Disclaimer :: Dr. Emily J. Kirby, a local mom and plastic surgeon, crafted and sponsored this post, lending her expertise to the common concern of breast appearance post-pregnancy.
Other moms tell us it will happen, and we expect it to happen, but, somehow, we are never quite prepared for the reality of the situation: After pregnancy, our breasts are not the same again. If you are unhappy with these changes, this post will help you learn what you can do to reclaim or improve upon your before-baby breast contour.
Why Pregnancy Leaves Lasting Effects on Our Breasts
During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels skyrocket, causing breasts to store more fat and causing milk glands to enlarge. Blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased blood flow, and breasts get bigger—some women grow two or more cup sizes! Nipples and areolas also grow and change shape. Once the baby is born, milk comes in and there is further enlargement of breast tissues. These changes occur rapidly, and your skin stretches as it tries to keep up.
Unfortunately, breasts rarely return to their “pre-baby” appearance when hormone levels return to normal. When milk glands shrink and fat stores diminish, the stretched breast skin may not easily contract, which can leave breasts deflated, droopy, or misshapen. Sometimes, breasts remain large and heavy, and discomfort overshadows aesthetic concerns. Stretch marks, stretched areolas, and asymmetry are other common issues, and these changes will occur regardless of whether or not a woman breastfeeds.
Yes, You Can Get a Better Breast Contour After Pregnancy
If you love your post-pregnancy breasts, congratulations! If you don’t love them, and the changes in breast size or shape affect your self-confidence or comfort, you may wish to consider surgery to correct the issue. A board certified plastic surgeon can help you choose the right procedure to restore your breasts’ appearance or enhance them to your preferences.
To give you an idea of what is possible, here are some common concerns my Fort Worth breast enhancement patients have after pregnancy, as well as common solutions to those concerns.
1. My breasts look like two flat pancakes on my chest. Stretched, sagging skin accompanied by volume loss can leave the breasts looking empty; even a great push-up bra may offer little improvement. A breast lift with augmentation can restore lost volume and correct sagging by removing extra skin, reshaping breast tissue, and placing breast implants to restore fullness. You can decide whether you want to simply regain your previous breast size or go bigger than before.
2. My breasts returned to their normal size, but now they point downward. Even women who do not lose significant volume often experience sagging, as stretched breast skin fails to fully shrink. A breast lift removes extra skin to correct sagging and lifts and reshapes the natural breast tissue to restore a more youthful, shapely breast contour without significantly changing breast size.
3. I’m now a D-cup on the left and a B-cup on the right. Hormonal changes can leave one breast larger or droopier than the other, sometimes to a significant degree. Determining the best approach depends on your goals. If you wish to bring your smaller breast up to size, breast augmentation can help. An experienced board certified plastic surgeon can help you choose an implant size for each breast to achieve your desired size increase. Breast augmentation can also be combined with a lift to correct sagging.
If you would like one or both breasts to be smaller, a breast reduction is probably the best approach to improve symmetry. A reduction also lifts the breasts while making them smaller and lighter.
4. My nipples and areolas are still huge! If your nipple/areola complex has stretched significantly, a breast lift or reduction can resize the areolas, bringing them back into proportion with the rest of your breast. Nipple reduction can be performed as a separate procedure to reduce overly prominent nipples.
5. I miss the voluptuous breasts I had during pregnancy. Many women with naturally small breasts enjoy the boost in breast size that comes with pregnancy and want to make those curves more permanent. If this describes you, breast augmentation can help you go up a cup size (or two) for the long haul.
6. What if I plan to have more kids? While it is safe to get pregnant after cosmetic surgery, it is important to remember that the changes that “ruined” your breasts in the first place may happen again. If you are not yet ready for surgery, a good quality bra can help in the meantime; getting a professional bra fitting is key to a more flattering fit. Many of my breast enhancement patients say The Maddox Shop in Dallas is worth the drive for a professional fitting.
Taking the Next Step
As a mom myself, I understand how childbearing can impact one’s appearance and self-image. As a board certified plastic surgeon, who has helped many women address such changes, I can tell you that patients enjoy the confidence boost they experience after surgery as much as they enjoy their improved appearance.
If you want to restore your post-pregnancy breast contours, or look better than ever, I will be happy to chat with you in a personal consultation. Contact my office to schedule an appointment when you are ready to get started.
Dr. Emily J. Kirby is a plastic surgeon, board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, seeing patients at Kirby Plastic Surgery in Fort Worth. A graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Texas A&M University College of Medicine, Dr. Kirby performs cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery for children and adults. To read all the articles by Dr. Kirby, click here.