It's no secret that having a baby brings major adjustments to a mother's body. Due to the wild hormones, numerous changes occur simultaneously - some that can be seen and some that can't. One of the most apparent body transformations is the breasts. So, if you are close to your due date or have already had your baby, you may be curious to know what happens to your breasts postpartum. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
After Giving Birth, Your Breasts Will be Engorged
I know, how could they get any bigger than they already are right? Even though during pregnancy your breasts will be the biggest you have ever seen them, you can expect your bustline to grow even more following the birth of your child. It's worth mentioning that C-section mothers may be delayed in getting their milk due to the pain and medication related to the surgery, and any prior breast surgeries like breast reduction, biopsy, or augmentation could affect the speed and productivity of milk production. If you have had any of those surgeries and are worried about the quantity of your milk, ask your doctor how it could affect you postpartum.
Engorgement May be Painful
Even if you are not breastfeeding, your breasts can become overfilled with milk, causing breast engorgement which is quite painful. There are a few causes of this, including hormones and medications given during the birthing process. Web MD suggests applying ice packs and wearing supportive bras as a remedy for dealing with the pain if you aren't breastfeeding or have recently stopped. Additionally, if the pain is too much to bear, you can inquire about over-the-counter medications from your doctor.
Your Nipples Will Change in Appearance
You will likely notice that your areolas darken in color. This darkening is nothing to concern yourself with as the hormones activate cells that create pigmentation, which cause your areolas to be more visible. And not to worry, the color of your nipples should be back to its pre-pregnancy shade after several months.
Your Breast Shape Will Change
Because of all the stretching your breasts do during pregnancy, it’s unlikely they will look like they did before the baby. The shape of one's breasts can be affected by the stretching of the skin, which may result in an oval-shaped contour with a downward-facing nipple. Ultimately, if your chest experiences some stretching and your nipples point southward, it's nothing to be concerned about. It’s very common for women to lose volume after they stop breastfeeding and even if they don't breastfeed at all.
Because everyone is different, it is difficult to foresee all the adjustments your body will make while you are going through the postpartum period. Take comfort in knowing that these alterations are regular and simply due to the growth and delivery of a baby. A number of these changes may be temporary, while others may be more permanent. As much as possible, it is essential to love your body for what it has done!