a patient advisor or anyone else unqualified) and think carefully about what is right for you both physically and emotionally. At The STAIANO Clinic we offer emotional support and counselling to help you make the right decisions for you and your body and we always advise that family and friends support you on this journey.
If you would like to speak to Mr. Staiano or one of the team at The STAIANO Clinic don’t hesitate to call us on 0121 454 3680.