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 know whatever differences you notice have less to do with whether you choose to breastfeed and more to do with [pregnancy hormones(https://www.peanut-app.io/blog/pregnancy-hormones).
Factors like genetics, age, and how many pregnancies you’ve had are the real influences on how your breasts look after nursing.
Every mama is different, and breasts can do weird things in a normal monthly cycle—even without taking lactating boobs into account.
So, here are some things you can expect as you reclaim another piece of your body.
In this article: 📝
- What happens to breasts after breastfeeding?
- How long will my breasts hurt after stopping breastfeeding?
- How long after breastfeeding do breasts return to normal?
- Do breasts get saggy after breastfeeding?
- How to “get breasts back” after breastfeeding
- How do you reverse saggy breasts after breastfeeding?
What happens to breasts after breastfeeding?
Aka, do your breasts really change after breastfeeding?
In short, yes they do, and it’s natural, mama.
Everything from size, shape, and sensitivity can change—you may even notice a shift in how you feel about them on an emotional level.
Once you wave goodbye to your breastfeeding days, it’s normal for your breasts to experience the ‘boob blues’. 💙
Basically, breastfeeding’s ultimate wing woman—the hormone prolactin—starts to wane, signaling the slowing down of your milk production.
Taking their cue, your milk ducts and cells then shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size.
But here’s the catch: they might not go back to exactly as they were.
Less fullness and firmness might be expected after your breasts retire from active duty.
As can the appearance of stretch marks and darker nipples.
Think of it like your favorite pair of jeans after multiple wears and washes—they’ll always be held fondly but just a bit different.
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.
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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.
How long after breastfeeding do breasts return to normal?
“Normal” is a complicated word—especially in the context of postpartum.
When it comes to your breasts and your body in general, “new normal” is probably more accurate.
Once you stop nursing and the immediate and uncomfortable fullness passes, it can still take at least six weeks for your milk production tissues to shrink.
And it’s not uncommon for your bobs to feel a little softer and less firm.
No surprise when you consider that they’ve played home to milk ducts and lobules that have stretched and shrunk over the course of your breastfeeding journey (like little accordions).
All of which can leave your breasts feeling less perky (or what is so elegantly referred to as saggy).
Even after that, you might still find that your breasts occasionally leak, especially during sex (sorry!).
So really, it may take up to three months before you really see your breasts’ in their ‘new normal’ form.
Do breasts get saggy after breastfeeding?
Ah the dreaded saggy breasts. Let’s face it, it’s a common fear for mamas and non-mamas alike.
But here’s the tea: breastfeeding doesn’t deserve all the blame, so don’t throw your nursing bra under the bus just yet.
Pregnancy is the main reason behind any changes your breasts may face (sagging included).
Eventually, your Cooper’s ligaments lose their strength, leading to, you guessed it, sagging breasts.
Add to that weight fluctuations, age, and, erm, gravity, and you’ve all the ingredients for sagging.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that it’s perfectly natural for Cooper’s ligaments to stretch over time, regardless if you have a baby or not.
Lower levels of estrogen around menopause and reduced collage can all play a part.
And while you may not be able to prevent breasts from sagging from pregnancy or aging, there are steps you can take to give them a little extra TLC.
More on that below.
How to “get breasts back” after breastfeeding
We hear the want but we must be real: restoring your boobs after breastfeeding cannot be about getting back to exactly as they were pre-pregnancy.
The reality is, 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
All of which is natural.
The real quest is learning to embrace your new, fabulous form—because your body has been through quite the ride.🎢
And whatever happened to your breasts or the rest of your body, congratulate them for everything they’ve achieved since you got pregnant.
Their new look simply represents the miraculous journey you’ve been on.
But, if having your pre-baby boobs back would make you feel more confident, there are some things that you can try.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and staying hydrated can give your overall skin and muscle health a boost.
And let’s not underestimate the power of a well-fitted bra.
We cover all the details in full below.
How do you reverse saggy breasts after breastfeeding?
Oh, the quest for age-defying perk breasts! We can’t promise a total rewind button, but we can provide a rundown of the top ways to promote firmness.
Don’t forget healthy habits, self-care, and a lot of self-love are essential.
Let’s get into it.
1. 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.
You can also opt for moisturizers enriched with elastin, collagen, and vitamins A, C, and E.
2. Maintain a stable weight ⚖️
Weight fluctuations can wreak havoc on your breast tissue.
It’s easy to get swept up in ‘bounce-back’ culture after breastfeeding, but extreme dieting lose weight is not your friend.
The aim of the game here is balanced eating that is sustainable and satisfying.
So stick to the greens, proteins, healthy fats, and carbs, and try to keep sugar to a minimum (the enemy of collagen and aging).
3. 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.
A well-fitted bra can give your recovering breasts all the support they need and a perkier appearance. Nice.
5. Practice good posture 🦩
We’re all guilty of slouching, but it does our breasts no favors.
Keep your shoulders back and down, stand tall (and maybe slip in a superhero pose 🦸🏻♀️), and you’ve got yourself an instant breast-lift.
And maybe a dose of confidence for good measure… #maincharacterenergy
4. Exercise 🏋🏼♀️
Feeling ready for postpartum exercise?
Well, if you can work on strengthening the muscles in your chest and under your arms, it may make your breasts look lifted.
Any exercises that target your chest muscles—the pectorals—can strengthen these muscles and provide your breasts with a better support system.
Think chest exercises like chest flies and chest presses.
Just remember to take it slow and keep it steady—no need for any overnight zero to gym hero movements.
Your body needs love mama.❤️
Your boobs have been through quite the journey: tugged at and on-demand, engorged with milk, and nourishing baby even after sundown.
They’ve been the ultimate givers, so now’s the time to return the favor with a little TLC.
And if you need daily reminders to celebrate your body for the work it’s done nourishing a tiny human, tap into the Peanut community.
We love nothing more than raising women up with solid advice, shared experiences, and a witty tale or two.
Now, that’s support.