Boob Job After Breastfeeding?

by Dagmar Bleasdale on June 27, 2011

Signing “I love you.”

I was stunned to find out from this discussion in MckMama’s forum how many moms would want breasts implants after being done with having kids or breastfeeding. I asked around on Twitter and again the same response: most moms who replied would want a boob job.

I had small breasts before I had my son — barely an A cup — and breastfeeding has been the best boob job I could have asked for! My breasts are a size bigger and I would love it if they’d stay this way, but I’m bracing myself for them to deflate and go south after 4.5 years of breastfeeding. And I’m okay with that.

I can’t imagine getting breast implants, for many reasons.

I can’t imagine risking and going through that elective surgery, and I don’t want a foreign body in my body. That must feel so odd! I’m looking forward to getting back into shape and I think big boobs will only get in the way.

Plus there is the cost – I’d rather put that money toward my son’s college fund. But maybe a lot of the women who get breast implants have enough money that they don’t have to choose between one or the other.

I’ll op to wear my deflated, small boobs proudly after the marathon of breastfeeding they have been through.

They’ll be my deflated badge of honor. Nothing a push-up bra can’t fix.

Is there a chance that I might change my mind? I guess there always is, but they are slim.

Only if they find a less invasive way to make breasts bigger, like pump them up like a bicycle tire.

You want perky, fake-looking breasts after being done with having kids? You think that is going to make you happy? Then go ahead and have a boob job.

I’m simply stunned how many moms would consider getting breast implants. I guess I always thought that fake boobs are mostly a Los Angeles phenomenon, because so many women have them there.

I totally understand women wanting a breast reduction because of back pain, that’s a medical reason. I just think it’s a sad commentary on our society that so many moms feel the need to “fix” their bodies after having children to feel better about themselves. As if moms are damaged goods.

Moms are not damaged goods — our bodies did something amazing: they created, carried, and birthed new life! That should be the focus, not an extra inch of sagging skin that only your husband/partner sees.

Some women never breastfeed their babies because they believe the myth that breastfeeding causes breasts to sag, and that is simply not true. As a breastfeeding advocate, this has me throw my arms in the air with frustration.

Multiple pregnancies and smoking, not any length of breastfeeding, cause breasts to head south, as documented here and here.

Many babies and mothers never get the health benefits of breastfeeding because of a silly myth and misinformation, which is so unfortunate.

Nursing a baby, even for a short time, gives the baby so many health benefits for years to come, and there are many health benefits for the mother, like being less likely to have certain cancers.

Plus, the fact that a mom would decide not to breastfeed because of vanity to loose her perky boobs shows how wrong our society’s priorities are. Unless those moms are ignorant about the benefits, I find it superficial and selfish to not breastfeed for this reason alone. Perky breasts or giving my child the milk that it is specifically designed for him, let me think…

I really thought women had become more self-assured. I guess I was wrong. It still seems to matters more what society thinks and many women feel bad enough about their bodies that they are willing to do something so invasive, painful, and costly as getting breast implants.

People sexualize breast so much that they forget what breasts are for — for feeding babies! And it’s a blessing if you are able to do it.

Women die after having plastic surgery. Just the other day I saw a TV story of a mom who had saved up for elective surgery for years and died, leaving her two kids without a mother. Those outcomes are rare, but are you willing to take that risk? I agree with Gina, The Feminist Breeder. She tweeted: “Not risking my life for boobs.”

Plus, what kind of message are we sending kids, especially girls? That mommy needs to fix her body after having kids? For that reason alone I wouldn’t do it.

My body looks different after having a child, but I knew it would. Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows that it changes your body. But sagging breasts are a small price to pay for having given birth to my son — I’d do it all again.

I’m in no way happy with all of my body. Believe me, I struggle just like the next woman with feeling sexy and pretty. I’m unhappy with the extra pounds I’ve put on, but I’m not defined by those 10 extra pounds — and fake boobs are not on my wish list.

A flattering bathing suit is.

