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Reduction in Bra Size after Weaning

The Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Breastfeeding > Reduction in Bra Size after Weaning



Learning to love (or not hate) tiny breasts

Nov 2007

I realize this is a minor issue in the grand scheme, but it's one I would like to feel better about. I just finished over 4 years of breastfeeding (2 kids) and my boobs are GONE. Granted, they were not big to start with, I've always been an A, but now they are a saggy AA. I am reasonably tall and thin and feel like I look disproportionate. Clothes don't fit me well and I look like a 12 year old boy with a sweater on. I loved my full breasts while nursing. They made me feel womanly, sensual and more balanced and proportionate. Catching sight of them or feeling them actually even turned me on. Now, I avoid looking at them whenever possible. My husband claims to love them and me as I am, but I also know he enjoyed my C cups while they lasted. I'm not a breast implant kind of person, but lately I find myself fantasizing about getting them - just little ones, just to be a B. I don't think I could ever do it - the money, the medical risk, the whole concept. I'm a feminist for god's sake. I would never want my daughter or parents or friends to know. And yet... I don't know why it bothers me so much, other than as part of my generally perfectionist tendencies. I'm happily married. I don't want them to attract men, and don't even think my husband necessarily cares, it's more for me. So, short of becoming a permanent wet nurse, what to do? Anyone made peace with their small breasts, anyone pull off a totally secret, pain-free, no risk boob job? Is this just part of mourning for the whole physical part of motherhood that is over for me? I want to love my body and feel sensual and sexual and confident, but I feel like my boobs are holding me back. Nearly A


