Breasts are amazing. They're like the Magic 8 ball of your cycle and pregnancy, and they somehow produce food for a person you created. When I breastfed my babies, I went from a B cup to a D cup — overnight. But, do your breasts stay large after breastfeeding?
I remember waking up a few days after my milk came in the first time and looking down on my two giant new pals. I'd never had large breasts — typically a "barely B" cup — and suddenly "holy cow look at those mammaries." They were enormous, and they stayed much larger than normal the entire time I breastfed. I filled out dresses that hung in my closet for years because I hated feeling like I had to truss up my tatas like a Thanksgiving turkey to get them to lay properly. I bought lots of new bras. I'd occasionally catch a glimpse of my changed profile in a window reflection and startle myself at the sheer enormity that were my lady lumps.
Were. Key word there. When I stopped breastfeeding, those demanding D cups fled my body faster than high schoolers after last period. Just as quickly as they'd made themselves known — they were gone.
According to researchers at The University of Western Australia, breasts are not designed to stay in one shape. Do breasts stay large after breastfeeding though? Only if they were large to begin with, according to the study, and even then, they'll likely end up smaller than they were before you started breastfeeding. These scientists used topographical computer analysis of the changes in breasts from before pregnancy to after weaning, and they found that breasts lose fatty tissue after weaning. While some women recover some of the fat in their breasts months later, it's by no means the norm.
Breasts also lose density after weaning. According to the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, women who've had children have less dense breasts overall. This is even more true for women who have had multiple children earlier in life. Women like that — women like me — have the least dense breasts. I often joke that when I get a mammogram, it's all just going to spill out on the sides because they'll squish perfectly flat. It turns out, I'm not that far from the truth. Sure, my breasts may be small and have an unfavorable opinion of gravity, but radiologists love me.
I didn't need a computer readout of my boobs to know they'd shrank. It was as plain as the breasts in my bra, but they did an amazing thing for my kids, and I'm grateful to those little machines. (Little being the operative word.)