{Photo credit goes to Katrina Anderson. Her blog At Mother’s Breast is simply stunning, and I want to cry seeing these pictures of another mom breastfeeding an older boy in public, who reminds me of Landon. Thank you, Katrina, for your amazing, beautiful pictures and stories!}

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Bungalow Babe March 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Amen, sister.

We’re obviously in the midst of an epidemic of hysteria about aging. Women’s minds are being poisoned by images they see of some manufactured female ideal. I suppose the critics of the Barbie Doll were right; that doll…with its disproportionate bosom…really did pervert women’s minds and aspirations.

Fear plus money equals plastic surgery, that’s all.

In our uber-consumerist society, almost anything can be purchased. “Used breasts” now can be repurposed, rejuvenated, refreshed.

As the mother of two adults and one who breastfed a total of six years, I am breathless at this widespread idiocy.

My breasts are not deflated. They are not ruined. They are not as perky as they were when I was a teen but I would never wish to relinquish everything I have gained between that time and now just to get back my “old” breasts.

My breasts served valiantly as sources of my children’s nourishment and they provide pleasure for me and for my #1. They have been my friends for a really long time. I delighted when they ballooned with milk and then happily reclaimed them they reverted to their former proportions when I weaned my youngest child.

Are they perfect? Nope. But a good bra makes them look pretty damn amazing. I see women my age with “done” breasts and think that they look pathetic because when you buy a set of new breasts, you give up something invaluable: your authenticity.

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Dagmar March 14, 2012 at 1:22 AM

So well said, thank you for this comment!

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Backwards Amber January 4, 2012 at 11:40 PM

I’ve always hated my breasts. They’ve never been something I’d want to show off topless (though they’ve always been nice enough in a bra). I breastfed for almost 2 years with my first and I’m pregnant again….we’ll nurse for as long as it works. I don’t see a huge difference in size/shape/etc, but I still don’t like them.

That said, I’d love a lift when we’re done. I agree with you that implants seem like they might feel weird. Hell, I didn’t like how it felt to have an IUD in, because it was a foreign object. I’m guessing fake boobs would feel just as foreign. To me at least.

But…….a lift, using just my own tissue….that seems ok. Though, the cost…well that’s a little off-putting. Well, that and the pain and recovery. Ah, we’ll see how everything looks and feels if I can ever get back to a comfortable body size :-)

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Dagmar January 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Thanks for sharing this, Amber. I’m not crazy about my little breast either, and a lift sounds lovely, but I’m just not comfortable going under the knife for that.

Maybe we could encourage each other to lose weight in 2012? I want to lose 10 pounds and get toned again.

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eB August 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM

My breasts weren’t perfect prior to breastfeeding, so I really had nothing to lose. They were saggy. I don’t know if that’s genetics or the fact that I was/am overweight or what. The good news is that even though I was self-conscious about my breasts, my husband has always loved them because he loves me. That is seriously the biggest confidence boost in the world. Would I like to have a more perfect body? To be totally honest, yes. But it would be a long path I would have to go down to get there and to fight the aging process (not to mention the effects of pregnancies). I don’t want to start down that path.

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Meg July 22, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I would never consider a boob job after breastfeeding. Reconstructive surgery after mastectomy, yes, because I see that as restoring something that an illness took away. But for me the physical changes of pregnancy/parenting are just part of life! I am not aiming to keep myself exactly the same in any way on this journey but I’m constantly changing and hopefully growing. I reject the notion that my body is somehow inferior or less desirable because I’ve nourished my baby with it. That is God’s gift and I am thankful for it! “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

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Dagmar July 23, 2011 at 2:19 AM

Amen. I agree with everything you said, Meg :)

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Mandy W. July 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Ouch. This is your place to speak freely but I encourage you to not make light of other people’s decisions. Not everyone has perky, full breasts while breastfeeding, some of us have pendulous breasts that are hard to live with.

