They’re bigger, they’re smaller, they’re leaking, they’re creaking. Don’t be too surprised if your post-breastfeeding breasts leave you feeling like that kitchen tap you’ve been meaning to replace for the last 12 months. Breastfeeding is demanding, so don’t worry if your boobs start going through some unexpected changes.
If you’re starting to feel more like a ye olde milk maid than a mum, that’s okay. We’re here to help. In this article we’ll be talking honestly about all the weird and wonderful changes that those boobs of yours might encounter once you stop breastfeeding.
Looking for some fun facts about breastfeeding? Well, you’ve stumbled upon the perfect place for breast milk facts, lactation facts, and generally interesting facts about breastfeeding. Today, we’re going to be sharing some of our favourite post-breastfeeding facts with you. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Will my breasts change after breastfeeding?
Breast changes in pregnancy are very common and these changes continue postpartum. There’s no beating around the bush. The short answer is yes. In all likelihood your breasts are going to change quite a bit after nursing your baby.
Likewise, if you’ve been exclusively pumping, the toll on your boobs can be quite significant – get ready to embrace the lobsided, deflated look for a while (let’s just call it avant-garde chic).
The best thing is to be prepared.
And that’s where we come in.
Our mission is to reduce the number of new mothers entering ‘I’ve just seen my breasts in the mirror’-induced anaphylactic shock.
At the end of the day, whatever your post-breastfeeding breasts look like, they’ve fed and nourished your baby. And that’s always the most important thing.
Now, brace yourself. It’s time to delve into the details.
How will breastfeeding change my breasts?
In all likelihood, your breasts grew quite a bit throughout your pregnancy. After you’ve given birth and milk production gets underway, it’s not uncommon for a woman’s breasts to become engorged. This just means that your boobs are overly full of milk (and often painfully so). If your postpartum breasts were firm and swollen, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s all down to a hormone called prolactin. After birth, and once you’ve passed the placenta, your body starts producing prolactin to kickstart milk production.
If you choose to continue nursing, your breasts will usually keep their larger form. Then, once you start weaning your baby onto solid foods, they will gradually return to their pre-pregnancy size (or there abouts). They may be saggier, leakier, veinier, and a wee bit lopsided for a while, but your boobs will eventually find their sweet spot once more.
Can breastfeeding affect breast size?
So, yes, breastfeeding can affect breast size. But it’s usually temporary. Your breasts are going to have a few different personas over the weeks and months after birth but they’ll most probably return to their original cup size within the first couple of months after your stop breastfeeding. Some women find they actually end up a little bit smaller. Some bigger.
Whether you can’t wait to get rid of your pregnancy-induced boob augmentation or you’ll secretly miss it a little bit, your body will eventually settle at its new normal.
Can breastfeeding affect breast shape and appearance?
Breastfeeding doesn’t just meddle with the size of your breasts. Oh-no. Breastfeeding likes to get in on all the action. Your breast shape and overall appearance is going to go through some changes. No body is exactly the same. You might experience all (or none) of these changes. And that’s totally okay. Whether they’re lumpy, bumpy, or saggy, most of these changes are temporary. And hey, your boobs are still beautiful no matter what.
Let’s talk through some typical post-breastfeeding changes.
The lumpy boob
Let’s talk about lumpy boobs. It may not be the most attractive sounding quality, but it’s super common after breastfeeding. Many women say that their breasts start to feel lumpy during pregnancy and throughout nursing.
And there’s a logical explanation. Your milk glands are multiplying and growing and your breast tissue is less firm than it once was. Of course, any concerning lumps should be treated with caution, and for these we always recommend consulting with your GP or midwife.
The saggy boob
It doesn’t matter whether your natural assets were big or small. Breastfeeding takes its toll on everyone. Saggy boobs are just part and parcel of the post-breastfeeding journey. Remember, your boobs have changed a lot. They grew, they stretched, they may even have become engorged. It’s totally normal if they don’t just magically bounce back to normal once your baby starts weaning. Your skin, tissues, and tendons, have had to stretch and expand to make space for all that nutritious milk – and that comes with sagging.
The veiny boob
If, during and after pregnancy, you noticed your boobs looked more veiny than usual, don’t freak out. This is completely natural. During pregnancy blood volume increases by about 50% and this can make your veins much more visible. In many cases this increased blood flow will continue postpartum whilst you’re breastfeeding your bubba. But, here’s some good news. Once your stop breastfeeding, those stand-out veins will gradually subside.
The stretchy boob
Stretchmarks. Long the bane of every woman’s life and, yes, breastfeeding makes your boobs susceptible to them. Many women develop stretchmarks during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Once you stop breastfeeding, many women find that their stretchmarks start to fade over the course of the year. Either way, we say embrace them! Stretchmarks aren’t a blemish or a curse. It’s about time we start seeing our stretch marks as markers of amazing things our bodies do for us.
The lopsided boob
Who said symmetry was important? First of all, most of us never had two perfectly-shaped, identical breasts to start with. So, it should come as no surprise that after birth and breastfeeding many of us will look in the mirror to find are more asymmetrical display. Your lopsided boobs are fine just as they are. In fact, they’re more than fine. Love them, embrace them, perhaps give them names. Loppy and poppy are here for the long haul.
How long will my boobs leak?
Your post-breastfeeding boobies are going to leak. Your baby might be on solids now, but your breasts will take a while to catch up. So, be ready for leaks whenever and wherever. It can take up to 42 days before a woman’s breast tissue will shrink after she stops feeding.
In the weeks and months after you stop breastfeeding, it’s best to be prepared for all eventualities. Whether at home or on the go, waterproof nursing pads are a great way to soak up any leaks undetected.
Our Bamboo Nursing Pads are soft against the skin and perfect for preventing leaks. These reusable nursing pads are waterproof, absorbent, and totally leakproof, with a unique curved design to match your silhouette perfectly. They’re machine washable, reusable, and oh-so comfortable. Plus, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by avoiding disposables.
Tip: whilst leaking after you stop breastfeeding is completely normal, if the leaking continues for more than three months we recommend visiting your GP.
Is something wrong if there are no changes in my breasts after breastfeeding…or if there are… what’s normal here?
As a new mum, you’ll have tons of questions. Don’t worry if you find yourself constantly wondering ‘what’s normal here?’
What’s normal here is that that it’s perfectly normal to be wondering what’s normal!
When it comes to your post-breastfeeding breasts, there is no ‘normal’, so to speak.
Whilst many women will experience some or all of the changes we’ve discussed today, some won’t. For some women their breastfeeding boobs will simply stick around.
Some mums say that their breasts remain larger long after they’ve finished nursing. Others notice that their boobs settle at a smaller size than they were used to pre-pregnancy. Whether they’re bigger, smaller, or just a bit wonky, your boobs are still perfect.
Wonky, saggy, leaky, beautiful
Welcome to the consistently inconsistent ever-changing breasts of mums.
Now that you’ve stopped breastfeeding, it’s important not to put any pressure on yourself to magically ping back into your pre-pregnancy body. Our bodies change and evolve throughout our lifetimes. And this is just the next phase on your body journey.
Whether your boobs are bigger, smaller, wonky, or saggy, embrace their new-found beauty and try to laugh along the way. After all, they’ve done a truly amazing job, don’t you think?