Oh lord, do I know this one! I've never had full breasts either (before babies I was a respectable A cup) and after breastfeeding, I am now a deflated AA. I gotta be honest, it really sucks! Makes me want to get knocked up again so I can enjoy those C cups again :) In reality though, having teeny breasts really isn't that bum of a deal. We don't have to wear a bra all the time. Hell, no one can tell if you are or aren't with small breasts! It allows you to buy really tiny sizes of shirts, which always makes me smile after having a baby and losing baby weight. We won't have to be dissapointed with sagging breasts (delfated maybe, but in the same spot!) I'm sure there are many other advantages also. I'm hoping to hear a few new ones myself. Just wanted to post to let you know you're not alone. Buck up, could be something much worse!! Take care and go buy some sexy panties for yourself :) Fellow member of the itty bitty titty commitee
If you can find a way to get a secret, subtle boob job that makes you feel better about your boobs, I say do it. Perhaps you could get them lifted, without any implants. Maybe do it before going on vacation or starting an exercise program, then everyone will assume that you just look healthier. As for being a feminist, I'm a feminist too--of course--and I don't see any contradiction. You're not a slave to beauty standards, but you live in a world that cares about beauty, and beauty/ glamour/sexiness is important for many reasons. Women having good sex is in keeping with feminist values. If you feel happier, sexier, lustier, with perky breasts, go for it. As you said, it's not a big issue in the scheme of things. If you don't get a boob job, no woman is going to suddenly start earning equal pay for her work. Each individual decision is not really a feminist issue. As we get older there are a lot of little things we can do to keep looking good and take the edge off of the ravages of age. Go for it, and have fun. glamour matters
Been there, dear ''nearly A'', it was 9 years ago when I stopped nursing my 3rd kid and realized I would never had nice breasts again. To tell the truth, I still mourn them. I finally got rid of the dresses I wore before kids that showed off what I considered my best attribute. For a while i bought underwired bra, so I wouldn't look so flat, but I disliked the feel of it and went to sports bra. I enjoy ''no bra days'' as well. With such small breast, if I do not have to run, I can stay without a bra with no discomfort. So I started to like my small breasts. Then came the terrible day when we talked about plastic surgery my husband and I. I started by telling him I wanted to have a neck lift, or some fillers to remove wrinkles and he told me he loved the way I was and didn't want me to do any surgery. Then I asked, ''how about breast implant? Would you like me to get my breast back?'' and he said yes! That was a hard blow, it'll take me probably another 10 years to get over this one. You'll probably think my story is a bit ridiculous, and it is, when we think about women who go through really traumatic experiences with their breasts... so, sister, let's cheer up and consider ourselves lucky as long are we are healthy. tiny too
hi nearly A. i was a AA after nursing 3 kids and i was not happy. i had never been large, but was a C while nursing. boy, did i enjoy that! however, 6 mos after finishing nursing my baby, i did investigate getting breast augmentation. for me, my breasts were very much tied into my idea of what is feminine, attractive and something i had always wanted. i imagined every possible negative outcome and none was outweighed by the fact that i wanted to do this for ME and it was important to ME. i ended up having surgery this spring and it was the best decision i made this year. i am very happy, had a safe surgery w/ a trusted doctor, uneventful and fairly painfree recovery and just couldn't be more pleased. breast surgery isn't for everyone, but believe me, i couldn't care less who knows. if people are going to judge me and the worst thing they can say about me is that my breasts are fake, who cares? i am a good wife, great mom and wonderful friend. i did it for the right reasons, safely and happily. i wish you luck! implantinfo.com is an excellent resource for those even considering. you can look at photos and talk to real women who have been through it. got a rack!
Dear Nearly A, I understand you very well! I, too, nursed my toddler for over two years, and felt very feminine and attractive in a nursing bra and a Size 0 shirt! I used to hate my small breasts, but my attitude changed when I started running for exercise and fun, and met lots of strong, athletic, flat-breasted, happy women. I felt like I joined a club! As a bonus, running builds great legs. (My husband jokes that I am so vane if I mention it, but I wouldn't trade mine with Victoria's Secret's models.) running mom of 2 and one the way
Get a good bra fitting. There are some wonderfully cute slightly padded bras that would make you feel great about your small boobs. Me, I am jealous. My breasts are big and due to b-feeding now are really super duper saggy. The grass is always greener, isn't it? Mom on Hayward Fault
I'm in a similar boat - was a small B, now, post baby, a slightly saggy A. I have generally (both before and after) been ok with my small boobs - (I actually feel like it fits with my tall slim build), but definitely don't love the new saggy factor. So I have become a complete convert to padded bras. You don't mention if you're already wearing them, but if not, look around and see what there is in terms of push-ups and padded options. I actually found a Gilligan O-Malley bra at Target that I now own in 5 colors. I feel like the padding makes me look like a full B, though they are A cups. Good luck. small boobed too
I could have written your post - only I have been pregnant or nursing for the last 5 years. There was a short break when I saw what my breasts will become when I finally wean my last child. I am not happy about the saggy AA look. I am not really the implant sort of person, but if no one knows maybe it is ok. I like wearing sexy clothes and don't want to give it up. I don't want to put on the padded bras either.

I did some net surfing and discovered that most women who have implants are in their 30s with multiple kids, so we are not alone. I am not sure how I will explain it to my husband (I am sure he will support me). I am not sure where I will get the money. I am planning to find someone knowledgeable to discuss that actual risks involved, and my expectations.

I think it is just for me and it is mostly vanity, but I can live with that. nursing mom