I’ve gone over my decision to have a breast reduction and lift for almost ten years. I’m scared to die from this procedure and my daughter’s knowing it was over boobs. I’m a lacation consultant who adores the breasts! I also have DDD breasts, fight chronic yeast infections under them, have back pain, cannot find clothing to fit my boobs and my waist, pay $75 for bras that only last a couple of months, cannot walk around my house without a bra, because they hang out of my shirt, on and on and on. If you were to see a picture of me you probably couldn’t realize all of these things. So when I do get my lift in the next year or so I know that I will get harshly judged. As far as my husband goes. He just wants me to be happy and healthy. He doesn’t care of my going from a DDD to a C. My kids rub my back because of my back pain. I have faith that they will understand why I will have the surgery.

I encourage you to keep being a breastfeeding advocate and pro-mom. Please just remember that judging others hurts all of us.

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Dagmar July 12, 2011 at 1:12 AM

Hi Mandy, in your case getting your breasts operated on is a medical issue and I don’t see anything wrong with getting that issue resolved. I hope all goes well. Thank you for your comment.

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Polish Mama on the Prairie July 7, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Dagmar, I feel the same way. I think it’s very sad that women choose their physical image over giving their children the very best from the very beginning in life. I found nothing that you wrote to be offensive, simply a difference in opinion from our current cultural norm, that is, you support breastfeeding, as I do, and some people just don’t like it. But then, formula feeding has been pushed on our society for years now as it is very profitable.

You could have written something so short as “I breastfed out of love for my children” which is always the reason people choose to breastfeed. 100% of the time. And it would have offended someone. To each their own. Hugs to you!

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Melissa July 5, 2011 at 2:51 AM

Ever since I was pregnant with my oldest I’ve heard advocates saying how breastfeeding doesn’t change your breasts. It does. My left breast has been through 4 pregnancies, my right breast has been through 4 pregnancies and 4 hungry babies. Let me tell you, I can tell the difference. The LC’s don’t tell you about nipples that get stretched by playful, curious, jerky or mischievous babies/toddlers. Pregnancy doesn’t do that!

I have 0 regrets about breastfeeding. I’m fine with mothers making the choice to give their babies formula but I’m delighted that not a drop of formula or an artificial nipple has touched my babies lips. Now though, now I’m past the breastfeeding stage and I’m moving on to the next stage. Those cute shirts I couldn’t wait to wear once the baby weight was gone makes me feel terribly self conscious because of my boobs. The push up bras you mentioned don’t work because the fullness at the top of my breasts is gone (A cup to B cup to A cup). I love my boobs for what they’ve done for my babies but now, post breastfeeding, they are sad lumps on my chest.

I probably won’t get implants but like formula I say to each their own. Life is too short to be unhappy based on others beliefs.

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Sofia June 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I’m going to quote you:

“…the fact that a mom would decide not to breastfeed because of vanity…I find it superficial and selfish to not breastfeed for this reason alone.”

What’s your take on women that choose to have C-sections?

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Dagmar June 29, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Hi Sofia, are you asking about scheduled C-sections that is not needed because of medical reasons? It’s every woman’s decision to opt for a scheduled C-section, but I think not even trying for a vaginal birth if there is no medical reason for it is kind of crazy. Why not even try a vaginal birth? Why risk the possible complications? Why risk messing with the breastfeeding relationship? I don’t like it that some doctors even offer this option – I know one woman who had two planned c-sections becasue she didn’t want to deal with labor pain – but it’s easier and more controlled for them, so they do. And they make more money as well.

I would never opt for that surgery because I know it’s crucial for a baby to go through labor and to get the fluid squeezed out of his or her lungs in the birth canal, for example. I didn’t want my child to enter the world drugged, so I tried to do everything possible to facilitate a natural, drug-free birth, which included a 12-week Bradley class. Plus taking care of your child is obviously a lot easier when you don’t have major surgery – we left the hospital only hours after L was born and I felt fantastic!

Breastfeeding is often a challenge after a C-section because mom and baby are separated in the crucial first hour after the birth. I could go on and on…

In the end it doesn’t matter what I think, this is just my opinion, and every woman has the right to choose what she wants. I just hope that it is an informed decision, based on other research she has done besides listening to what the doctor told her.

