Breast Changes in Pregnancy and Post-Delivery
Pregnancy is a phase when your body is flushed with several hormones that impart many physical changes to a woman. It makes you grow in all dimension to nourish your baby. Several changes occur in breasts too, starting from the first trimester of pregnancy till the time when your baby turns a toddler.
Breasts medically are also termed as mammary glands. Breast comes in all sizes. The amount of fat in breasts determines its size.
The breasts are supported by connective tissues and ligaments. It contains several lobules, also termed as the glandular structure that passes milk into the ducts and channels that drips down the milk to the nipple.
Nipples are surrounded by a darkened area known as Areola that secretes a fluid that lubricates the nipple during breastfeeding phase.
Breasts During Pregnancy
During Pregnancy, breasts undergo a lot of changes owing to the hormones.
Progesterone that plays a critical role in pregnancy assist the growth of mammary glands whereas estrogen assists milk duct development.
The secretory glands develop significantly that leads to bigger size breasts. One may jump to two cup sizes or more by 22nd week of gestation.
Along with these, there are a number of other changes that you may feel in breasts such as darkened areola, soreness and tenderness on nipples.
Breast size after pregnancy
Immediately after pregnancy, there is a surge of prolactin with fall of estrogen and progesterone. As your body is working to fulfil the milk demand for your baby, you may feel your breasts heavier, engorged or hard and you may find it painful.
Following might help you to combat the engorgement.
- Hot water fermentation,
- Switching the beasts for feeding,
- Avoiding tight clothing
You will still have the bigger breasts during the first few months of postpartum as still, the body is balancing demand-supply law for baby.
Breast size after 6 months of postpartum
Many women regain their original breast size or may see the reduced size or may have a bigger one than before pregnancy. It varies from woman to woman.
Majority of them find breasts saggy and droopy with reduced size post-partum of 6 months. The reason behind this is overstretching of ligaments during pregnancy for bigger breasts that relaxes post-partum making breast droopy.
If you are still struggling to regain your pre-pregnancy weight, you may have bigger breasts.
Breast size post-weaning
After weaning, your mammary glands go series of restructuring that may happen very precisely and may sometimes not the way you wanted. In this process, the alveolar epithelium gets replaced by adipocytes which may or may not give you pre-pregnancy boobs with some droopiness.
What are the changes that are expected post-pregnancy in your breasts?
- Bigger breast sizes before and after pregnancy for the first few months
- Sore and cracked nipples
- Bumpy nipples
- Stretch mark on breasts
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Sagging breasts
- Engorged breasts
Wearing an improper bra which is underwired may hinder the process of milk elution from the nipple may lead to blocked milk ducts.
Incorrect baby latching may lead to mastitis (inflammation of breasts) that needs medical attention. This if not treated at proper time, may lead to abscess that can worsen the pain and may need invasion procedures.
How to maintain breast size?
Regaining pre pregnancy breast size is a challenging one but yes, can be achieved by following below practices:
- Start exercising that are focused on chest area strengthening.
- Do not reduce your weight suddenly as this will affect breasts. Go for a healthy natural weight loss regime.
- Give a massage around your beasts that helps for blood circulation to strengthen them
- Do not wear underwired bras, instead wear comfortable cotton nursing bras.
There could be many other causes that are giving a loose look to your breast such as raised BMI, have had previous pregnancies, large breasts pre pregnancy or is a smoker.
Many women feel that breastfeeding is a culprit for these asymmetrical breasts which actually is not true. It is pregnancy that has done all these dynamics to them. Do not wean off your baby in a worry that breastfeeding will have any impact on your breast size.
Even after doing all your bests if you still feel your breast size has not reduced, it’s Ok. Your body has gone loads of changes to bring a new life on this earth. It is fine to lose a bit of yours but what is more important is your health. Focus on that and enjoy the parenthood.
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