INTRODUCTION: Women are often concerned about the effect that breastfeeding could have on the appearance of their breasts, particularly after they invested on a breast augmentation. However, breast ptosis results from the changes brought about by pregnancy.1 Breastfeeding does not seem to worsen ptosis in women with or without breast implants.2–3
METHODS: A clinical study was designed to evaluate the change in breast measurements resulting from pregnancy without breastfeeding (control group n=62) vs. pregnancy with breastfeeding (study group n=57) in women who had breast augmentation. Measurements included the mid-clavicle to nipple distance and the nipple to inframammary fold (IMF) distance. The degree of breast ptosis using Regnault’s classification was also documented. Measurements were made before pregnancy and one year after pregnancy in the control group or one year after completing breastfeeding in the study group. Basic demographic data was also collected including age, body mass index, bra size and the duration of breastfeeding.
RESULTS: The groups were not significantly different regarding age (24±5 vs. 25±6), body mass index (23±3 vs. 22±4) or mean bra size 34-C. The mean duration of breastfeeding for the study group was 6±3 months. The changes in the breast measurements and the degree of ptosis by Regnaults’s classification were not significantly different between the study and the control group (Table 1). In general, there was an increase in the measurements of the breast and an increase in the severity of the ptosis resulting from pregnancy.
CONCLUSION: The significant changes in breast measurements are caused by the pregnancy. Breastfeeding does not appear to cause further breast ptosis in women with breast augmentation. A similar finding (in women without breast implants) was reported in a study of 132 consecutive patients, in which logistic regression, did not find breastfeeding to be a significant risk factor for ptosis.1 Since breastfeeding improves both a mother and child’s overall health, patient education regarding this matter is of importance.
1. Rinker B, Veneracion M, Walsh CP. Breast ptosis: causes and cure. Ann Plast Surg. 2010;64:579–584
2. Rinker B, Veneracion M, Walsh CP. The effect of breastfeeding on breast aesthetics. Aesthet Surg J. 2008;28:534–7
3. Pisacane A, Continisio P. Breastfeeding and perceived changes in the appearance of the breast: a retrospective study. Acta Paediatr. 2004;93:1346–8