If I had listened to doctors I wouldn’t have an appendix anymore and would probably have had an induction with Landon. But I trusted my gut instinct and was well-informed to make well-informed decisions, so neither happened.

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Rachel June 28, 2011 at 11:06 PM

What’s really funny is that those bright,perky, big boobs that everyone loves are so obviously breastfeeding boobs! Most people don’t have boobs that look like that naturally.

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Jennifer June 28, 2011 at 10:30 PM

This is tough – I’m pregnant with my second right now, and I’ve got nightmares of my body being completely different than what it used to be – again! Of course our bodies are changed forever from pregnancy, let alone more than one, but if the saying “my body, my choice” is to remain true, then, I personally cannot say a thing on the topic… also, because I am so totally biased as I am afraid of needles and knives! LOL!

Stopping by and following your blog from MBC’s “Follow Each Other In Blogs” group! Great post!

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Julie B. June 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM

I hope this comment doesn’t come across as any way but just me putting my feelings out there. But why is the assumption that society or anyone else really, other than the woman herself, is the reason a woman would want plastic surgery? For me, the plastic surgery is for ME, not for anyone else. I believe that a woman who wants a boob job has every right to get one if it makes her happy. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to get down and pray for me; because society has somehow made me feel inferior. Nah! Some of us just like having perky, perfect boobs and have surgery to make them that way just because WE want to. Not because anyone else does or does not.

You state: “I’m unhappy with the extra pounds I’ve put on, but I’m not defined by those 10 extra pounds — and fake boobs are not on my wish list.”

Fake boobs may not be on YOUR wish list; but for other women, they are. And those women are entitled to that. You say you are “unhappy” with the 10 extra pounds (but are not defined by them). In the same way you are unhappy with those pounds; and would maybe change up your eating habits to change that, some of us are unhappy with our breasts and would have surgery to change that. Just because breastfeeding and the boob effects after did not bother YOU, they very well might have bothered someone else (much like the 10 pounds might bother YOU but someone else could care less about 10 pounds but want the boobs). I think it’s all totally personal. Now, I think where you may be going is that you wish that breastfeeding was not looked at as a reason for boob changes; and I’m sure you hope women still decide to breastfeed since you consider that to be a competely invalid reason for boob change. Other women may disagree with you there. I didn’t breastfeed, so I wouldn’t know. I guess I’m one of the selfish mothers out there! :)

All in all, I think saying that having a boob job after breastfeeding is a sad and terrible thing; is not really reflective of how most women feel about it. Some of these women may have been unhappy with their boob status before -but if they wish to get a boob job, get one and feel better about themselves, then who am I to judge the why’s and when’s? I think we should support other women, no matter if their decision is one we share or not.

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Heather June 28, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I recently found your blog when I was reading one of my favorite blogs within the last few weeks. I respect your opinions and your passions. However, I must admit I find your post dripping with passive judgements and find your superiority complex a turn-off. I do have plans to have breast implants after my next child is born. Not because I am insecure, not because I think society has made me feel the need to “fix” my body, not because I feel bad about myself. Not only are breasts meant to feed babies, as you pointed out, but they are also for enjoyment. I enjoy having nice, big, round and perky boobs. Do they make me happy? No way – my joy comes from somewhere else and it radiates throughout my daily life. But do I enjoy having big nice boobs and find them fun. I have sought out one of the nation’s best plastic surgeons, an anesthesiologist with an impeccable record, and have made the best decisions I can to make sure I go through the procedure as safe as I possibly can. So please, try and understand that not everybody who chooses breast implants is a victim of societal pressures, suffers from low self esteem, or is a poor decision maker. All the best to you!

