Saggy breasts — whether from breastfeeding or gravity — is a top concern among women. There seems to be a new exercise or supplement announced all the time claiming to restore perky breasts, but we wanted to know for real: Is it possible to lift breasts without surgery?
Dr. John Squires recently held a Q&A to debunk common myths about treating saggy breasts. Here’s what you need to know. A breast lift is the only tried-and-true method for beating the sag. Here are the five most common myths about saggy breasts — and the breakdown of the only surgery that really works.
Myth No. 1: Bench presses and push-ups will prevent drooping.
Unfortunately, exercise working your pecs won’t give you a breast lift. Breasts sag due to lost volume and retained breast skin, and working your muscles won’t fix that, though you will probably get more awesome arms, so there’s that for a win.
“Most of my patients want to know what they can do to tighten loose breasts and abdominal skin after childbearing,” said Dr. Squires
“After childbearing, the skin of the breast, as well as the abdomen, lose their elasticity,” he continues. “Diet and exercise, unfortunately, cannot regain that lost skin tension. The paradox of exercising, which I strongly encourage, is that it will lead to less body fat, which will ultimately further loosen the skin of the breast as well as the abdomen. So paradoxically, patients who do everything right often wind up getting even looser.”
Myth No. 2: Breasts sag because of too much bouncing around.
The supporting ligaments and skin stretch out over time, no matter how much you’re killing your workout.
“Current research highlights the following as risk factors for sagging: greater age, history of significant weight loss (more than 50 pounds), higher BMI, large bra cup size, pregnancy and smoking,” he said. “As women age, the Cooper’s ligaments — the connective tissue that helps breasts keep their shape — stretches out.”
“Aging also causes breasts to transform into having more fat rather than breast tissue, making them less perky and appear deflated,” he continues. “Although you cannot control the natural aging and sagging effects or a genetic link, factors such as weight fluctuation, BMI and smoking are in your control.”
Myth No. 3: Breast size doesn’t change.
Breast size fluctuates with life changes, especially pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormonal and weight changes.
“After breastfeeding, the fat and ligaments of the breasts may change, therefore, your breasts may not go back to their previous size or shape. Some women will remain larger and others will become smaller. Whether you will become ptotic [droop] or remain full will be more of a direct result of your genetic predisposition, weight gain or loss during pregnancy and the age at which you breastfeed.”
Myth No. 4: You can skip the lift if you get implants.
It’s a common misconception that breast implants will give you the lift you want. Typically, that isn’t the case.
“Some patients who are interested in having a breast augmentation may receive the suggestion of pairing the surgery with a breast lift,” says Dr. Squires. “This is because you may have sagging breasts that will not be completely filled by the implant. Rather than just having an implant, the skin can be retracted around the new implant, which will create a much more attractive rest mound with a small breast lift.”
Myth No. 5: Creams and supplements will increase perkiness.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, there’s no OTC product or natural solution for saggy breasts.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable and feasible way of achieving a natural breast lift without surgical intervention. Your breasts may appear higher and lifted with certain styles of bras, but to have a true, natural breast-lift effect with optimization of shape, size and symmetry, some form of a surgical breast-lift procedure will be required.