Pregnancy brings on a lot of changes to a woman’s body, and as any woman knows, these changes aren’t limited to the baby bump!
Your breasts also go through some changes due to hormone fluctuations. The onset of lactation will almost always lead to a temporary size increase, but the effect that this will have on the post-pregnancy appearance of your breast implants is less predictable.
Keep Reading to find out what factors might shape your post-baby look…
The effect that pregnancy has upon the breasts varies from woman to woman, making it difficult to predict exactly how your breasts will look afterward. A number of factors—including your age, your inherent skin quality, whether or not you’re a smoker, and the extent of your breast tissue enlargement—play a part in determining the end results of pregnancy. Here are a few more things to consider:
Excessive Weight Gain
Lactation is not the only reason for your breasts to enlarge during pregnancy. Excessive weight gain can also be a contributor. The more weight you gain, the harder it will be for your body to “snap back” after the baby is born. Everything will stretch out more… your tummy, your hips, and your breasts. Contrary to popular belief, the average woman doesn’t need to gain any more than 25-30lbs during her pregnancy to ensure that her baby is getting enough nutrition.
Position of Your Breast Implants
Keep in mind that the position of your breast implants you have makes a difference. Subpectoral implants—implants that are underneath the muscle in your chest—are supported by the muscles surrounding them, so the changes to your breast tissue do not affect them. Subglandular implants, however—implants placed above the muscle in the breasts—rely on the breast tissue itself for support, and so are more likely to fall after pregnancy. On a more positive note, if you are someone who has a particularly tight skin envelope before your pregnancy, the stretching that you’ll experience when your breast size increases may actually be beneficial—it can actually make your breasts look more natural afterward.
Once you stop breast feeding, your breasts will likely return to their “normal” size, but the tissues are likely to be a little stretched out (and probably a little saggy). While such changes are obviously not very appealing, breast implants do not really have any bearing on the extent to which sagging or stretch marks will occur. Such side effects can manifest whether or not you have had breast surgery, and plastic surgeons agree that implants do not tend to cause complications or exacerbate the aftereffects of pregnancy upon your breasts. Stretch marks, for instance, are genetically linked, so implants will not increase your chances of getting them unless you are already prone to developing them. Furthermore, breast implants should not impair your ability to breast-feed: augmentation surgery can be done without affecting how your milk ducts or nipples function.
If you haven’t gotten your breast implants yet and plan to have a baby soon, your doctor may advise you to wait until after your pregnancy to have surgery done since it’s impossible to know exactly how your breasts will respond to pregnancy until you’re going through it. Also, if you experience extreme changes in breast size during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, you may want to consider getting some work done post-pregnancy if your breasts don’t return to a size and shape you’re happy with. If this occurs, consult with your doctor three to six months after you stop lactating to find out if this is a step you should take.Usha Rajagopal, MD San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center www.sfcosmeticsurgery.com
Photo Credit: iStockphoto
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.