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 17

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.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

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.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How Breast Feeding Changes Your Breasts

You can breast feed without worrying about it affecting the size of your breasts. There are other changes, however.

Whether you have implants or not, pregnancy and breastfeeding will do things to your body. When you are pregnant, your body releases more hormones. You will gain weight. The skin will be stretched by the pregnancy weight and lose some elasticity.  After breastfeeding, your breast will deflate and your skin will be looser.

There are two major unpredictable factors surrounding these changes. First, the DEGREE that these changes (looser skin, deflating breasts) will occur is unpredictable. And second, it is unpredictable whether these changes will make enough of a cosmetic change to warrant a procedure.

I hope that answers your question on breastfeeding and breast size. It’s great that you’re doing this research. I always say that the best patients are informed patients.

You might also want to research your options for breast implants. Choosing the right implant is the number one concern among women considering breast augmentation. Did you know, there’s actually a way to select a implant shape, size, and profile that is perfect for you?

A term that I use with my patients for the perfect implant is the “Pony Implant”.

So what do I mean by “perfect”? Well, a Pony Implant has three qualities to it. First, the implant meets your beauty goals. For example, you want to your breasts to look fuller while still appearing natural.

Second, when you chose your Pony Implant, you walk out of your consultation 100% confident that you’ve chosen the right shape and size for you. In other words, you won’t be second guessing your decision, and you won’t be afraid of having gone too big or too small.

And third, after your procedure, you are thrilled with your results, and say, "I’m so happy. This is exactly what I wanted!"

That’s the Pony Implant. And the great news is that there is a simple process to go about finding yours.

This issue of selecting the right implant is so important when it comes to patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction that, again, I really encourage you to learn more about it.

Thank you for reading and best of luck on your journey!

William Rahal, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Pregnancy 101-Your breast size will change.

Hi njbabymama, Yes. For purposes of breast feeding, the tissues will swell, the breasts can become sore, your skin will stretch as your breast volume grows, then it will deflate as it goes down, the skin will or will not shrink back down based on a variety of factors. This will all happen with or without an implant being there. You need to speak to your obstetrician regarding all of your questions on breast feeding. Now is not the time to be worried about aesthetics. You're bringing a new life into the world that needs the best care! 

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 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.

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

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.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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.   

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

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. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

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 36 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.