Breast – During and after pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of dramatic changes. As a result, many women wonder if they can ever go back to their pre-pregnancy bodies. The truth is that you can’t because of the stretch marks and other permanent changes that it leaves. Here, however, I’m going to focus on breast shrinkage and enhancement options.
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Your Breasts During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, your breast size increases by up to three times its original size. Increasing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin cue the blood flow to increase to the breast area for the milk ducts to expand and, as a result, fill. This not only expands your cup size but also makes your breast veins appear to be more vivid. This often leaves stretch marks.
If you decide to breastfeed your new little bundle of joy, that can also leave some permanent effects on your breast tissues.
When You Stop Breastfeeding
If you decide to breastfeed and your child is now weaned, your ducts then gradually stop producing the milk. When they do, they balloon back down, taking the rest of your breast tissue with it. This is what causes the breasts shrink after pregnancy.
In some cases, the skin will tighten to seal your new size. However, in others, it lacks the elasticity to do so. That can be due to any number of factors, from your age to whether you smoke.
When your breasts “shrink,” it’s not really the volume that you lose. Instead, they deflate. This rapid sagging can stretch your skin, making it look weak. At this point, they won’t regain any of the original firmness on their own.
Breast Enhancement Options
Chances are, no one except you and your partner will see your breasts. If your child does happen to see them, chances are, he or she won’t be able to tell the difference or even know what to make of it.
However, if your breasts make you feel unattractive, you shouldn’t have to just live with that. Also, if you’re a mom, you know that your kids are watching you, and you probably don’t want to risk your feeling of unattractiveness becoming an influencer for them.
Here are a couple of procedures you can have done to eliminate both factors.
A breast augmentation involves inserting implants into the breasts to boost fullness and cleavage in a way that bras and inserts can’t do. The size of the implants is determined through a process called intraoperative sizing during surgery to ensure the most proportionate results. Aside from fuller breasts and cleavage, augmentations also help to enhance curves and the body’s general silhouette.
Side effect risks of the augmentation include:
-pain and changes in sensitivity in the breast and the nipple area
-scar tissue forming around and/or squeezing the implant
-rupture and connective tissue disease
Be sure to check for any family history of cancer as implants can also put you at risk for breast cancer and a form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma called anaplastic large cell lymphoma
We recommend getting implants after you’ve had all the kids you want and they’ve all been weaned. Implants can also lead to issues related to reproduction and breastfeeding.
Any of the above can result in further surgery that may or may not involve removing the implant.
Breasts lifts are for those who are satisfied with the general size of their breasts, but their breasts have started to lax. You may have ptosis of the breasts if they sit below the inframammary fold and/or the nipples point downward. Another sign is if one breast hangs lower than the other. A lift repositions and supports this tissue.
Side effect risks of the lift include:
-thick and widening scars. Most scars soften and fade after up to two years and can be hidden by a swimming suit and a bra. However, if they become thick or widen, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.
-loss of sensation. This typically returns in a few weeks. Some loss may be permanent, however, erotic sensation usually returns in time.
-not always being able to correct asymmetry or irregularities. Asymmetry and irregularities can also be a part of the change during the process.
-loss of the nipples or areola. Thankfully, this is rare. However, from time to time, the blood supply to the nipples or areola can get interrupted during the surgery. When it does, it can damage the breast tissue and lead to the loss of the areola and/or nipple.
You also might want to wait until you’ve had all the kids you want and your youngest one is weaned to get a lift. It is usually possible to continue breastfeeding after a lift, however, in some cases, they’ve been known to curtail the milk flow.
Your body is the only one you’ll have for the rest of your life. There are no two ways around the fact that it goes through a lot of irreversible changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As a result, you shouldn’t have to live with low self-esteem over it. It’s not only miserable for you but also for your partner and especially for your kids.
Like all other surgeries, however, breast augmentations and lifts don’t come without their risks. Again, please check for any cancer in your family history before going through with an augmentation. Be prepared to watch for any new sensitivities and pain. If your implants rupture, go to your doctor or your nearest emergency room immediately. Initial consultations are crucial for minimizing those risks, especially that of cancer.