American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Better breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding

Though pregnancy and breastfeeding are amazing chapters that are filled with joy and happiness, they can also cause many significant changes to a woman's body. It's not uncommon for mothers who are no longer breastfeeding to feel that their bodies no longer look as voluptuous and youthful as they did pre-pregnancy.

It's completely normal to want your body to look as lively and beautiful as you feel inside. While exercise and healthy lifestyle choices can help you create a healthy postpartum body, you may still notice sagging or deflated breasts. In 2020 alone, more than 193,000 women received breast augmentation surgery and more than 87,000 women received breast lift surgery, so you are not alone.

How breastfeeding changes your breasts

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can permanently change how your breasts look and feel. It is common to experience sagging, drooping or a "deflated" appearance. Some women describe their breasts as "pancake-shaped."

This happens because lactation creates a different, denser tissue in the breasts. Once you are no longer breastfeeding, your natural breast tissues may permanently shift. This, combined with the fact that milk flow can stretch your breast skin and tissue, means that most women can expect a "stretched-out" look to their breasts.

What kind of breast rejuvenation should you get?

Breast lifts and breast augmentation are popular cosmetic procedures for women who are no longer pregnant or nursing. Both surgeries can dramatically improve the look of postpartum breasts that may look "flat" or "empty."

During a breast lift, the surgeon will make a small incision through which he or she will lift, contour and reshape your natural breast tissue. This gives the breasts a firmer, more youthful contour. The surgeon will also remove any excess skin and reposition the nipple and areola as needed.

Breast augmentation involves inserting an implant behind the breast tissue to give better volume, cleavage and fullness.

Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide which procedure will benefit you the most. Some women opt for a combination of both surgeries in order to achieve their desired shape. Your surgeon will be able to assess your breasts and make recommendations tailored to your goals and anatomy.

When can you get breast rejuvenation surgery?

It is always best to get breast rejuvenation surgery after you are finished breastfeeding. In addition, it is recommended to wait until you do not plan to become pregnant anymore before you undergo breast rejuvenation. However, in certain cases, women who want breast enhancement but may also have future children can still undergo surgery in a safe manner. If you're unsure about whether or not it's the right time to get breast rejuvenation, consult with a qualified and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns. He or she will be able to give you the best possible timeline.

For most women, it is best to wait up to six months after lactation has stopped before getting any kind of cosmetic surgery done on the breasts. This gives your body time to adjust and allows your breast tissue to "settle" into its final shape.

Breast rejuvenation can help you feel your best

Becoming a mother doesn't mean you have to give up your sexy, confident pre-baby self. Breast rejuvenation is an excellent way to regain your confidence and boost your overall self-esteem.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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