With a full C-cup in my thirties, I have to be honest... things used to be, well, perkier. But with two kids and a third on the way, the reality for me is that they're probably not going to ever look like they did when I was 20. And that's okay--bodies change, breasts change, and it's okay to age. Still, I can make some effort to naturally lift my spirits and my chest. We reached out to the experts to get tips on how to help keep your confidence and boobies high.
“Forget about the old beliefs of poor-quality bras, going bra-less, or breastfeeding being the cause to sagging breasts,” says Dr. Manish Shah, board-certified Denver, Colorado plastic surgeon. “There are ligaments in the breasts that stretch out over time. Gravity is certainly a culprit but there are others such as multiple pregnancies, menopause, breast motion from exercise, high body mass index, deficiencies in collagen, estrogen, rapid weight fluctuations, and of course smoking,” he explains.
Beware of the expensive hype.
When women are unhappy with breast sagging and want to lift their breasts; they want to do it quickly, painlessly and affordably. Dr. Shah says that while advancements are being made with procedures involving things such as stem cell therapies, radiofrequency, and fat transfer; right now, the science just isn’t there when it comes to delivering ideal lift, shape and significant restoration to warrant the investment.
“The last thing you want to do is get sold on a $4000, procedure done over the course of several visits spread out over several months that does very little. People want visible improvement. It’s important to ask questions about anything seeming too good to be true,” cautions Dr. Shah.
Clearly, there are a lot of factors that can explain away breast sagging in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and beyond. What options do we have in this very tough battle with gravity?
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“We know that smoking accelerates aging in the face due to oxygen deprivation to your skin. When it comes to the breasts, smoking destroys elastin which is what maintains suppleness,” says Dr. Shah.
When perimenopause begins usually in the mid-’40s, you really want to revamp your diet and have a look at organ function and get a hormone test. “Drops in estrogen, a natural occurrence during menopause reduces collagen in skin tissue. Some supplements or phytoestrogens that boost estrogen levels naturally can have a positive effect on breast shape. However, this is certainly something to discuss with a specialist,” explains Dr. Shah.
Pump Up with weights or resistance training.
“A lot of women focus on their lower body when exercising. While this is great to blast cellulite and keep the thighs, legs, and butt shapely and strong, the upper body can’t be neglected. Doing various exercises using 5 -10-pound weights that strengthen and tone pectoral muscles (the muscles under the breasts) shoulders and back are key for preventing breast sagging,” says Vince Sant, Certified Fitness Trainer and Co-Founder of V Shred.com.
Many women fear losing their breast size or looking bulky or masculine. When you use less weight and do more repetitions, you get a nice lean, strong upper body. This raises everything up. According to Sant, who created a workout specifically targeting women’s trouble zones, it takes a lot of weight and many hours of training to get that thicker bulky look. “Doing combinations of exercises such as, plank rotations, shoulder presses, dumbbell pullovers, chest fly’s and standing raises are easy and can be done right in your living room.”
Update your sports bra.
“While exercise is great, exercising with an old stretched out sports bra can lead to sagging especially for you Cardio Queens,” out there says Vince.
This not a sponsored post. Some copy courtesy of Jill Cortez with quotes and tips by Dr. Manish Shah and Vince Sant.