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katecake June 28, 2011 at 2:48 AM

At this point in my life, I’d have to say no to any unnecessary surgery. I’m not against plastic surgery that is truly needed, but I think that Americans tend to have extreme cases of body dysmorphia that I find unsettling. I don’t know how I’d feel if circumstances were different…if I didn’t live in the midwest, or if I have a job that required me to look a certain way, or if I even had a few thousand dollars to spend. As it is, I’m perfectly content with my war wounds. I did have a moment of envy at a pre-natal swimming class when a girl who was having her first baby wore the same bathing suit as me, pregnant with my fourth! I just told her “I remember when my boobs looked like that” and I could just let go of the past :-)

I haven’t heard anyone mention if surgery affects a woman sexually. My breasts are important to me as an erogenous zone, so the idea of messing with that trips me out! I have a friend who may be dealing with a double mastectomy and she is worrying about the same issue. Does anyone know if surgery causes loss of sensation?

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Heath June 28, 2011 at 2:26 AM

To each their own. If some type of breast surgery makes a mom feels good about herself, I don’t see the problem with it. I think people are way too involved in what other people do that have no affect on other people.

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Heath June 28, 2011 at 2:29 AM

P.S. Women also die after giving birth to babies. We have an extremely high percentage rate of this in this country actually, for being so developed.

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Tee June 28, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Dagmar, I don’t agree with everything you write about and I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your website before. I have to say, though, that I agree with you 100% about this one. It makes me very sad to think of all the women out there that are willing to undergo major surgery for no good reason. On top of that, as you said… it’s a badge of honor. Or at least it is in my mind.

I think everyone has something they don’t like about their body and some people set out to change that something. I would be curious to know statistics on as to if these Mom’s willing to get a boob job would have considered going under the knife before nursing their kids. (Or have gotten their nose fixed. Tummy tuck. Whatever it is that they didn’t like!)

Either way, thank you for writing such a good post! I enjoyed reading it!

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Dagmar June 28, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Tee, thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad to felt compelled to :)

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Emily June 28, 2011 at 12:04 AM

As someone with big boobs before kids, I’m looking forward to after breastfeeding when I can get my reduction. Having breasts that are any larger than a D-cup is a pain. Bras are expensive, dresses don’t fit, neither do swimsuits, and good luck playing soccer. These are things people should think about before getting breast enhancement.

I’ve also heard that they can do surgery to perk up your boobs if you’re just worried about them being too low.

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vicki June 28, 2011 at 2:32 AM

that surgery is actually more painful, and more invasive than implants! that was my plan, but a 1inch scar for an implant, vs a line all the way from nipple to under-fold? fill em up! just as expensive too.

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Frugal in WV June 27, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Ive been breastfeeding for 5 years and my breasts are less than perky :) However, I would never get cosmetic surgery, not worth the risk. New follower, found you on MBC, have a great evening!

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Lisa June 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

I’ve breastfeed three kids and just weened my last children a month ago. My breasts are smaller now than they were before I had kids. I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I don’t have to wear a bra around the house anymore! Yay! Small joys make me happy. :)
Now my tummy is another story but I’ve had three kids in under 5 years so my body is allowed to be wacky for awhile.
My thoughts (and I am perfectly content that other women may think otherwise), is that I’m a mom with three kids, I have more things to worry about than how I’d look with cleverage or in a bikini at this point in my life! :)

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Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud June 27, 2011 at 9:09 PM

I’ve birthed four and breastfed 4 babies (still breastfeeding my youngest who is 2 years old) and my body has certainly changed. My belly button is stretched out and wrinkly. I have cellulite and stretchmarks in new places. And, my breasts and booty have gone even further south. Sure, I’d love to the body of my youth back, but I’m not willing to risk my life or spend thousands of dollars to do it. In the end, having my children is more than enough. They’re worth every single wrinkle, gray hair, stretchmark, cellulite dimple and saggy boobs.

Also, I wanted to share that I have a friend who just recently had implants put in after her dramatic 140 pound weight loss. I was a little taken aback when she mentioned that she can *feel* them in her; the way they move, etc. That just seems freaky and totally not for me. I’d like to remain as natural as possible.

