Does breastfeeding cause your puppies to lose their perkiness?

What did one saggy boob say to the other saggy boob?
If we don’t get some support soon, people are going to think we’re nuts.

I crack me up.

Breast ptosis (pronounced ‘toe-sis’) – aka saggy boobs, droopy boobie, ball-in-a-sock, the list goes on, as does the unwelcome visual.

The idea that breastfeeding causes boobs to sag is perpetuated by careless comments in the media (Cheryl Cole to British Vogue in 2009 “I want to breastfeed,” she said, “but I’ve seen what it can do, so I may have to reconsider.”). Way to go girl, considering your status as a role model for young women everywhere.

What does the current evidence have to say about breast ptosis?

Most of the literature out there discusses surgery (eg. free nipple grafts, Goldilocks mastectomy, glandular and dermal flaps, mastopexy, polypropylene mesh) (just lovely) however a study at the University of Kentucky looked at risk factors for breast ptosis.

The following were found to be risk factors for breast ptosis:

  • Increased age;
  • History of weight loss >50 lbs (~22kg for the rest of the world…);
  • Being overweight/ obese;
  • Larger bra cup size;
  • Increasing number of pregnancies;
  • Smoking history.

The following were NOT found to be risk factors for breast ptosis:

  • History of breast-feeding;
  • Weight gain during pregnancy;
  • Lack of regular upper body exercise.

Bottom line: beware the saggy boob if you’re an old fat breeding smoker. Otherwise, feel free to breastfeed with abandon.

Rinker B, Veneracion M, Walsh CP. Breast ptosis: causes and cure. Ann Plast Surg. 2010 May;64(5):579-84.

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