We have been running a series on feminine health to make women understand more about their body system and how stuffs work. Breast sagging is an experience faced by most ladies. Some no longer have confidence in their body because their breast could not win the fight against gravity. Sagging breasts can seriously weaken women’s self-esteem making them feel less attractive to the opposite sex. Breasts have no muscles, but consist of fat, connective tissues and mammary glands, so they require constant care in order to stay well-shaped. Breasts usually start sagging after 40, but in many cases it starts even earlier. Sagging breasts are not only caused by age and pregnancy. Factors such as these put the esteem of most women to jeopardy.
If you’re a woman who grew up playing with Barbie dolls, you may have spotted a difference between the fashion doll’s pert chest and the lower-hanging breasts of mothers, grandmothers, teachers, and other women you saw around you. The girls… Whatever you call them, breasts are surprising for those that have them and those that don’t. Turning up around puberty for women, estrogen and growth hormone cause the development of breasts, which are made up of glandular and fatty tissue. And as you got older, you probably couldn’t escape media images of what a woman should look like, including how her breasts should be shaped. Now that you’re an adult, you might notice your own breasts losing the fight with gravity.
Breast sagging – also called breast ptosis – is natural for an aging, changing body. Breast sagging, is breasts lose their elasticity and suppleness. Just the same way your body increases in size, the breast increases too till it gets to the point of diminishing return. You need not wonder why such occur as here are some of the reasons why it happens.
Aging: Because of the way that breasts are built, sagging is common and largely unavoidable. After all, breasts contain no muscles of their own to hold them up. Rather, breasts are made of fat, glands, milk ducts, and a type of connective tissue called the “Cooper’s ligaments,” which are thought to provide some structural support. As a woman gets older, these ligaments may get stretched and lose elasticity. Breasts may lose fullness and size as they lose their underlying support system of tissue and fat.
Running without proper support: When a woman runs, jogs, or engages in other vigorous exercise, her breasts move in three directions – vertically, horizontally, and in an overall figure-8 like motion. Without a properly fitted sports bra, breasts move too freely and may stretch the Cooper’s ligaments and lead to sagging.
Changes in weight and/or hormones: This includes fluctuations due to weight gain and loss due to dietary habits as well as pregnancy. The more pregnancies a woman has, the more likely her breasts are to shrink and lose their lift.
Smoking: You knew that smoking could harm your lungs and your heart, but did you know that it could change the shape of your breasts? Smoking destroys elastin, the protein that gives skin its elasticity. With lower levels of elastin, the breasts droop and sag.
One thing that doesn’t cause breasts to sag is breast-feeding. Research has shown that it is simply the size changes that a woman’s breasts undergo through pregnancy that make the difference – not whether she breast-feeds her child. Breast milk is still the best food for a growing infant, so do not let worries about sagging breasts deter you from breast-feeding.
Breast sagging may be reduced by wearing a properly-fitted, supportive brassiere, especially when working out. For women who have stretched skin and decreased breast volume, a breast lift may be an option. But women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to lose weight should not consider the procedure, as breast shape may change.
FACTS ABOUT THE FEMALE BREAST
Here are more things you may not have known about the mammaries. After all, they are our breast friends.
- Some women can orgasm via breast stimulation
Two high-profile sex educators conducted an in-depth study to bolster claims that women could reach orgasm through breast stimulation alone. Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller, authors of I Love Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide reported that 1% of women in their research told of their ability to orgasm through playing with their pair.
- Boobs are more fraternal twins than identical
Everyone has asymmetrical features: an arm longer the other, a foot larger than the other, even a breast larger than the other. In a study published in the International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, the right breast was found to be on average larger than the left.
- Breasts can weigh about as much as three bricks
Imagine carrying three bricks around all day every day and then sleeping with them on your chest. The average bra can support breasts that weigh between 0.23 kilograms (half a pound) and 9 kilograms (20 pounds), about the weight of three bricks. That’s heavy stuff.
