Does Breast Feeding Change Breast Size?

I got breast implants a year ago and unexpectedly became pregnant 4 months later. Now, I have G cups and I'm still one month away from giving birth. They are TOO BIG and only getting bigger. I haven't decided if I want to breastfeed or not, I want to do whatever will make them shrink faster. If I choose not to breastfeed, will my breasts shrink quicker than if I choose to breastfeed?

Doctor Answers 15

Both pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect breast size.

The primary reason why breasts grow during pregnancy is due to the body’s hormonal changes and associated weight gain. The actual process of breastfeeding should not significantly affect breast volume, although it’s common for the breasts to “deflate” or become smaller more quickly after pregnancy in women who choose not to breastfeed. However, the rapid decrease in size can also lead to loose breast skin, which may require a breast lift to resolve. While it’s understandable that your breasts have grown to an uncomfortably large size, you might want to consider breastfeeding for at least the first few months, both for the health of your baby and to encourage your breasts to resume their pre-pregnancy size at a gradual rate.

Breast Feeding and Breast Size

Pregnancy is associated with significant changes in a woman’s body. These changes are especially noticeable in a woman’s breasts, where the changing hormonal environment of pregnancy has a profound impact. During pregnancy, breast size increases in response to these hormonal changes.
A variety of studies have shown that breast feeding doesn’t actually increase breast size but instead stimulates breast milk production which prevents the breasts from returning to their new baseline. The sooner patients stop breast feeding, the sooner these changes take place. This new baseline may include smaller breasts and associated breast sag.
Breast feeding has significant advantages for the newborn child and helps the developing relationship between the mother and child. For these reasons, it’s not unreasonable for women to breastfeed. The changes that occur following pregnancy are usually related to the pregnancy, not the act of breast feeding. Most of the changes that have occurred following pregnancy would have occurred without breast feeding and are related to the pregnancy itself.
It’s not unusual for women to be concerned about the appearance of their breasts following surgery. When this situation arises multiple treatment options are available to address these concerns. For this reason, it’s important to continue to consult with your plastic surgeon.

Breast feeding and Implants

There are many studies that show how beneficial breast feeding is for babies vs not breast feeding. I would encourage you to put the benefits of breastfeeding for your child ahead of the benefits of the aesthetic shape of your body first. It is normal for the breasts to become larger during pregnancy. If you breast feed your breasts will stay larger longer. Once you top breast feeding your breasts will cease to be engorged with breast milk and return to a smaller size. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Pregnancy, Breast Feeding and Breast Size

Thank you for your question.  Pregnancy can definitely affect a woman's breast size and body, whether or not you decide to breast feed.  The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy lead to rapid engorgement of breast and fatty tissue in some women and then subsequent atrophy following pregnancy and the cessation of breast feeding.  For these reasons, the changes in size and shape of a woman's breast following a pregnancy are a result of the pregnancy hormone environment and not usually the act of breast feeding.  With that said, some studies have suggested that breast feeding may prevent the breasts from returning to their pre-pregnancy selves but each patient is different and it is too variable to predict how either a pregnancy or the act of breastfeeding will affect a patients breasts.  I hope you find this helpful.

Breast Feeding and Breast Size

Pregnancy will cause the breast to increase in size even if you have implants. It will take longer for your breast to return to the size before pregancy if you are breast feeding. Breast feeding has many benefits to the baby and mother so I would recommend considering this. You can address any breast changes when you are done nursing.

Breast feed if it's right for you and your baby

Pregnancy and breast feeding will change the size of the breasts, regardless of whether you have implants. You should make the decision to breast feed based on your desires and the advice of yur pediatrician, not based on what will happen to your implants.   

Breastfeeding with Breast Implants

Breastfeeding will encourage your body to produce more milk, which could make your breasts remain larger for a longer time. However, it is important to think of the welfare of your baby, and breast milk is designed to provide the nutrients your baby needs. 

Breast feeding with implants is fine and probably does not change the size of the breasts more than the pregnancy itself.

Breast feeding is good for the child and you should consider proceeding with it, even for a short time, implants notwithstanding.  Your breasts will decrease in size when the pregnancy is over.  If you breast feed, it will, of course take a bit longer.  If the breasts suffer aesthetically because of the pregnancy, breast feeding plays only a small part in it.  There are surgical corrections for aesthetic changes that are unwanted after pregnancy.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Pregnancy after breast augmentation.

Hi.

1) Studies have shown that it is NOT breast feeding that changes breast size and shape. The changes are caused by the pregnancy itself. Your breasts will shrink faster if you don't breast feed, but for the final shape and size , I don't think it makes a difference. So if you think you would like to breast feed, go ahead and do it.

2) What your breasts will look like after you are all done with pregnancy (with or without breast feeding) is really unpredictable. So enjoy your pregnancy and your baby. The worst that can happen is that you need a touch up sometime in the future, and probably not.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breastfeeding and breast size

Yes, the breast will get smaller faster if you do not breast feed or stop early.  It is hard to tell you what the final shape of the breast will be after they shrink back down.  Remember, breast feeding is good for the baby.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.