We women don’t give our breasts enough credit. They’ve stood up to an onslaught of hormones and nourished a little person all day and night. But, when you decide to finish nursing, it’s normal to wonder what will happen to your breasts after breastfeeding.
Just remember, whatever differences you notice have less to do with whether you choose to breastfeed and more to do with pregnancy hormones. If there are things that influence how your breasts after nursing look, they’re genetics, age, and how many pregnancies you’ve had.
In this article: 📝
- What happens to breasts after breastfeeding?
- How long after breastfeeding do breasts return to normal?
- How long will my breasts hurt after stopping breastfeeding?
- Do boobs go back to normal after breastfeeding?
- How to “get breasts back” after breastfeeding
What happens to breasts after breastfeeding?
Every mama is different, and breasts can do weird things in a normal monthly cycle – even without taking lactating boobs into account. But here are some things you can expect as you get another piece of your body back.
How long after breastfeeding do breasts return to normal?
Once you stop nursing and the immediate and uncomfortable fullness passes, it still takes at least six weeks for your milk production tissues to shrink. Even after that, you might still find that your breasts occasionally leak, especially during sex (sorry!). It may take up to three months before you really see your breasts’ “new normal”.
How long will my breasts hurt after stopping breastfeeding?
Your body takes a while to recognize that it no longer needs to lactate. Having very full breasts is no fun, but it signals to your body that the milk isn’t needed and it will only take a few days for the feeling to go away.
Lots of women experience sharp pains in their breasts after breastfeeding. This is different from the engorged feeling you’ll recognize from the first time your baby skipped their night feed. The sharp pain can be a “let-down” sensation or the feeling of the sensitive tissues in your breasts moving back into place as your milk ducts shrink. These pains should also improve over the first two weeks.
Even after the first 10-14 days, sudden pain after nursing can be caused by blocked milk ducts, which can lead to mastitis. Watch out for a hard section developing in your breast, the feeling of hotness, or any fever and chills.
Finally, although breastfeeding reduces your risk of breast cancer, be aware of symptoms such as dimpling or puckering of the skin on your breast, your nipple turning inwards, unusual discharge from your nipple, or any lumps in your breast.
Do boobs go back to normal after breastfeeding?
It’s normal to feel that you have “saggy breasts after breastfeeding”. Most women’s post-baby breast size is actually about the same as their pre-pregnancy size, but mamas often don’t feel that way for two reasons:
The milk ducts have shrunk but the fatty tissue they pushed aside is still in a different place.
Pregnancy (and tiredness) reduces your skin’s elasticity, which makes it look as though your breasts are less perky after nursing.
Whatever happened to your breasts or the rest of your body, you should congratulate them for everything they’ve achieved since you got pregnant. But, if having your pre-baby boobs back would make you feel more confident, there are some things that you can try.
How to “get breasts back” after breastfeeding
Look after your skin
To support the weight of your breast tissue, your skin needs to be able to bounce back. The easiest way to promote skin elasticity is to eat healthily, drink plenty of water, and stop smoking.
Go bra shopping
Even if your baby only changed your bra size a little, having a new bra professionally fitted will do wonders for your silhouette, your posture, and your confidence.
If you can work on strengthening the muscles in your chest and under your arms, it may make your breasts look lifted. Yoga, weights, swimming, or push-ups can all help, and you can start slow of course.
🍼 More around breastfeeding:
Breast Milk Storage Tips
7 Breastfeeding Positions to Try
10 Foods to Increase Milk Supply
Breastfeeding in Public: Tips & Advice
20 Breastfeeding Tips for New Mamas
Is it Possible to Increase Breast Milk Supply?
A Guide to Breastfeeding While Pregnant
How to Stop Breastfeeding (When You’re Ready)