Ah. Breasts. It’s not just men who obsess about them. We do too. It starts in adolescence. “Are they growing fast enough? Will they be big enough to attract a boy? How do they look in clothes?” We love them or we hate them. Sometimes we’re ambivalent towards them. But not usually. My own feelings towards mine weren’t cemented until a boy told me he liked them. “Oh, really? They’re worthy?! Oh joy!”

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Then we become mothers. They change. We breastfeed. Sometimes we breastfeed two children at once! A whole new appreciation emerges for these wonderful life-sustaining appendages. Read ahead for some personal stories and a new study that offers relief from an age-old myth.

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credit: Ruth Stover

Asha from Momthings and the Snoot in her post Less Breast discusses a myriad of breast issues. From having A- cup breasts her whole life to developing B-cups as a pregnant and nursing mom, to having a constantly engorged right breast, lopsided breasts, her challenges with breastfeeding, and finally her thoughts on what makes a woman a woman.

Excerpt: [A]fter spending my negative-breasted life without cleavage, hardly ever being able to find a dress that wasn’t too wide in the bosom, and literally NEVER wearing a button-up blouse that was not found in the little boys section of Dillards, at least half of my rack is really good at its job.

Julian from Pocket Buddha in BFAR, Breasts and Body Image writes about her up and down feelings around how her breasts changed after she became a breastfeeding mom. Her story is unique because before she became a mom, she had a breast reduction (BFAR).

Excerpt: The many and varied reasons I had for undergoing breast reduction surgery did not simply go away the day I became a mother. The growth in size of my breasts during pregnancy and in breastfeeding is no less uncomfortable and undesirable to me just because they are suddenly functional.

Code Name Mama, Dionna’s view of her breasts and the words she associates with them have changed since she became a mother. Read her post Big B Little b about the names she used to be called and what she thinks about them now.

Do Your Boobs Hang Low, Do They Wobble To and Fro…

A new study entitled Breast Ptosis: Causes and Cure has resulted in new findings regarding sagging breasts and their relation to breastfeeding. And it’s good news for breastfeeding mamas!

The following factors have been found to contribute to sagging breasts:

  • age
  • history of significant (>50 lbs) weight loss
  • higher body mass index
  • larger bra cup size
  • number of pregnancies
  • smoking history

The following factors were found not to contribute to sagging breasts:

  • breastfeeding
  • lack of upper body exercises

So the next time someone tells you all that breastfeeding is going to cause you to have boobs down to your toes you can tell them to go screw themselves that breastfeeding has nothing to do with breast ptosis. Make sure you use that word “ptosis” too so they know you know what you’re talking about. To read more about this study and what a couple other bloggers think about it, go visit PhD in Parenting: Sagging Breasts? What’s To Blame? and Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Saggy Boobs and Nursing.

How have your breasts changed during pregnancy and nursing? How do you feel about them?

***

Today at Maman A Droit: She is talking about The Usefulness of Underarm Flab. Did you know there are uses for these bits of flesh? Go see! She’s asking for some photo submissions for a fun Wordless Wednesday exercise too!

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9 Responses to “How Breastfeeding Can Change Our Body Image”

  1. #1 Maman A Droit Says:

    April 12, 2010 at 12:43 pm
  2. #2 Dionna Says:

    April 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm
  3. #3 Alexandra Says:

    April 12, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  4. #4 Heather Says:

    April 12, 2010 at 8:20 pm
  5. #5 Lauren @ HoboMama Says:

    April 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm
  6. #6 mrs.notouching Says:
    April 13, 2010 at 1:20 am
  7. #7 Katrina Says:

    April 13, 2010 at 2:04 am
  8. #9 Chicago Blues CD Says:

    May 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm

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