I went to Victoria's Secret and bought some padded bras. I think Warner's also has a new line for the ''petite'' figure. My clothes look 10 times better. Sometimes I even forget I'm flat-chested. L.
This may be a really weird response. I'll start with the disclaimers - I think tall, thin, relatively ''flat'' women are beautiful, I would not take surgery lightly and I don't think there's a totally pain free way to have surgery. General anesthesia stresses on the body. But... My sister-in-law (bro's wife) - totally gorgeous, tall, slim woman who really has everything a woman could want - was feeling less-than-beautiful due to her small breasts. Her husband loved her and them as they were. But she finally went for it. She has two daughters, 2 and 5 at the time. She actually went up to possibly a C. Everyone was stunned at the change in her attitude. The kids had no idea. There was big pain for the first week or two, including not being able to pick up kids. I would have advocated against it and everyone did, but it really did make her happier. Shallow as that sounds. You know, with the sophistication of procedures these days, it's on the same spectrum as coloring your hair or even dressing and accessorizing yourself, I think. I wouldn't do it, but there's a lot of judgement out there that is maybe inappropriate itself. Anon
I was in the same boat, although I was a C cup before having children. After 2 stints of nursing, my breasts were GONE. Really, nothing but skin left. I did get an augmentation, and I am pleased with the results. I did not get big ones, I don't show them off, and I don't ever mention them (except with my husband, who thinks I am nuts not to be showing cleavage all the time!). They do not look like they did pre-children. But they exist. And I feel MUCH better about my appearance. It was bad enough to lose my waistline and get stretch marks. But I really didn't feel I had to take all of what I was dealt. When my daughter is older, I will discuss it with her, and tell her (truthfully) that I never would have done any of it before nursing children, and that I consider it a ''renovation''. If you consider this route at all, speak to a number of plastic surgeons for consultations, and go online to look for user groups of people who have had the work done. Most surgeons will give you a realistic idea of what to expect and have lots of before and afters. And user groups definitely will. You'd be surprised how many people are eager to show off their pictures. You should probably give yourself some time to research and soul search before you do anything. My decision was a no-brainer. Best wishes to you! Former Flatsy Patsy
I have also struggled with the same issue of having a small chest. I became a saggy AA after my son weaned. I'm the natural type and not brave enough to do the surgery thing, plus my husband doesn't really care that I'm small. I've found padded bras work wonderfully. I had a problem of constant ''headlights'' so I needed the bra to tone the lights down. I found the added cup size to be perfect. The bra lifts them up more and gives me at least one more cup size. I bought mine at Target, but have since seen a great bra at Victoria's Secret with some type of gel insert that I hear is awesome. Small and Happy
I went/am going through the same thing! It's so sad, and the fact that it bothered me so much was equally annoying. I have found some padded bras that help to feel sexy. All of that extra skin can get pushed up into cleavage - something I never had before! Victoria's Secret doesn't always have great quality, but I bought one of their bras that seemed super padded, and I love it. I wear it with revealing shirts, and it really looks as if I have boobs. And I have actually started to come to terms with my little ones. For one thing, they do start to look a little less saggy after awhile. I've started wearing shirts without padded bras and feeling fine about it. I think it was more than just the breasts - it was the first thing on my body that showed serious signs of aging, and it was scary for me, and I jumped ahead of myself. But I basically let myself spend time complaining about them and now I am a lot closer to acceptance. Good luck! been there
I don't have an answer, but I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I have small breasts (smaller after pregnancy and nursing, too), and sometimes also fantasize about having bigger breasts... both my husband and I enjoyed my ''fuller'' persona when I was pregnant/nursing! I also consider myself a feminist and would not think seriously about having an operation. My ''solution'' is to use bras that have a little pad, just enough to make me feel comfortable, but not too much so I'd feel uncomfortable or fake. Anon.
You need a different perspective on this. You are agonizing waaay too much over this.

What's wrong with getting breast implants? You're afraid of the polically correct feminist police getting you? Why do you care what other people think? Those same PC feminist police might also try to shame you if you shave your legs, do your hair, don't dress frumpy, or wear makeup, for goodness sake. Your body is your body, period, and nobody has the right to guilt trip you or manipulate you into doing anything to it you don't want -- i.e., have sex, tattoos, get surgery, not get surgery, whatever kind of body modification you're considering. I did get implants 10 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for my body and body image. Suddenly clothes fit, I could wear an actual bra, and most importantly I completely stopped obsessing over my small (AA) breasts and put my energy onto other things. It's my body, I pay my own bills, nobody else is supporting me, &c, so I figure it's absolutely nobody else's business what I do with my body.

In the hands of a qualified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, provided you are a good surgical risk, you are likely to not have complications. Saline is safe and silicone has been re-issued. Provided you are not spending money needed for food and rent, why not?

You have to decide what to do with your body, regardless of what other's ''might think.'' I'd also applaud you if you chose to not go that route, or if you refused them because someone else was pressuring you. Good luck! C cup


My sister had your exact situation - A cups before pregnancies, breasts she loved while pregnant & nursing, and then empty saggy sacks afterward.

