When you’re a plastic surgeon, “cocktail conversation” at a party can involve any and all topics. How much recovery do I need after a neck lift? Can you get rid of my cankles? Breast pumping, not breastfeeding, resulted in my saggy breasts! This particular party patron made the last comment as a matter of fact. I was a little embarrassed that I didn’t “know” that pumping led to saggy breasts moreso than breastfeeding. Seems like if that was true, I would know that by now.
Is pumping a greater culprit of saggy breasts than breastfeeding?
This was not a topic in medical school. So between Google and other colleagues, this is what I found: the information online is really spotty. Most search results aren’t definitive and don’t reflect a series of studies. Rather, you find opinions on various online forums like reddit.
“Expert” opinion often takes the form of someone with an ulterior motive. The pro pumping stance comes from someone selling a breast pump. The pro breastfeeding stance from an organization selling yoga or transcendental meditation classes. Of course there are also genuine opinions from mothers but even amongst these real experts, there’s no consensus.
Taken altogether, saggy breasts are a result of pregnancy, not necessarily the technique of providing milk to the baby. There is no direct correlation of sagging being worse with breastfeeding or pumping. They certainly have their own advantages: emotional connection with a child during breastfeeding; ability to return to work with pumping.
At the end of the day, it depends on the quality of skin and ligaments in the breast. And this depends mostly on your genetic makeup and ability for your skin to recoil and tighten after pregnancy. So if you’re unhappy with saggy breasts, there are surgical and non-surgical options. The non-surgical options to tighten the skin seem to work but very temporarily. The only way to retain long-term results is with surgery but, as a surgeon, I don’t want to sound like I have an ulterior motive!
That disclosure being said, you can check pricing on cosmetic surgical and non-surgical items, in particular a mommy makeover, from Dr. Kaplan, here!