I have to say it. I’m 33 and I have deflated boobs.
Medically, having deflated boobs is known as “severe ptosis”.
Most women won’t use the words “breasts” and “deflated” in one sentence to describe a part of themselves.
One funny thing about sagging breasts is that they can come about after you’ve just experienced a positive life event. For example, you’ve been carrying a child for 9 months and the boobs have grown bigger due to hormonal changes. Moreover, the milk-producing glands have made them change shape.
By the time you are welcoming your bundle of joy into the world, the breasts will have changed quite a lot.
As we get older, the breasts also start to sag. Now, you may not consider getting older as a positive life event. However, would you rather die younger? I like to think of aging as a positive thing rather than dying younger before I’ve fulfilled my potential. Some of the joys of getting older include being more confident, wiser and experienced in different aspects of life.
Your boobs can also sag after you have lost weight. Perhaps you decided to lose those extra pounds to get healthier. As you slowly lose the pounds, many parts of your body will start getting smaller. I mean, where else was the weight packed?
There are other aspects that contribute to sagging of the boobs. For example, gravity and the size of the breasts are intertwined. Smoking and genetic factors have also been found to contribute to sagging of the boobs.
How I Ended Up with Sagging Boobs
In 2016, I decided it was time for me to make a change in my life. I was 5’7’, 29, and well getting to 400lbs. My breasts were also big and heavy, 38H to be precise. Now, the breasts were nice and firm but they were also quite some burden. I wasn’t exercising regularly so my core and back muscles were weak. The result? Constant back pains, regardless of the type of bra I was wearing.
At the time, I was living in a pretty conservative country in Asia. Therefore, you can imagine the stares I was attracting, being a white woman with nearly 400lbs. of flesh and massive boobs. I did not like this attention and it surely played down on my self-esteem.
After a lot of hard work, I was able to drop some of the pounds. My number of the scale went down, I had more energy and was stronger. All these also meant I grew more confident and started really enjoying life. Little things like shopping at the same shop as my friends, in the SAME SECTION really made me see how much I’d come from my 400lbs. body.
If you weight hundreds of pounds, there are many benefits of losing weight. For example, I could go up a flight of stairs without feeling it was a punishment. I also realized I stopped sweating after doing some small engaging physical activities. My life truly turned out to be great. I could write more about my weight loss journey but that would be a different article in itself!
Anyway, as I lost weight, I started noticing extra skin everywhere on my body. Yes, the pounds were going but I was left with deflated boobs that seemed to have been forgotten in the flurry of good tidings happening on my body.
How I Felt When Having Sagging Boobs
While my confidence levels had shot to the roof and I wasn’t at risk of any serious health issues, my self-esteem took a beating. Dealing with large extra skin is a struggle.
I was ashamed of what people would say when they saw the extra skin on me. So, I avoided any activities that would expose my skin to the public. I was all covered during the summer days. And no, the swimming pool or beach were not for me.
I had to do something. From my struggles, here are the things I learned in my journey of dealing with sagging boobs.
What Can You Do About Sagging Boobs?
To know the best option to pursue, it’s important to first know the causes of deflated breasts.
Bigger Breasts Strain the Ligaments
Ligaments are a type of tissue that hold the joints together. For the breasts, the tissues that hold them together are known as Cooper’s ligaments. These connective tissues provide a supportive structure from the clavicle to the breast. The tissues are responsible for the position and the shape of the boobs.
The breasts can become bigger due to aging, weight gain due to pregnancy, or general weight gain. When this happens, they strain the Cooper’s ligaments and make them unable to provide proper support. The straining will eventually weaken the Cooper ligaments, as well as other ligaments in the body.
When your breast losses volume, they will start sagging. Breast volume loss may be caused by different factors such as the loss of adipose tissue (fat) when you lose weight to change in the size of your mammary glands when you are breastfeeding.
When the breast expands, the skin that holds the tissue also expands to accommodate it. When the breast reduces in volume, the skin that was encapsulating it does not go away. The result is sagging breast.
How Can You Fix Sagging Breast Issues?
There are dozens of ways you can fix deflating boobs. This is not an exhaustive list but simply a list of some of the options I considered.
Since sagging breast occur due to stretched ligaments, if you can un-stretch the, won’t you end up with firmer breasts? The ankle ligaments and those of other joints can be tightened through surgery. So, why not the Cooper ligaments that support and shape the boobs?
Surgery is a good option since, at the moment, there is no way of repairing the loss of firmness and elasticity of the Cooper’s ligaments.
If you have sagging boobs, the surgery option you will most likely go for is a breast lift, or a mastopexy. This procedure works just like you would expect. The surgery involves removing of the hanging skin and tightening the tissues to give the breast a rounded shape that will support the reduced amount of tissue.
For me, surgery is a big no and for various reasons. First off, the procedure is quite expensive. If you are in the US, be prepared to pay upwards of $5,000 for a procedure done by a reputable surgeon. Don’t forget there will also be other costs for pre-op things such as testing and hospital costs. Then, you’ll need to shell more dollars for post-op procedures.
Another reason why I cannot go the surgery route is scarring. Depending on the type of breast shape you have and your situation, the surgeon may suggest different types of incisions. Therefore, you may not end up with a lot of scarring. However, this to me is still a no-go.
Exercising is always recommended for people who wish to lose weight. However, I feel that the results are usually over-exaggerated.
You can do exercises for free to tighten the sagging breasts. In particular, you can engage in chest exercises. However, one thing you should also do is adjust your expectations.
Engaging in exercises that focus on building the pec muscles, for example, push-up and bench presses will help to reshape the tissues under your boobs. Depending on the shape of your body, you may start noticing some changes in the shape of your chest. However, don’t expect to see huge results in about a year of doing push-ups. The perkier boobs you may be looking for will just not be there.
