July 13, 2010

Tips to Tighten or Firm Sagging Breasts

Posted in Category : Women's Health

There is not a woman out there who does not worry about her breasts. Common to most women is the complaint of sagging breasts. Nothing spells aging faster than a pair of sagging, droopy breasts and most women will do anything to prevent this from happening. If you fear breasts that have lost their shape or their perkiness, there are ways to reduce the chances of this happening.

Breasts are made up of fat, glands, and connective tissue. Now without a muscle in sight it is no wonder that they can lose their shape so easily. The only muscles that can be worked on to improve the appearance of your breasts are the pectoralis major and minor that lie BENEATH the breast. What actually supports your breasts and keeps them firm and upright are ligaments known as Cooper’s ligaments. Unfortunately these ligaments are very vulnerable to the aging process and can lose their elasticity and bounce in no time at all.

Let’s first understand why sagging happens. Apart from aging and genetics, the main causes for sagging breasts are:

  • Breast Involution: After pregnancy and when you child is weaned off breast milk (or if he is not breastfed at all), a process called involution takes place. This is when the milk-making glands in your breasts shrink as they are not needed any more. When the glands and tissues in your breasts reduce, you are left with breasts that may look ‘empty’ or saggy. Though the breasts do fill up after a few months, the droopiness may last for a longer time.
  • Smoking: If you smoke, you allow harmful carcinogens to enter you body and break down the elastin of your skin (among several other things). Elastins are the fibers in the skin responsible for its elasticity hence, no elastin translates into saggy skin and drooping breasts. It is time to kick the habit immediately.
  • Yo-Yo Dieting: Rapid weight loss can cause the breast to lose fat tissue and creates pockets where the fat once was. As a result the skin sags around the breast and appears less firmer. Gaining weight also puts extra pressure on the ligaments of your breasts. Unable to support the extra pounds, the ligaments collapse and you are left with big sagging breasts.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy can transform your breasts. They can increase to twice the size they were pre-pregnancy as they ready themselves for the breastfeeding to come. This weight gain however does no favors to your breast ligaments and can result in sagging breasts once the pregnancy weight is lost.
  • Menopause: Collagen fibers in the skin rapidly decrease after menopause. As a result, post-menopausal women are more likely to complain of drooping skin and sagging, aging breasts.
  • Exercise: Yes, exercise is good for you and you should stop exercising just to protect the perkiness of your breasts. However, if you do run or jog or play any sports, a proper sports bra would be a worthwhile investment. Strenuous exercise and activity can stretch the breast ligaments to the point of no return and all the bouncing and jiggling of unsupported breasts will only lead to sagging in the future.

Many women claim that breastfeeding has made their breasts sag. This is as far away from the truth as possible. In fact, several studies have been conducted to determine the effects of breastfeeding on the size and shape of the breasts. And while pregnancy plays a major role in changing the appearance of your breasts, breastfeeding alone does not lead to sagging. A combination of factors such as weight, age, genetics, and the number of pregnancies determine whether you will end up with sagging breasts.

So the big question then arises – Can sagging be prevented? Unfortunately the answer is not a definite yes. While you can delay the process of aging and the effects of gravity by wearing a good bra, massaging the skin around your breasts to keep it firm and exercising your chest muscles, there is no sure way to prevent the inevitable sagging and drooping that will occur with time. Home remedies to tighten a woman’s breasts such as massages with ice or with essential oils such as lemongrass or spearmint oil can only do so much to improve the elasticity of the skin. Instead, you can reduce the amount of sagging that will take place by carrying out some target exercises for your chest. These include using free weights to strengthen the underlying chest muscles and adding yoga to your exercise regime to tone up your body and improve your posture to make your breasts look firmer.