Q: Is it possible that after breastfeeding, the size of the breast will decrease than the prepregnancy size, and the breast will also become saggy? My mom told me that her breasts became saggy and flat after breastfeeding me for 10 months, yet her sister’s did not. Is it because of nutritional deficiency during breastfeeding?
A: Breast size changes as we grow older, and the specific changes seem to be more related to genetics than breastfeeding. Generally, the breast grows a little each month from puberty onward, increasing in size in anticipation of a possible pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, the breast will shrink slightly, such that there is a little net growth each month. This continues until menopause.
Pregnancy causes a noticeable change in breast size in most women, and the breasts will grow again when milk production is in full swing. As a woman tapers off the breastfeeding, the breast will decrease in size again, but not necessarily to pre-pregnant size.
It is interesting that your mom experienced the sagging and flattened breasts after breastfeeding but her sister did not. Chances are it still is related more to genetics, however. Sisters share a lot of genes, but don’t necessarily have identical sets unless they are twins. Within any one family, one sister may be well endowed, and the other considerably smaller. And so it isn’t unreasonable to expect that breast size changes might change from sister to sister. Most of these changes will happen regardless of whether a woman breastfeeds or not. It has been said to look at your grandmother’s breast shape to get an idea of how yours will likely look in the years ahead.
By Melissa Clark Vickers
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant