Today's post is written by our resident Women's Health Therapist, Meredith Larrabee, PsyD.
After I posted a picture of a card from LMH on Insta the other week, she texted right away, "I wanna see more pics of boobs after nursing- to normalize it. Great we see nursing moms. Now? Show the after effects. Trust me: there is likely a direct correlation for many women between sagging tits and depression."
So we are, today. She wrote the words. I collected the images from mother lovers around all over.
The comments are turned off to protect the vulnerability and integrity of the moms who were willing to expose themselves fully. We LOVE their hearts and having the ability to take such a brave leap (and share) deserves deep respect.
“Your breasts may or may not return to their pre-breastfeeding size or shape.Some women's breasts stay large, and others shrink. But sagging or staying full can be as much a result of genetics, weight gain during pregnancy, and age as a result of breastfeeding.”
Maybe you have read about how women’s breasts can change during pregnancy, nursing and childbirth; but, like most things with pregnancy, you don’t know what is going to happen to you… and what won't.
For example, some women really like their breasts during pregnancy because they are “fuller”, while others hate how large they become because lets face it, there is a point where they get so sensitive you cant run or exercise without pain, your bras don’t fit, and they are just…enormous.
And then there is the after.
The after of nursing and pregnancy can mean a number of things for boobs, but for some, its shocking. I remember a close friend of mine who kept commenting on her horrific “post nursing breasts."
Honestly, she has always been prone to exaggeration, and is often dramatic and self-aggrandizing in service of making me laugh so I assumed that was the case. I mean I knew that most people experienced a “loss of fullness,” or stretch marks, but whatever, right?
How bad could it be?
You should know that while she was nursing her boobs were truly glorious. She is a petite, athletic gal and usually an A cup so when they ballooned to a DD she thought it was fun! And they looked unreal…almost. prosthetic. She had huge, perfectly round ta-ta’s.
So one day, while drinking endless cups of coffee and hanging with our 1 year olds I challenged her. She kept referring to “bags of skin” and I said, “I don’t believe you. I wanna see ‘em. They can’t be THAT BAD.”
So she set her coffee down, and flashed me.
Look I’m not gonna lie to you, and I didn’t to her. They were exactly what she had been saying, “Two empty deflated bags of skin.” I was stunned. The point is that going from small chested to Pamela Anderson , andthen to this, was truly disfiguring.
It had psychological and emotional consequences for her; and no, she didn’t get implants or anything. I know she considered it for a hot minute, but she felt alot of shame about it. She didn’t want her husband to see her boobs and it took her awhile to grieve the loss of what they once were (not the Pamela Anderson's, but the little A’s).
When you hear women say their boobs are "messed up" from nursing, you should know what it might mean. And know, that like other parts of our body that transform in pregnancy, these can really change dramatically, too.
And lastly, what you do with your boobs is up to you, wholeheartedly up to you as long as you feel good and confident hanging out with your girls.