If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you know all too well the changes your breasts can go through, especially when considering size. If your boobs have become bigger with nursing, you might be curious as to what will happen to them when you finish weaning. Are your boobs smaller after breastfeeding?
My whole adult life I wished for a bigger bra size, and when I started nursing, my dreams came true — kind of. Even though my breasts were bigger, for some reason I stopped thinking about their look, and paid more attention to their function. I realized that the size or look of my chest wasn’t as important as what I could do with it. After I stopped breastfeeding, my breasts went back to their original size, but I don’t mind it anymore now that I’ve found a deeper appreciation for them.
It turns out, breastfeeding doesn't play much of a role in breast size, but pregnancy does. According to the Mayo Clinic, research shows that nursing does not cause any negative effect on breast shape or size, but hormonal changes during pregnancy can. And breasts don’t really shrink after breastfeeding, OB-GYN Kelly Kasper, M.D. told Redbook — they just return to the size they were before pregnancy. So if your breasts stretched or grew due to pregnancy or weight gain, they may likely get smaller if you lose weight or when you wean.
So what happens to your boobs before and after breastfeeding? When you start nursing, explained BreastMilk, the fatty tissue in your breasts become denser and your progesterone levels increase, which might make your breasts feel slightly heavier or larger. When you stop nursing, the article further explained, your progesterone levels decrease and your fatty tissue goes away, making your breasts feel lighter or smaller.
The milk in your ducts carries weight, too. If you’ve been breastfeeding, you know that when your milk is let down, or if your breasts are engorged due to missing a feeding or an oversupply, your boobs feel heavier and look a little bigger. So when you are done breastfeeding, and your boobs are empty, they will feel lighter, and for most women, will go back to their normal size.
Either way, it’s important to appreciate the significant role your breasts play in the survival of humanity. Whether they’re big or small, you’re lucky to have them.