"Expectant mothers should be reassured that breastfeeding does not appear to have an adverse effect upon breast appearance," report University of Kentucky plastic surgeon Brian Rinker, MD, and colleagues.
They interviewed 132 women who came to their plastic surgery clinic to get breast augmentation or a surgical lift for sagging breasts.
The women were 39 years old, on average. The majority -- 93 patients -- had had at least one pregnancy. Most of the moms -- 58% -- had breastfed at least one child.
Rinker's team noted the women's medical history, BMI (body mass index), pre-pregnancy bra cup size, smoking status, and other factors.
The bottom line: "Breastfeeding does not adversely affect breast shape, beyond the effects of pregnancy alone," conclude Rinker and colleagues
However, four other factors were linked to breast sagging:
- Older age
- Cigarette smoking
- Larger pre-pregnancy bra cup size
- Greater number of pregnancies
Age and cigarette smoking both hamper skin's elasticity, note the researchers.
Their findings were presented at Plastic Surgery 2007, a conference held by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
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