She recently had breast implant surgery. She only hurt for less than a week and was SO clear that she didn't want ''stripper boobs'' that her doctor kept repeating it to her, no stripper boobs. The implants were teardrop shaped, the new improved silicone, small C size and they look extremely natural.

She did it for herself, not for anyone else. She likes to swim and water ski and hang around in swimsuits and just couldn't stand how she looked after she lost her breasts. Before she did it she kept saying ''I can't believe I'm even thinking about this'' but now she says she wish she'd done it sooner. Hope this helps. sister


What about having the best of both worlds - removable implants? Get those silicone things you can put into a bra, and then you can have "C" cups when you want 'em, but you'll still be able to sleep on your stomach or run to the store without a bra on when you want to. Personally, I love being small. Or "flat" as my doctor refers to it, so sensitively. Patsy ------------------------------------------ Ditto to all your feelings!! I've actually finally learned to appreciate my very small size for the comfort factor (not cumbersome, light-weight, no back pain, no need for under-wire, etc..) but the aesthetics of it have bothered me my entire life. I've always had to buy a size large bikini bottom because of curvy hips, and a size small bikini top with padding or it will sag! Have also fantasized about surgery but always come back to the reality that it is just not me, and is just too impractical for so many reasons. So now I always wear a generously padded bra -- it makes me feel good to have an aesthetically pleasing body line. I've tried the ''water bra'' which also works well, but it's a little heavy for daily use. There are so many types of padded bras -- you can definitely fine one that suits you. You can also do exercises to build up your pectoral muscles, which gives a rounder shape to the chest area, which is of course also good for overrall health anyway. Perhaps in an idea world we would all just embrace our unique shapes and go naked, but in the world we live in, we do dress and create an image, so there's nothing wrong with creating one that pleases you. Tiny too
I often cringe when I read the phrase, ''I could have written your post'' -- but you couldn't have described me more (except I have two boys!) I'm almost 6'2'' with a boyish figure, but girly style. My mother is a 36D (and sister too), so I've been waiting my whole life to ''bloom.'' I used to think that having small breasts would mean they'd remain perky, but 5 years of breastfeeding proved me wrong. Here is what I'm doing:

1- I try to really believe my husband when he says he loves my body and finds me sexy. I hold the image in my head of myself when I felt that way more.

2- I went to Victoria's Secret and got sized for a new bra. (Recent BPN posts had other great places to get bra-fittings). They were pretty nice - I went on a weekday morning and it was empty. I was discouraged to find out that I needed and even smaller size (I'm a 34-nearly A instead of 36A), but I got a bra with a bit of liner for no-show-through with t-shirts. I don't care that it is not all me! I look much better now and feel sexier. It's not padded, but you could also try a push-up for more umph if you want.

3- I'm trying to get more exercize to feel better in general about myself and body.

One friend also said she went on the new birth control pill and that helped her bustline and PMS moods! surviving small


I was saddened by many of the responses to this post (which I have not read). I have very small, hershey's kiss-like boobs and I resent the automatic assumption that I should feel ugly because of this. I often imagine how much sweeter the world would be if there were no such thing as breast implants, and if all the different types of breast were displayed and adored (like different hair types for example.) Also,imagine if commercial porn had not insinuated itself into the mainstream? But alas, we live in this world. Here are some suggestions, look to standards of beauty in other times and places, atleast you will see they are incredibly varied and therefore arbitrary(yes, breasts represent ''Female'' but so does a swollen abdomen). I have a BEAUTIFUL art nouveau statue of a woman with my figure. I've also found inspiration in high fashion (which I know causes problems for many other women). But check it out, the more expensive the clothes the smaller the boobs on the model, in fact they often hunch forward to heighten that effect. A man in my family is a popular rock musician who is constantly pursued by beautiful women. He only falls for the small breasted ones because that is what he prefers. I wish I could say that I never wear padded bras to make my clothes fit or that I don't dread that first time naked moment with a man who prefers fake boobs, because as a feminist I do want to be a role model to younger women. Think about how good you feel when of us proudly flaunts it. That said, a world in which WE were the absolute ideal would be a hellish tyranny. Just love your living self and tune out the BS hype. Another Beautiful Woman (like you)
I enjoyed the recent round of responses to this question -- the NON-implant ones especially! I've only had one kid so far, but found myself going from a perky 34-A (almost B), to a disproportionate 34-DD, then back to a droopy 34-B (almost A) again -- but I'm still breastfeeding my 2-year-old, so just imagine what will happen when I stop lactating!

