Pregnancy can be a beautiful and miraculous time in a woman’s life. But many women worry about changes to their bodies during pregnancy. Additionally, women with breast implants might wonder how pregnancy and postpartum will affect their implants.
If you already have breast implants and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, your implants will stay intact after you have your baby. However, changes to your breast, such as looser, sagging skin, are a normal part of pregnancy which may lead to your implants looking more natural after birth. Since every woman is different, there’s no sure way to determine to what degree this will happen.
You may be wondering, will my breast implants look bad after pregnancy? Read on to find out how pregnancy and birth can impact the appearance of your breast implants.
Sagging and Skin Changes After Pregnancy
Motherhood is an incredible experience, but as all seasoned mothers know, it requires sacrifice. Part of this sacrifice is the changes that happen to your body during pregnancy and birth. Changes to a woman’s breasts during pregnancy and postpartum are a common fear among women even though these changes are common. One study showed over 50% of women had a drastic change in their breast shape after pregnancy.
There are specific fears related to breastfeeding as well. Despite the numerous benefits of breastfeeding, many mothers choose not to breastfeed their infants due to fear of it causing breast sagging. However, contrary to what many believe, breastfeeding doesn’t cause this change in a woman’s breasts, and the ligaments of a woman’s breast will stretch during pregnancy whether she nurses her baby or not.
So what causes breast and skin sagging after pregnancy? Like most pregnancy symptoms, hormones are to blame.
How Hormone Levels During Pregnancy Affect Breast Size and Shape
For some women, an increase in the size of their breasts is the first pregnancy symptom they notice. Throughout pregnancy, hormonal changes occur that prepare the breasts for lactation. This includes the duct systems expanding in response to the estrogen increase in a pregnant woman’s body. Prolactin, another hormone that increases during pregnancy, also causes the breasts to increase in size and stimulates milk production.
The change in breast shape and size can potentially lead to sagging postpartum. After the birth of the baby, the hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to decrease, causing the breast gland to decrease in size. Prolactin increases to support milk production so if a woman does breastfeed, her breasts may stay full while she’s nursing. However, after pregnancy, the breast tissue loses its firmness, causing the breasts or the skin around the breasts, to sag. Additional weight gain during pregnancy can also contribute to loose skin or sagginess around the breasts due to the sudden decrease in volume.
How Breast Implants Affect the Body During and After Pregnancy
Breast implants can affect a woman’s body before pregnancy even occurs. Although the risk is low, complications related to implants such as rupture, deflation, or changes to the sensation in the breast or nipple are possible.
Breast implants are meant to be resilient, so, during pregnancy, there is little risk to the integrity of your implants. However, even if the implants stay intact, the hormonal changes during pregnancy can impact how your breasts look overall.
Women who already have breast implants aren’t immune to the changes pregnant women experience after they give birth. To accurately assess how your implants are affected, you’ll need to wait at least 6 months postpartum, or longer if you’re still breastfeeding at that point.
How your breast implants are affected by pregnancy will depend on:
- Type of implants
- Amount of weight gained
- Size of breasts before surgery
Don’t be discouraged if your breast implants look different after you have your baby. These changes are a normal part of motherhood! There are options, such as breast lifts, for women who want to correct the changes in their breast implants.
Do Breast Implants Impact Breastfeeding?
Breast implants are the most common type of plastic surgery for women across the globe. But despite how common breast implants have become, there’s still controversy over whether breast implants impact breastfeeding.
Several studies have shown that mothers with breast implants are far less likely to establish breastfeeding with their newborns. However, this is not because a woman with implants can’t breastfeed. Certain types of breast implants and incisions can impact the tissue or sensations in the breast, however, these studies have shown that the breastfeeding relationship may have been impacted because the mother was concerned about changes to the physical appearance of the breasts due to breastfeeding.
More research has to be done to understand the cause of this sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, but it’s clear that it’s important for new mothers who have had breast augmentation to be properly informed about the impact and benefits of breastfeeding.
Will the Look of Breasts with Implants Permanently Change or Revert to How They Looked Before Pregnancy?
So, will my breast implants look bad after pregnancy? When it comes to pregnancy symptoms and changes in the body during pregnancy, every woman is unique. If you have breast implants before pregnancy, your implants will likely be unharmed after you give birth, but this doesn’t mean your breasts will look the same as they did before.
Some changes to a woman’s body during pregnancy disappear after birth but others are permanent. No matter how long it’s been since your baby was born, changes such as stretch marks are usually permanent but can be a beautiful reminder of the life your body created. How your breasts look around 6 months postpartum, or when you’re no longer breastfeeding, is likely how they will look permanently. If your breasts grew significantly during the pregnancy, even with implants, they may not return to their pre-pregnancy state. However, how drastically they change can vary from person to person, depending on their size and how much weight gained during the pregnancy.
Should I Wait to Get Breast Implants After Giving Birth?
It’s generally safe for women to get breast implants before getting pregnant since there isn’t any link to birth defects or other complications. But since some women get a breast lift after pregnancy or after they’re done breastfeeding, you may choose to wait to get breast implants if you’re planning on getting pregnant soon. Whether they’re minor or major, breast changes during and after pregnancy are inevitable. If you wait until after you get pregnant to get breast implants, you are likely to have better outcomes.
Can I Get Breast Implants While Breastfeeding?
Once you’ve given birth to your baby, you may be ready for your breast augmentation so you can have confidence in your body again. But what if you’re still nursing your baby? To get breast implants, you’ll need to wait until you’re done breastfeeding before you have the procedure. Ideally, you’ll wait until 6 months after you’ve finished breastfeeding. This gives your body a chance to stop milk production. If you do decide to get breast implants after pregnancy, the good news is, you will be able to breastfeed in the future if you have more children. Be sure to discuss the possibility of you getting pregnant with your surgeon before the procedure since there are certain incisions that could impact the milk ducts in your breast.