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Kim June 27, 2011 at 7:18 PM

Dagmar,
While I appreciate your candor, I have to say that you are an anomaly. I breastfed both of my girls, and simply deflated. The skin and fat was there, but not tissue to fill the voids left by the deflation. I opted for this surgery for many reasons, but mostly so that my clothes would fit like they were designed to. Being able to wear my clothes with confidence has not only helped me on a personal level (oh, and believe me, I am not in any way self conscious), but also on a professional level. I work in Las Vegas and though it may not seem fair, looks matter here. I have not gotten jobs because of my lack of breast tissue. It sounds silly, but as an MBA, I can tell you I was well qualified for every job that went to some woman with a great rack. Sure, I spent $7K of what should have gone to my kids’ college funds, but the fact that I have received more job offers will make up for that money. I have to look at it as an investment.
Furthermore, I have a friend who also got implants after her first child. She was able to breastfeed her second child with no problems. I, too, am an advocate of breastfeeding, but I don’t think implants have anything to do with this. If implants are not for you, that is fine. I would never get a tattoo. That is a commitment that I simply cannot make. But I don’t judge those who have one. That is their business. You don’t know until years after your kids are born exactly what you will do. You may decide that the deflation looks hideous and you want to fix it. Or, you may not. It is an individual decision that only the patient can make. Passing judgement without the experience seems very intolerant and should undergo further scrutiny.

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Robin June 27, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I know 3 or 4 women who have done this, and many more who are considering it. I wont lie, it had crossed my mind and I really see why woman choose this. Breastfeeding really did a number on my breasts. But in the end, I am like you and cannot go through with an elective surgery. Especially when I’m so against my hospital for giving women no other choice but to have a repeat cesarean, just because they had one previously. Plus a good bra can go a long way, and my man is perfectly happy with the way I am :)

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Brynna June 27, 2011 at 6:45 PM

I would never do it, either. My body is the way it is because I’ve been blessed with these beautiful babies. Of course I’d like my tummy to be a bit flatter, or my breasts to be a bit smaller, but then I remember that, at least for me, it’s generally related to vanity, not for health reasons or anything. And since becoming a mother I’ve been convicted a lot more about modesty (in which case I REALLY don’t care about how others see my boobs or my belly!!) and learning to see myself as beautiful the way I am…the way God made me. And since he made my body to do what it’s been doing, I figure I’ve got no reason to complain. :)

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Brynna June 27, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Oh I should add that I do admit to being super curious as to what will happen to my breasts once I’m done breastfeeding. LOL I’m still tandem nursing my 3 year old and 15 month old (my eldest weaned at 4.5 in December), but we don’t see ourselves done having children for quite some time (Lord-willing) so I may be breastfeeding for, gosh, another 15 years or something! LOL Could be an interesting end to the story (physically) by then. Ha.

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Brynna June 29, 2011 at 2:04 AM

Had another thought and figured I’d just reply here instead of take up precious comment space. I was thinking about how often people associate breast changes with breastfeeding (and how oftentimes many women AVOID breastfeeding all together because of it). But many fail to realize that the majority of breast changes take place during pregnancy, not breastfeeding in and of itself. I just hate seeing breastfeeding pegged and people avoiding it for a reason that oftentimes has already happened BEFORE breastfeeding has even been established.

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Brandie June 27, 2011 at 6:18 PM

I was one of those who would never do implants. And now, I am. I had a mastectomy just over a month ago. Sure, it doesn’t have anything to do with breastfeeding. But as one poster said, she didn’t think she’d even do it for reconstruction. So while some people will say, well, I’m just opposed to elective surgery but reconstruction is okay, there are also people out there who think I’m doing the *wrong* thing now. But here’s the thing, you just never know until you have to walk those shoes.
That said, I don’t think doing it or not doing it makes someone a better mother, more secure in their body image, or any of the above. Until you can read someone’s head and really understand their reasoning or motivation, you can’t know for sure.
Yes, there is pressure to look a certain way, but not all women do it because of that pressure. Are there risks? Yes. There are risks to getting in my car too, and I’ll do it. And I think very very few mothers would trade their child’s college education fund for a boob job, so I’m not worried about that.
I think it’s fine to not do it, but I don’t have anything against not doing it. And since I’m now doing it, after saying I’d never do it, well, it’s just more proof of the whole never say never LOL!

