Breasts come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Like the rest of your body, your breasts will age. They will become less perky and full and sag in time. Sagging breasts tend to be flatter on top and tend to be much heavier on the base.
Most girls will start to develop breasts around the age of 13. During puberty hormones are released into the body. These hormones are responsible for gain in body fat percentage and the womanly curves women are known for.
A girl’s breasts will continue to grow for a number of years and will usually stop approximately 2 years after she has her first period.
It is not uncommon however, for a woman’s breasts to continue to change in shape, size and form over time. Weight gain, weight loss, hormonal changes, pregnancy and breastfeeding are some of the many contributing factors.
Breasts are like the rest of the human body. They are unique and not absolutely symmetrical. It is common for women to have mismatched breasts with one being larger than the other. Should this be the case for you, it is advised to fit your bras to the bigger breast, to ensure comfort and avoid the bra cup cutting in. Then using a separate pad, insert it into the cup with the smaller breast. This will help to fill in the excess space and smooth out the bra cup.
Reasons for Saggy Breasts
Throughout our lifetime our breasts will continue to change, both in size and in shape.
When we are younger our breasts are much fuller and perkier and as we age they start to sag and don’t resemble what we once had.
There are many reasons why we experience this change, some we have control over and others we do not. The truth of the matter is that they will always sag just how much they sag is up to you.
As we age our skin looses its elasticity. This is a natural aging process and it will be noticeable all over your body not just your boobs.
Once a women hits menopause hormone levels change in her body. This change affects the volume and structure of the breast tissue and often levels the breasts looking deflated.
The force of gravity is working against our body from the day we are born. Gravity pulls down on the breast tissue and our skin consequently. Over time the ligaments holding our breasts up are stretched resulting in saggy boobs.
The size and shape of our breasts are largely determined by genetics. Genetics are passed down from generation to generation, with most women in the family having similar sized breasts.
– Smaller breasts tend to hold their shape better as there is less weight & pressure on the ligaments.
– Long narrow breasts tend to sag quickly, as the weight of the breasts pulls down.
– Larger busted women will experience the most noticeable change. The sheer size and weight of the breasts will pull on the ligaments in a downward motion.
Wearing poorly fitted, or the incorrect bra will aid in saggy boobs. A good supportive bra will hold the weight of your breasts reducing the load on your ligaments. If a bra is not fitting well, it will provide little aid, which means the ligaments are working hard all the time to hold the breast tissue up.
It is advised that you wear a good supportive bra no matter what bra size you are. A good supportive bra will help to reduce your risk of premature sagging.
During pregnancy a women will experience a sudden increase in breast volume, size, weight and shape. This is due to hormones levels in the body and the breasts preparing for milk production.
During pregnancy, changes will occur in the breast structure. It is important to note that with each pregnancy your size is likely to be different, as the breast structure, mass has been altered with each pregnancy and or breastfeeding.
With the sudden increase and change in size a women will often be left with excess skin (saggy breasts).
Age is a factor and older women will find that their skin tissue is less likely to return back to normal after pregnancy as their skin has less elasticity.
Larger women tend to not only carry excess weight around their thighs, bum and stomach areas, but they also carry excess weight in their breasts. This excess weight adds strain on the breast tissue and ligaments causing the breasts to sag.
Women who lose excess amounts of weight over a shortened period of time are likely to be left with excess skin on their bodies, including their breasts.
It is always recommended to lose weight slowly, giving the skin time to take hold. Eating a healthy diet filled with a variety of fresh food combined with exercise will help to minimise the effects of large amounts of loose skin left on the body.
Women participating in sport should always wear a supportive sports bra. A good sports bra is designed for high impact exercise and should keep your breasts firmly in place to avoid any bounce.
Bounce and movement will put strain on the ligaments holding up the breasts. Over extended periods of time this type of trauma will result in sagging of the breasts, not to mention pain and discomfort while exercising.
Smoking is an unhealthy habits that not only effects your lungs but also effects the largest living organ on your body, your skin. Smoking dry’s out your skin and affects your skins ability of rebound (elasticity). Smokers are more likely to have saggy boobs.
Long periods of sun exposure will affect your skins elasticity. The sun dries out the skin and breaks down the collagen resulting in weakened skin.
Always cover up and wear sunscreen to minimise sun damage.
Any type of breast surgery is going to affect the make up of the breast and the breast tissue.
Women who choose to have cosmetic surgery to increase size or lift their breasts should understand that in time they would need to have surgery again. As she ages her skin will loose elasticity, causing saggy boobs.
Surgery as a result of illness is always going to affect the mass and structure of the breast. Just how much, is dependent on how much tissue is removed as to how much the breast is affected?
How to Prevent Saggy Breasts
Saggy boobs are a part of the aging process. There is no natural way to avoid them. We can however, be more aware and adopt a few helpful tips into our lifestyle to help prolong saggy boobs.