What I try to remember is how HARD it was to find shirts (or, heaven forbid, swimsuits) that fit when I was busty. I am tall and slender, and everything that fit elsewhere was too tight across the chest, and I felt like Pamela Anderson. Or if I wore a loose-fitting shirt, I felt dumpy and heavy.

But now with a good bra, I can look sleek and boyish again. I saw a picture of the small-breasted indie actress Martha Plimpton in the New York Times recently, and even though she's 38 (my age) she looked great in a tight t-shirt. anon


Bring back my breasts!

May 2006

Help! I can't find my breasts! They weren't large to begin with (barely A's), but after two kids, they have practically disappeared. The funny thing is, they pretty much returned to normal after I had the first kid (even though I ended up 5 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight), so I wasn't expecting them to vanish after my second. I haven't lactated in 18 months, and my weight has returned to the pre-pregnancy-minus-5-lbs point, which is fine and I don't expect it to change significantly.

I am not interested in surgery, but since I'm done having kids and thus am not worried about possibly damaging my fertility, I'm willing to consider some sort of hormonal solution. I am already well-acquainted with padded bras, although if you want to recommend a particular favorite, please feel free. (I usually wear lightly-padded Thank Goodness It Fits bras.) Flat as a board in Berkeley


Dear flat sister, I have had three children and am pregnant with the fourth and sadly, with each kid my breasts have retreated further and further inward. I started out a great looking 34D and after the third one was a 34AA. I assume it will only get worse with this one! My OB told me the following: If you want breast tissue in your life you must, simply must, carry at least 10 extra pounds on you maybe 20. It's a fat issue. Back down to my pre pregnancy weight or even a little below, there just isnt enough extra fat around to help out upstairs. Since I am wholly unwilling to carry around extra weight unless pregnant, it's push up bras for me. Surgery sounds too frightening, I have read too many ''they cut the nerves to my nipples'' stories, and I am not interested. So, my personal plan is to keep the padded bras and stop worrying or longing for pre-pregnancy breasts. Flatsy
I feel your pain. I love the Jockey padded microfiber underwire bra (style #4721). At jockey.com and barenecessities.com all Jockey bras are 25% off this month. anon
I want mine back, too! This happened to me after my first baby. I was a solid B cup, but a year and half after weaning, I was definitiely an A cup, and they were riding much lower than before the pregnancy. I guess I expected that, but not that I would lose a whole cup size! This also has happened to many of my friends, so it does seem to be part of the post pregnancy body changes. I even had one friend who had previously had a breast reduction in her early twenties, but after her two kids, decided to have just a slight breast enlargement because she was so flat and it bothered her so much. I am not going this route, but I do miss having fullness on the top to balance out my hips. Outside of padded bras and plastic surgery, there are not any real options. All of the creams and herbs and vitamins in the world won't add fatty tissue to your breasts, this is per a plastic surgeon that I work with. Oh well... In the same boob boat
Lots of women find themselves with smaller, flatter breasts after nursing, and for those of us that were small to begin with, a small reduction can represent a large portion of what was there to begin with! But befor you go the chem route, consider exercise. If you build up the muscles underneath your breasts, your pectorals, your breasts will appear larger and firmer and you can even get a hint of cleavage too. Many women are woefully under-muscled, especially in the upper body. And not only will your body look better, you'll have an easier time carrying your kids, and lifting heavy objects. Increased muscle mass also raises basal metabolism, tilts your lean mass ratio (proportion of fat tissue to lean tissues) in a healthier direction and helps to prevent weight gain and osteoporosis as we age. So what's not to like? If you're inexperienced with strength training, consult with a certified personal trainer, to get a specialized program, and some basic techniques under your belt. Helene
To Flatsy, et al: I think the advice given by your OB is part of the answer. (''It's a fat issue.'') But I am not convinced you have to look fat or be obese to have boobs. Well, come back and talk to me after I've had 2 more kids, but here's my thought. After my first daughter was born and I was breastfeeding, I lost all of my pregnancy weight and then some in a few short weeks. I do not think I was well--I was eating voraciously and never felt satisfied. But then someone told me about the traditional/native/primal diet (which isn't a ''diet'' in the parlance of our times per se, but rather the way that people used to eat before industrialization). I perused the Weston A Price (westonaprice.org) and realmilk.org websites, and read ''Traditional Foods are Your Best Medicine'' by Ron Schmidt, ND, and skimmed the amazing photos in ''Nutrition and Physical Degeneration'', by Weston A Price, DDS. I started eating better, consuming higher quality fats (i.e. animal fats from pastured animals not treated with hormones and antibiotics) and feel so much better--I am now (2 years later) about the same size I was before my pregnancy, and my breasts are still roughly the same size (only a little bit smaller). I think that some amount of breast tissue loss is normal after nursing, but I also now firmly believe that pregnancy depletes your body of its reserves and you must eat much higher-quality, nutrient-dense food to ever hope to replenish it (and maybe that's part of the reason why after 3 or 4 kids a D can go to an AA). Our society tells us we need to eat poor-quality (think: factory-farmed and processed) low fat foods to stay slim and ''healthy'', but traditional societies had it right all along. Good luck to you in replenishing your post-pregnancy body. --Only a little bit Flatsy

