Breast Rejuvenation Options After Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, a female’s breasts change in size and feel. These changes can be disconcerting. Remember they are a normal part of having a baby. With plastic surgery, your breasts can be rejuvenated after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Key takeaways:
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    Breasts change during pregnancy because of hormones.
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    Breasts do not return to their pre-pregnancy shape.
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    Breast augmentation and lifts are the two procedures done to rejuvenate your breasts.
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    Breast rejuvenation should be done at least 6 months after you are done breastfeeding or giving birth.

Effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding on breasts

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, changes to your breasts are caused by the hormones of pregnancy. You will find that your breasts begin to grow in the first few months of pregnancy. By the end, most women have gone up a full cup size. The nipples and areolas – the darker skin encircling the nipple – darken and grow larger. You find that your breasts are tender and more sensitive than before your pregnancy. They will also feel fuller.

After the birth of your baby, even if you do not plan on breastfeeding, your nipples will leak milk. Your breasts can fill up with milk, causing engorgement, which can be painful. Engorgement makes your breasts swell and the skin over them feel tight.

Regardless of breastfeeding status, your breasts will not return to their original size and shape. Due to the growth experienced during pregnancy, your breast tissue will have increased. This will cause them to sag to various extents. You also might notice small stretch marks on the skin of your breasts. Your breasts will not be as perky as they were before you got pregnant.

What is breast rejuvenation?

You may choose to rejuvenate your breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding. This can be done alone or as part of a mommy makeover.

A mommy makeover provides you a way, through cosmetic surgery, to bring your body closer to its pre-pregnancy state, and different procedures focus on specific parts of your body.

There are two different types of breast rejuvenation — breast augmentation and breast lift. These can be done separately or together to achieve your desired look.

If you are unsure of which procedure you will need, make sure to discuss your desired results with your plastic surgeon. With their experience and knowledge, they can help you weigh the pros and cons of each procedure.

Breast augmentation

Breast augmentation involves adding implants to your breasts to make them fuller. Implants can either be silicone or saline, round or teardrop shaped and come in every size. It all depends on how much fuller you would like your breasts to be.

Fat grafting/fat transfer (taking fat from one place of your body and using it to add fullness to another) can also be done. Fat grafting has the added benefit of removal of unwanted fat from other areas of your body. Although, it is limited in how much can be added to the fullness of your breasts. Most women use fat grafting as an addition to implants, to help create a more natural look and feel.

Breast lift

A breast lift involves exactly what it sounds like – lifting your breasts. Your plastic surgeon will remove extra skin and tighten up your breasts. This will raise your breasts back to their original position on your chest. The removal of the extra skin has the added benefit of removing any stretch marks that may have formed during pregnancy. At the same time, your areolas can be made smaller.

When should I have breast rejuvenation?

You should wait about six months after you finish breastfeeding or after giving birth before you undergo any type of breast rejuvenation. This allows the hormones that affect your breasts to clear your body. Your breasts will also have found their new normal in size, position, and shape.

Most plastic surgeons also recommend that you wait until you are finished having children. Even after having plastic surgery, your breasts will change during pregnancy and with breastfeeding. While there is no limit on how many plastic surgeries you can have, surgeons do recommend trying to limit them. Each surgery comes with its risks and stress on your body.

Risk of breast rejuvenation

The risks involved with breast rejuvenation depend on which procedure you have done. They both carry some similar risks – infection, blood clots, scarring, asymmetry, changes in nipple sensation, and breast pain.

Breast augmentation risks

  • Implant rupture or leakage.
  • Implants can shift from their original position.
  • Capsular contracture - the space the implant is in tightens down around the implant, creating a hardened area in your breast.
  • Implant replacement surgery - implants generally last 10–20 years, so you will need to replace them.

Breast lift risks

  • Fat necrosis - the death of fat cells that can lead to asymmetry and infection.
  • Seroma - an accumulation of fluid.

Recovery from breast rejuvenation

Don’t expect your breasts to look how you expected right after surgery. You will need time to heal. Expect to wear special bandages to support your breasts as they heal. You might also have a tube inserted under the skin to drain away fluid that may accumulate during healing.

A typical recovery time is about four to six weeks. During that time, any swelling, bruising, and pain will slowly improve every day. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on what to expect and any restrictions you might need. Always contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What are the pros and cons for me of the two different types of breast rejuvenation?
  • What should I expect my breasts to look like once I have healed?
  • What should I expect during recovery?
  • What restrictions will I have?
  • How long will the results last?
  • What can I do to maintain my results?
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