Breasts are particularly responsive to hormonal fluctuations. During pregnancy, breasts undergo considerable changes in preparation for breastfeeding. It can be hard to maintain the same youthful silhouette after giving birth, but there are methods for taking care of your breasts.
At the onset of puberty, girls’ bodies start to produce higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, which increases the amount of adipose tissue, or fat, in the chest area. The amount of fat produced determines the size of the breasts. Internal suspensory ligaments and skin provide natural support.
Aging, weight gain, and breast transformation during pregnancy causes stretching and loss of elasticity, and will gradually change the position, shape, and volume of your breasts. You can care for them with moisturising creams, contrast showers, and chest exercises.
Choosing the right bra for your breasts (and keeping up with changes in size) is extremely important for your health. Ill-fitting bras can cause breast, back, and shoulder pain, spine problems, bad posture, stretch marks, and chafing.
During pregnancy, breasts grow larger and heavier quite rapidly. Put comfort before style—choose a bra made of natural fibers, such as cotton or silk, with large straps for good support. Anti-stretch mark creams used during pregnancy can improve the elasticity of the skin and aid the healing of stretch marks, but they are unlikely to disappear completely.
A woman’s nipples often feel tender when she starts to breastfeed, and may get sore. You can use special ointments or creams to soothe your nipples and to prevent and treat these problems. Some mothers find it practical to use special nursing bras with a detachable cup. This facilitates both feeding and breast care while still providing skin to skin contact of mother and baby, and helps establish an easy breastfeeding rhythm.
Can your opinion of your breasts affect the way they develop? What are the early signs of breast cancer? Read more about breasts and breastfeeding here.