Pancake breasts after weaning

May 2004

I was always a little larger in the breast-zone than I wanted to be growing up (D). They weren't horrible, just large enough to cause some back pain and difficulty with running, etc. But when I became pregnant, well let's just say I would have been happy to go back to my little size Ds. A few weeks ago I stopped breast feeding and my breasts have seriously deflated. At first I was rather thrilled. Pre-pregnancy shirts that had once been a little tight, fit perfectly and overall I just felt lighter. But now I'm having a hard time keeping my pancake breasts confined while exercising, etc. They are super floppy. They keep slidding out from under my sports bras while I'm running, or doing any activity where I have to bounce. Any suggestions? Is this temporary? Thanks the grass is always greener


I wish I could say that this was temporary, but I weaned my second baby many months ago, and I am also a member of the pancake club. My advice is to get to Title 9 Sports - just around the corner from REI. They have the best bra selection you will find anywhere. anon

Significant reduction in bra size after weaning

Aug 1999

Has any one experienced quite significant reduction in bra size after child birth (also one-year of breastfeeding in my case)? (This is in no way to speak against breastfeeding!) Is there anything effective and safe to do to get back to the original size? Thanks.


I'm afraid that I can offer nothing more constructive than "wait and see." I nursed for a year full-time and a few months more part-time, and we have just recently weaned completely. I went from a solid B cup pre-pregnancy and delivery, with which I was quite content, to a C while nursing, to something noticeably dinkier during and post-weaning. I have, however, resisted investing in new bras, since it appears that over time I am regaining at least some of the lost bosom. The poster did not mention how long ago she gave up nursing, but she might try just sitting tight for a bit and seeing what happens.
Yes, this is a common occurrence. I have heard it explained as follows: when you are younger, your body is in a state of readiness for pregnancy and nursing, and so keeps a certain amount of tissue around "just in case we need it". When you get pregnant, of course, your body gears up for nursing in a big way, and your breasts usually get larger (sometimes *much* larger!). But when you are done nursing, your body no longer needs to carry around extra stuff, because it *knows* exactly what you will need for nursing, should you ever get pregnant again. So your breasts can be *smaller* after nursing (or even if you don't nurse). And of course the whole process will also cause your breasts to lose firmness as well (think about a knit skirt that gets all stretched out--it's never going to be as springy and tight as it used to be!), which can make them ride lower on your body, spread out more, and look smaller. It's one of those dirty little secrets that they don't tell you before you get pregnant. Unfortunately, I don't know of anything to do about it. Perhaps someone else on the list will have ideas other than implants.
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