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Just me June 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM

I would love a breast lift and tummy tuck. So sue me. The more “diet and exercise” the worse it gets. At 95 lbs (18.5 BMI) I look like I’ve had septuplets and my breasts look like an 85 year old’s empty skin flaps. Guess what? You’re not better than me because you wouldn’t consider it. I bet if you had to look at my body in the mirror you’d feel differently.

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Dagmar June 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Hi Just Me,

no, I’m not better than you and I would never think that. I’d also like fuller breasts and less of a tummy, but not via surgery.

95 pounds and that body mass index seem to indicate that you are pretty skinny, so maybe a few extra pounds will help fill out your breasts? I know for me that when I lose weight, my breasts are the first thing to go… Thanks for your comment.

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Monique June 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I was 40 before I had my first child – and I can personally attest to the fact that not only had my breasts “gone south” but gaining and losing weight (even without pregnancy) will affect your body without any other complicating factors.

Frankly, our general obsession with having a “perfect” body is nothing short of pathological.

While I’m not completely against “plastic surgery” per se (and I believe there may be times when it is a good and healthful choice made for the “right” reasons), it has become almost a societal normative that you *must* look a certain way. At the same time, more and more of us don’t meet that crazy standard of a bone thin body, completely cellulite free, with breasts the size and perkiness of a teenage mom with a newborn!

The fact that many women can even entertain the idea that it’s more important to have nice-looking breasts than feed our children with the food that is best for them (and for the mom) is a monument to how crazy our society has become.

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PragmaticMom June 27, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more Dagmar!!!

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Dawn June 27, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I’ve breastfed three kids for varying lengths of time, and I totally agree with you. I see no reason to change or ‘enhance’ anything. I am also most likely a breast cancer gene carrier, although I haven’t been tested, my mother and her biological mother both had breast cancer– and I still don’t think implants are a good idea. If I develop cancer, then I will deal with the cancer. I can’t see putting silicone or saline bags in there as any type of a solution, and don’t know if I would opt for reconstruction either. I’m just not a fan of implants inside of me. I might change my mind later, who knows? I definitely don’t see why a woman would want implants after breastfeeding her kids.

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kelly @kellynaturally June 27, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Count me as a “no way”; doesn’t even cross my radar screen.

Look, after 6 years of breastfeeding and two pregnancies, sure, my body looks different than when I was in my 20s. But ummmmm I’m not in my 20s anymore! :)

Frankly, for me, it’s all about inner self esteem. You can’t look good if you don’t feel good inside. But it isn’t about what other people see. When I was feeling down about my post-breastfeeding & pregnancy body, I finally decided to stop moaning about how my body does or doesn’t look & feel the same as pre-baby and instead just got up & STARTED TO DO SOMETHING about it. And guess what? Everything looks & feels better; in my mind and on my body. I’m up to running 10-12 miles per week now (from my previous point of complaining about how I’m doing no exercise), yoga, pushups, jumping jacks, and crunches every day…and I didn’t join a gym, I didn’t spend any money, I didn’t follow a “plan”. I just decided to eat less & more mindfully, and stop being lazy. In the last 2.5 months, I have dropped 7 lbs. I just feel better.

For whatever its worth, boob-related, building up the muscle tone behind your breasts (through pushups for example) helps the shape of your breasts. Plus, being strong just. feels. good!

Anyhow, I’m very small chested, and can’t imagine doing anything to change that (breastfeeding aside – that was a unique, temporary, natural state); small breasts are much easier to get along with… I wouldn’t want to run with anything bigger. Of course, I don’t dye my hair or wear makeup or tattoos either – so that’s where I’m coming from.