- And if you like ‘em large, you’re probably not rolling in dollar
A 2013 study found that men who “lacked material goods,” or who were from a lower socioeconomic background, preferred women with larger bosoms, as this higher fat content may indicate the women have access to better resources.
In fact, these researchers found that those from a low socioeconomic background desired a woman with bigger boobs more than men from a medium socioeconomic background. And, in turn, men from a medium socioeconomic background fancied a larger pair than men from a high socioeconomic background.
Essentially, the poorer the man, the larger the handful preferred.
- Everyone stares at your breasts. EVERY. ONE.
According to a study where women and men were fitted with an eye-tracking device, both were found to look at a woman’s boobs instead of her face but men do it for longer. So women do boob-watch too but they’re just quicker about it.
- What does your nipple type say about you?
There are different types of nipples, clinically classed as ‘normal,’ ‘flat,’ ‘puffy,’ ‘inverted’ with three grades of inversion, and ‘unilateral.’ And just like the asymmetry of boobs, your nipples may not be a matching pair.
- …or even a matching triplet
Another udder. A triple nipple. Having a third nipple somewhere on the body is called polythelia. Around three percent of people have an extra nipple, according to Pathology Outline, although estimates varying greatly by location. The National Institute of Health’s Office of Rare Diseases estimates that fewer than 200,000 people in the United States have an extra teat. It’s often mistaken for a mole and can appear anywhere on the body, so grab a mirror and have a good check.
- Smoking and pregnancy can cause sweater puppies to sag
There is a vital protein in the skin called elastin, which gives skin elasticity and stretch without tearing. Continual smoking can actually break down this protein, causing slack bosoms. Additional pregnancies can also cause breasts to travel south, as a study presented at the 2007 conference for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found.
How to Prevent Sagging Breasts Naturally
Although it is a common belief that breastfeeding causes ptosis (medical term for drooping), a 2008 study published by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal stated that breastfeeding is not a risk factor. The root cause lies in pregnancy, because weight gain in pregnancy causes ligaments to stretch thus leading to drooping later. Maintaining a relatively healthy weight gain in pregnancy can help minimize this issue.
Sagging can also be caused by breast cancer or respiratory conditions such as tuberculosis. In addition, this issue is aggravated by excessive consumption of nicotine, alcohol and carbonated beverages.
Various anti-sagging and breast-toning lotions and ointments are offered on the market. But, if you are more inclined to natural methods, try these simple home remedies.
Maintaining optimal weight
If you frequently struggle with weight gain and loss and fail to maintain constant optimal weight, it will subsequently have a negative impact on your breasts as your skin especially that covering your breasts, loses its suppleness when stretched. Furthermore, losing weight implies losing breast fat which happens at a faster rate compared to fat reduction on other parts of the body. After continual stretching, your skin sags in time.
Drinking a lot of water
The skin is made of cells which mostly contain water, according to experts from the University of Wisconsin Hospitals. If the body is deficient in water, i.e. if the skin doesn’t obtain the needed amount of water, it becomes dull, flaky and dry. Lack of water leads to early aging of the breast skin as well, making it less firm and saggy.
Nutrition & Exercise
A combination of healthy food and exercise is the ideal way to lose weight and at the same time maintain your skin supple. Radical weight loss in short time inevitably impacts your breast firmness. Even inappropriate weight can cause beast sagging.
In order to avoid saggy breasts it’s vital to consume food that is nutritionally rich i.e. abundant in protein (protein deficiency leads to breast muscles losing their firmness and suppleness!), vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and essential fats. Nutritional insufficiencies generally cause drooping of breasts as breast growth is dependent on nutrients.
Foods that should be on your daily diet list are tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cabbages, onions, garlic etc.
An excellent anti-aging fruit, pomegranate is efficient in the prevention of breast sagging. Pomegranate seed oil is rich in phytonutrients which maintain breast suppleness.
Aloe Vera, an incredible plant abounding in antioxidants, prevents the negative influences of free radicals and stimulates breast firmness. With its inherent skin-tightening characteristics, aloe vera is an excellent tool to fight sagging breasts.
