Oct. 29, 2007 -- Breastfeeding doesn't increase breast sagging, a new study shows.
"Expectant mothers should be reassured that breastfeeding does not appear to have an adverse effect upon breast appearance," report University of Kentucky plastic surgeon Brian Rinker, MD, and colleagues.
The women were 39 years old, on average. The majority -- 93 patients -- had had at least one pregnancy. Most of the moms -- 58% -- had breastfed at least one child.
Rinker's team noted the women's medical history, BMI (body mass index), pre-pregnancy bra cup size, smoking status, and other factors.
The bottom line: "Breastfeeding does not adversely affect breast shape, beyond the effects of pregnancy alone," conclude Rinker and colleagues
However, four other factors were linked to breast sagging:
- Older age
- Cigarette smoking
- Larger pre-pregnancy bra cup size
- Greater number of pregnancies
Age and cigarette smoking both hamper skin's elasticity, note the researchers.
Their findings were presented at Plastic Surgery 2007, a conference held by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
(Do your breasts sag? Do you think breastfeeding your child had anything to do with it? Share your thoughts on WebMD's Women’s Health Friends Talking board.)