Seriously though, before any permanent body modification, people should try to picture themselves in their 80s with perky balloon-y tits or a stretched-out tatto to accompany myriad wrinkles. If you like that image, go for it. For me? No thanks! ;-P

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Dagmar June 27, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Hi Kelly,
thanks for this comment and Amen! I also think that I will be a lot happier once I find the time to work out. I’m going to start once L goes to kindergarten — if I can’t carve an hour out of my day then, then I can’t complain anymore. You are a great example and role model.

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Sally June 27, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Im one of those that would not just consider it if I could afford it I would do it!!! After breastfeeding 6 kids, I am left with what I could only describe as skin flaps there is no fullness at all, and Im at almost my ideal weight, if I lose more I cant imagine how much more I could lose from my breasts, when I bend over they look like well grandma boobs more like that of an 80 year old rather than the 34 year old I am. I know that it sounds superficial but I would like to have better looking boobs. Also I would have a tummy tuck too since I have not had the kind of stomach I could wear a bikini in since I was 18, apparently I got stretch marks pretty badly, and well it just doesnt go back to what it was..

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Dagmar June 27, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Sally, you have breastfed six kids, that is amazing and I hope you are mighty proud of that!

I also would like fuller breasts and a tummy tuck, but not with all those risks involved. Plus I still think I can fix a lot with better nutrition and working out.

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Jo Lynn June 27, 2011 at 5:05 PM

I am one of those mom’s who would love smaller boobs. I breastfed all 4 or my children. My oldest now 20 years old for 6 months. We stopped because I was young and she bit me and it scared me. My now 13 year old for 11 months. He just quit. Didn’t want anything to do with mommy milk anymore. My now 10 year old for 3+ years. Stopped when I got pregnant with my now 6 year old. He stopped after 3.5 years. We mutually ended. I didn’t offer didn’t refuse.

I am still a size D after 2 years of not breastfeeding (quit smoking almost 11 years ago) and my back is really feeling it. But with not insurance (grrrrr) I am where I am. With my hubby out of work life’s been harder but one of the things he is looking for in his future job is good health benefits.

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Ruby June 27, 2011 at 5:04 PM

I agree – I cannot imagine risking that horrible outcome for something that i may not even enjoy. Plus the fact that is often left out: you need to replace your implants every so many years (used to be 5, now I think it’s 10). That’s right – multiple surgeries!

I think a big problem is the normalizing of boob jobs – getting a boob job has acquired the level of normalcy that breastfeeding has not even gained yet. How sad is that?

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Pam @writewrds June 27, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I won’t get a boob job or probably any other cosmetic procedure in my lifetime. (I asked the plastic surgeon about facelifts and other cosmetic procedures while on the operating table to get cancer cells removed.) Cosmetic surgery — and other procedures — are not my way, not my choice. But I defend vigorously anyone else’s right to do it — without judgement. Who are we to say what’s okay or not? People spend thousands of dollars — and years — to get their teeth straightened and whitened. They dye their hair and do all kinds of things to look and feel better. That’s their right, as consenting adults, and their business. Who are we to judge?
(If I sound a little harsh, I don’t mean to be. I respect your opinion and the opportunity to share mine. : )

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Jill @BabyRabies June 27, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I’m one of those moms who heavily considers it. I’m not so sure I want implants, but I might. What I really want is a lift of some sort.

I’m not doing it for society or anyone else but myself. I, of course, won’t get them done if we can’t financially afford it. I take really good care of myself, but there’s no amount of working out that will ever fight gravity. I get that some women are “proud” of them and everything motherhood does to their body, and more power to them. I, however, think my healthy children are proof enough of the power of motherhood, and if I want to make some cosmetic repairs to all those “badges” of motherhood, I don’t think that makes me any less proud.

I get it’s not for everyone, and I certainly am nowhere near being able to actually have anything done. I could change my mind, too. It’s something I think about having done, though. That and a tummy tuck.

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Inder June 27, 2011 at 11:43 PM

I’ve also been surprised to hear many of my breastfeeding contacts on the internet talking about wanting to get plastic surgery to “fix” the problems caused by childbearing. Me? I’m just too cheap and chicken to go under the knife for vanity. :-)

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