Introduction Pregnancy is always regarded as an exciting prospect for couples, but it can be especially daunting for first-time parents. Expectant couples start preparing for the upcoming baby by ensuring that the mother has adequate nutrition and by making certain adjustments in their lifestyle to accommodate a growing infant. This stage in a woman’s life introduces various physical changes such as tenderness and enlargement of the breasts, milk production, and weight gain to name a few. Although weight gain is not necessarily a side effect of pregnancy, lack of physical exercise during the gestation period can significantly increase the risk of acquiring a few extra pounds. Effects of pregnancy and childbirth on the breasts Pregnant women are usually so focused on providing enough sustenance for the fetus that they often forget to monitor their food intake. This frequently leads to massive weight gain which becomes difficult to correct later on. Moreover, the hormones produced during pregnancy stimulate the enlargement of the breast tissue as well as the production of milk. These are some of the factors that contribute to the anatomical changes that women experience during pregnancy. For some women, these physical modifications can be distressing; particularly when the body does not revert to its previous shape. It is essential for expectant mothers to understand that pregnancy will increase the size of the breasts but they will return to their normal size after the baby is weaned. However, multiple pregnancies may permanently alter the dimensions of the breasts and cause them to sag. Unfortunately, the insufficient musculature in a woman’s chest cannot sustain the weight of the enlarged breasts. This is further underscored by the fragility of the fibers that exist to support the mammary gland. Although the changes in the breasts may reach a point where it becomes irreversible, breastfeeding may help undo these pregnancy-induced changes to a certain extent and it may even serve to reduce some of the side effects of pregnancy. As such, it is imperative for the mother to maintain a healthy diet and the intake of lactation-stopping medication may also help rectify the issues. Changes in the breasts and breastfeeding Quite a number of pregnant women are upset because of the sagging of the breasts that can develop as a consequence of pregnancy. First-time moms, in particular, can have difficulty accepting the idea that pregnancy triggers a loss of firmness in the breast tissues. Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding has no adverse effect on the breasts and on the other hand, it might actually provide relief from sore and distended mammary glands that may be due in part to the secretion of milk. Despite all of the discomfort that women can experience postpartum, it is still recommended to breastfeed the newborn as the colostrum contains vital antibodies from the mother that will fortify the baby’s immune system. In general, breast milk also contains various nutrients that nourishes and protects the baby from infections. Reasons to undergo breast augmentation after pregnancy: Years of scientific research have proven that changes in a woman’s breasts occur as a result of pregnancy. These changes are unavoidable but taking the right precautions may help ease the discomfort that they cause. Alternatively, if the expectant mother fails to keep track of her weight or if her physical modifications seem to have become permanent, plastic surgery is always an option worth considering. Here are some of the flaws that can be corrected with plastic surgery: Dark or large areolas – The darkening and widening of the areolas are normal anatomical modifications brought about by pregnancy. Female sex hormones such as progesterone and estrogen stimulate most of the changes in a pregnant woman’s body. During the first few months of gestation, the areolas will gradually become larger and darker. Despite this, it should be noted that the pigmentation and size of the areola is expected to return to normal after pregnancy and breast feeding. Breast asymmetry – The breasts noticeably increase in volume throughout pregnancy due to the secretion of milk by the mammary glands. However, the breast tissues will inevitably return to its normal orientation after breast feeding and this may sometimes lead to the development of breast asymmetries. In the body’s attempt to revert back to its pre-pregnancy figure, certain irregularities with the size and shape of the breasts may occur and as such, some women experience significant changes in their breasts with one breast perceptibly larger than the other. Size and shape of the breasts – Over the course of the pregnancy, the expectant mother will be able to observe a steady increase in the size of her breasts and this may also be accompanied by a change in their shape. The enlargement of the breasts makes room for the production of milk that will take place a few months into gestation and this can lead to a moderate discrepancy in the size of the breasts before and during pregnancy. Once the infant has been weaned, the breasts naturally become smaller but there is no guarantee that they will return to their initial dimensions. The extent of breast enlargement is also greatly influenced by the weight that the mother gains during pregnancy. Older women will also find that their bodies are less likely to revert back to their original figure. Breast sagging – Soon after the baby’s breastfeeding phase is over, the mammary gland will cease its secretion of milk and the breasts will begin to take on a “deflated” appearance. The force exerted on the connective tissue fibers that support the breasts results in the stretching of the skin on the area surrounding the pectoral muscles and causes sagging breasts. This condition is also associated with aging which is why skin quality and elasticity are among the features that determine the extent of drooping. To minimize the risk of acquiring sagging breasts postpartum, pregnant women are often advised to wear bras that provide adequate support for their enlarged breasts. Time and again, pregnant women have been deceived by magazine or online articles that endorse certain exercise routines and diet plans which promise to restore their figures to how they were prior to childbirth. Though these exercises and diets may help them lose the weight they put on during pregnancy, these techniques alone cannot fix breast asymmetry and breast sagging. If you truly wish to have these issues corrected, you may consult a plastic surgeon for the cosmetic procedure that is suitable for your circumstances. On the other hand, several women decide that they prefer the size of their breasts during pregnancy and elect to have them augmented after their baby has been weaned. Various breast enhancement procedures are available for all the women who wish to have their breasts improved after giving birth. Conclusion There are various anatomical and physiological changes associated with pregnancy. The majority of these physical modifications occur in the breasts as the body begins to prepare for the delivery of the baby. The breasts increase in size to make room for the milk that will be produced by the mammary glands. The enlargement of the breasts is temporary and will return to normal after the mother has stopped breastfeeding. However, there are certain women who want to keep the size of their breasts during pregnancy and there are those who wish to correct breast asymmetries or sagging that may occur as the breasts start to become smaller. Women who would like to have their breasts enhanced after pregnancy should thoroughly discuss the appropriate cosmetic procedure with their plastic surgeon so as to achieve the best possible outcome.