However, I don’t say this to discourage you from engaging in chest exercises. For my case, I lost weight because I had a lot of back pain. While I mainly exercise while focusing on my trunk and back muscles, I also balance things out and have strong pecs.
Four years on since I started exercising. I still haven’t gotten the perky boobs I wanted. However, what I can confidently say is that my overall well-being has drastically improved and this is a great side effect of exercising.
When you Google “best diet for sagging breasts”, you will get a ton of results. I’m not really sure about the ideas presented on most websites. Most of the websites I’ve seen tend to exaggerate the results of their suggested diets.
I said I’m not sure about the websites because they tend to suggest health plant-based oils like coconut oil and foods that are rich in anti-oxidants. I am all for that. What I’m not sure is whether these diets will really stop the breasts from sagging as quickly as the websites indicate. From my experience, it will take much longer for your breasts to regain their perkier status.
For me, the only thing I have taken that is remotely related to enhancing the breasts is gelatin. Like the other foods suggested in the blogs that write about the best diets for sagging breast, gelatin has great benefits for the body. I usually take it since it helps to produce collagen, which is important for nail and hair growth as well as maintaining the elasticity of the skin.
I’ve come across websites where women claim to use tretinoin creams or Retin-A on their breasts. These creams have been used for years to reduce wrinkles on the face and treat acne.
Tretinoin speeds up the renewal of your skin. Over time, the compound helps to thicken your skin, which in turn makes it difficult for wrinkles to form.
I’ve used tretinoin on my face but have not tried it on my breasts yet. And from the way the compound works, I’m sure it will not help my ligaments nor make the excess skin disappear. It may thicken the breast skin a little bit to make it appear smoother.
Some women swear by tretinoin in helping them get firmer boobs. For me, I’m yet to use it.
This section contains a lot of unsubstantiated remedies for sagging breasts so I’ll just call it other stuff. Things that fall in this category include breast massages, ice massages, boob masks, and miraculous pills that promise to stop the breasts from sagging.
Before you resort to any of these remedies, you should understand why your breast skin is sagging. The reason is that there is extra skin and the Cooper’s ligaments have been stretched out. If a remedy does not directly address these two causes of breast sagging, then you can be 100 percent sure that it won’t work.
I’ve even come across marketing copy that claims some bras will help to reverse sagging. You may have read such content on some push up bras. The truth is there is no bra that can help to reverse the sagging of the boobs.
There’s some anecdotal evidence that shows people recovering elasticity after wearing fitting bras for some time. Most of the success stories come from breastfeeding women who then recovered breast elasticity when they stopped breastfeeding.
I do not doubt that this can happen. However, it is more likely to do with genetics rather than wearing particularly fitting bras.
Still on the subject of regaining elasticity by wearing properly fitting bras, there is no evidence or studies that have shown this to work on a varied sample size of women with large busts. Any studies you come across should be taken with a grain of salt. What I’m trying to say is that there is no conclusive evidence that shows you can regain your breast elasticity by wearing fitting bras.
However, what is proven is that wearing a good bra can give the breast a list and rounded shaping while it’s still on. Wearing a bra continuously for 24 hours will not stop your boobs from sagging. Keep in mind that if the solution is not addressing the causes of breasts sagging, it probably doesn’t work.
Now that we’ve discussed bras, let’s move to another related topic…
If you would like to resort to a minimization method, ask yourself the following:
- Will the measure affect the strain on my ligaments?
- Will the measure affect the volume of the breast?
One of the preventing measures I recommend is investing in a good sports bra.
When you are engaged in exercises or intense physical activities, your breasts will be moving sideways or up and down. Over time, the movement strains the Cooper’s ligaments.
If your ligaments are already damaged, there is nothing that a sports bra can do to remedy the situation. Instead, it can only curb the problem from where it has reached, which is not a bad thing.
It is also important to wear supportive bras when doing your day to day activities. The idea of wearing supportive bras is that they can slow down the process of sagging since they reduce the strain put on the ligaments. However, there is no concrete evidence to back up this claim. Moreover, the results you will get by wearing a supportive bra will depend on the causes of the sagging.
Finally, while difficult to control, try to keep your weight constant. This can be difficult to attain since there are many things that can affect our weight, apart from our diet. For example, hormones and genetics play a role in how the body regulates weight. Your weight may affect the Cooper’s ligaments and lead to the sagging of the boobs.
So, What Are the Takeaways?
For me, the biggest thing that has impacted by life has been shifting the way I think. Sure, I had massive boobs before 2013 but my shape back then is not something that I was proud of.
One thing that has helped me a lot is buying bras that are designed for full figures and that provide the needed lift. Since most plus size women spend most of the days wearing clothes, that aspect of confidence is covered.
However, when it’s just me and the mirror, what happens? I have to admit it’s still a struggle. There are many images on the media on how the ideal western woman should look like. For the most part, those images do not look like me. I cannot change my body to be what society things is idea and I’m not considering surgery.
Instead, what I’m doing now is developing other areas of my life which do not deal with how my “ideal” body should look like. Now that my body is back to a level that I’m happy with, I’m working on different areas of my life. I try to avoid getting sucked by the media into what it thinks the ideal woman should look like. I’m living my life, surrounding myself with supportive people and this has had a big impact in my health and happiness.
I’ve been developing my skills and doing things that Il love. The whole idea is that there is more to me than the body. And my body should not define who I am as a person.
While I may not have the exact answers you are looking for, I hope that by reading this article you will have gained more infight and be confident to take steps that will help you to grow and get past the idea of obsessing to achieving that “ideal” woman body that is shoved in our throats by the media.