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Does breastfeeding cause sagging breasts/chests?

Feelin’ a bit saggier than before pregnancy in the boob zone? Don’t blame breast/chestfeeding, blame the hormone relaxin! This hormone that is released in pregnancy does just that---causes ligaments to "relax."

You’ll probably notice your breasts beginning to droop a touch when you’re well into your pregnancy. Many people blame breastfeeding for this ptosis (fancy word for drooping) when it’s really the hormone that helps soften the ligaments in our pelvis and softens our cervix in preparation for labor. Relaxin is distributed systemically, so it has an effect on many tissues not just birth related ones. This is why some people also report being more flexible in pregnancy.

Relaxin affects many ligaments, even those in the breast. These breast-specific ligaments are called Cooper’s Ligaments (yes, named after some old, rich, white surgeon and anatomist who also named a testicular disease after himself :/ ). Relaxin suspensory ligament to be more slack, which can make the breast/chest droop a touch. Breastfeeding isn't to blame for this effect on our anatomy.

Anyways, for those scared to breast/chestfeed because of the effect on their breasts/chest—it likely won’t make a difference. The change in the suspensory ligaments already took place during your pregnancy, but you might not notice it until you wean and your breast/chest tissue recedes a bit. Oh well!

Azura Goodman RN IBCLC

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