Adopt a Healthy lifestyle
The key message is adopting a healthy lifestyle. Combine exercise, healthy eating, work play balance, body awareness, purchasing quality of quantity (bras) and avoiding excess of anything, will put you in good stead.
A woman’s breasts will fluctuate with weight. Maintaining a healthy BMI (Body mass index) will help to reduce your risk of carrying excess fat on your body.
- Exercise such as swimming, tennis, yoga and or Pilates to name a few, all use a lot of upper body strength. Keeping the upper body moving and active will help to strengthen muscles and keep them lean.
- Joining a gym is a great lifestyle choice.
- Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is always motivating. Combining exercises such as push-ups and bench press will help to strengthen and tone your breasts. The breasts sit on top of the pectoral muscle. When the pectoral muscle is targeted and isolated in exercise it also benefits the breasts and the skin surrounding the area.
Related: Exercises for Fuller Busted Women
A healthy diet may or may not help with breast sagging but will help to build a strong healthy body that is resilient and less likely to get sick.
Eating a healthy fresh diet that combines a range of different foods from the food pyramid, will not only keep you looking fabulous but will give you plenty of energy too.
– Vegetable (plenty of green leafy variety’s)
– Fruit (A wide range of colours)
– Carbohydrates (Low GI)
– Fat (Healthy fats such as avocado and nuts)
– Protein (lean meats)
It has been suggested that eating lots of antioxidant rich foods (fruit and vegetables) may help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles (sagging) and leave you with a much more supple looking skin.
Avoid crash diets as large amounts of sudden weight loss can leave you with excess skin and are not necessarily healthy for you. Starving your body can leave you feeling tied and irritable and may leave you with a less than desirable look.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
Our body is made up of a large percentage of water. Drink water regularly throughout the day to help preserve the skins elasticity.
Water can help to keep your skin strong and firm, resulting in less wrinkling and sag.
Avoid smoking as studies have proven that women who smoke are more likely to have saggy breasts. Smoking directly affects every living organ on your body including the skin.
Avoid excess consumption of sugary drinks. Sugar dehydrates your body and if consumed in large quantities can effect your overall healthy.
Avoid excess alcohol as it too dehydrates your body.
Practice good posture
Standing straight and resisting the urge to stoop forward, not only improves your overall appearance, but also helps to reduce strain on your breasts.
Leaning forward puts pressure on your breast ligaments and aids gravity in pulling your breasts in a downward motion.
Remember to stand straight with shoulders back when you are both standing and sitting at all times.
Sagging After Pregnancy
With pregnancy being a major contributor to breasts sag it is important to look a little deeper to help minimise the effects.
On average a women’s breasts will increase up to 3 cups sizes when she is pregnant. There is no wonder that we are left with excess skin after breastfeeding.
This sudden increase in size occurs usually in the first trimester over a period of 8-12 weeks, due to increased hormone levels. Her breasts will often feel sore and itchy; this is because the skin has had to stretch rapidly over a very short period of time (some women will get stretch marks across their breast due to the sudden change in size). The age of a woman when she is pregnant will determine her skins ability to stretch and contract back into shape along with genetics. Some women are just more prone to stretch marks and sagging than others.
How can I reduce the risk of breast sag after pregnancy?
Wear a supportive maternity bra
Wearing a correctly fitted maternity bra is essential to good breast health. The sudden increase in size and weight puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the ligaments holding up the breasts.
A good maternity bra will help to lift and hold the breasts in position while giving the wearer that much needed comfort and support she requires.
It is always advised to get fitted for your maternity bras by a professional bra fitter. They will be able to measure and help determine your bra size, as it is likely to be very different to the size you have been wearing previously.
Wearing a poor quality or ill-fitting maternity bra will help to aid in premature sagging. This is because the breast is not getting the much needed support and lift that it requires during this time.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Avoid the urge to eat unhealthy and to laze about. Eat a variety of healthy fresh foods and keep active. This way, you are less likely to gain excess weight over and above your expected pregnancy gain.
Excess weight gained during your pregnancy will also be distributed to your breasts making them even larger and fuller than before. As a result the skin stretches further and the weight is greater.
Drink plenty of water throughout your pregnancy to help keep your skin hydrated.
Moisturizing (including your breasts) will also help to keep your skin supple and moist. Retaining your skins elasticity.
Lose your pregnancy weight slowly
Avoid the temptation to diet and to work out excessively immediately after birth. A slower more gradual weight loss will help to avoid larger amounts of excess skin (saggy) being left behind.
Wean off slowly
Should you decided to breastfeed and when it is time to wean. Wean your baby slowly, to allow your body time to get use to the reduced size of your breasts.
In conclusion and as you have probably figured out by now. There is no natural miracle cure for saggy boobs. It is the way nature intended it to be.
Life is a journey. Live it and worry less about the imperfections of your body. They will only hold you back from doing the things you want to do.
Invest in beautiful bras that hold and support you in place. You might even find that a sleep bra or lounge bra works for you at home, because wearing no bra we don’t believe is an option.
Don’t miss: Different Types of Breasts
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