Apply some aloe vera gel to your breasts and massage it gently in circular motion for 10 minutes. Let it stay on your skin for another 10 minutes, then rinse it with cold water. Do this 4-5 times per week for the desired effect.
Home Remedies for Firm Breasts
As breasts are made of fat, there is no breast muscle to tone or tighten.
Chest exercises enhance the appearance of your pectoral area by strengthening surrounding ligaments, which makes your breasts look perkier.
Push-ups are the easiest and most beneficial exercise for breast firmness because they strengthen the pectoral muscles below the breasts. Generally, they help shape your breasts and reduce the fat deposits surrounding the chest.
Pectoral muscles can also be tightened by lifting weights, curls, chest presses, dumbbell flys or any other type of exercise that has an effect on your muscles.
Breast masks act in the same way as face masks – they help tighten the skin. Using breasts masks at least once a week can lead to desired results.
Vitamin E oil & Egg breast mask
Make a mixture of:
1 tbsp. of plain Yogurt
1 tbsp. vitamin E oil
Apply the mixture on your breast and rub it in gently.
Leave it on for about 30 minutes.
Wash it off with cold water.
Use coconut or olive oil for breast massage 2-3 times a week in order to stimulate firmness and boost skin suppleness, but also to enhance skin tone and texture. Massage increases blood flow by drawing blood to the skin surface and activates muscle boost and cell renewal at the same time, thus reducing the appearance and severity of saggy breasts.
Breast firmness can be obtained by practicing ice massages as ice helps tone the skin surrounding your breasts. Rub a couple of ice cubes on your breasts in wide circular motions. You can also massage your breasts in the same way using crushed ice in a zip lock bag wrapped in a cloth, but no longer than a minute so that you avoid breast numbness.
You can also tone your breast skin and tissues by having breast massages with vegetable oils like coconut, olive or grape seed oil. All of these, including almond oil, are highly beneficial for nourishing breast skin and maintaining its firmness. To get the desired effect, mix the vegetable oil with two drops of any essential oil before applying it on your breasts.
Essential oils are known for their effect on skin cell rejuvenation. Skin suppleness and firmness can easily be recovered by using essential oils like fennel seed oil, spearmint oil, carrot oil, lemongrass oil and cypress oil. In order to tone the skin surrounding your breasts, massage them with any of these oils at regular daily intervals. Be careful to use only small amounts of these oils, two drops will suffice, as they can burn the skin.
Avoid these sagging triggers:
There are a number of triggers potentially causing sagging breasts that need to be dodged. They are:
Smoking & over-tanning
A 2008 study reveals the negative impacts of smoking on breast firmness. This is also true of tanning, poor nutrition, high-fat diet or any other bad lifestyle habit that causes skin’s collagen deterioration.
Wrong sized or poorly fitting bras
Poorly fitting bras is as unfavorable for breast firmness as wearing no bra at all. What prevents sagging is choosing bras with special support holders or pads at the bottom of the cup.
Is going braless beneficial for your breasts?
According to the findings of a recent study of 15 years conducted in France (the study, however, does not imply breast size), bras not only lack benefits for women, but may also be harmful in the long run. Jean-Denis Rouillon, a professor at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon, claims that “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity.”
What professor Rouillon did was measure and examine the breasts of over 300 women, aged 18 and 35, concentrating on the long-term body effects that additional support provided by bras has. In the end he concluded that women who did not wear bras developed more muscle tissue which provided natural breast support, thus benefiting in the long run. The professor also observed that the nipples of braless women took a higher position in relation to their shoulders. Finally, the study indicated that the restrictive materials of bras inhibit the muscle tissue of breasts from growing, which actually advances breast sagging.
Rouillon, however, warned of the danger to advise all women to dispose of their bras because the study is not comprehensive. The professor added that women who have worn bras for decades are less likely to benefit from the above-mentioned recommendations.