Sagging Breasts? Here's What Really Causes Them

woman in bikini taking selfie

"We must! We must! We must increase our bust!" If you've ever read a certain Judy Blume book, you've clasped your hands together and squeezed with all your might, desperately attempting to make your boobs bigger. But as you get older and become a mom, it's not so much about the SIZE of your breasts as it is about their shape.

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Sagging breasts might be a natural part of aging, but that doesn't mean you have to be excited about it.

Or give up without a fight.

CafeMom asked Dr. Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, to set us straight about what REALLY causes breasts to sag -- and what we can do to keep 'em perky.

Myth #1: Going braless makes your breasts sag.

Sorry to all the free-range boobs out there. This is true.

"Poor support leads to saggy breasts regardless of your size," says Dr. Ross. When you don't put the girls in a bra every day, you're giving all that delicate and sensitive breast tissue an opportunity to do whatever it wants -- which is hang low because, you know, gravity.

Myth #2: Wearing a bra to bed will keep your breasts from sagging.

True-ish.

"In a perfect world, you'd wear a bra at night to provide 24/7 breast support," says Dr. Ross. "But in a practical and realistic world, your breasts need a break from being trapped in a bra all day."

FYI, there's no medical evidence to show this really works. Because when it comes to trying to find a cure for cancer or studying boob saggage, it's a no-brainer as to where research dollars are going.

Myth #3: Underwire bras are the best choice to keep your breasts from succumbing to gravity.

True.

Underwire bras are able to lift the heaviest part of breast tissue, says Dr. Ross. But "for small-cup women who wear a size A or B, it may not be as important."

Myth #4: Certain exercise can "perk up" your breasts.

Yes!

"Exercise can strengthen your chest muscles, which are underneath your breasts," Dr. Ross explains. And it's not just upper body strength moves that will help, but cardio.

"Aerobic exercise that helps control your body fat and weight may help in minimizing saggy breasts," says Dr. Ross.

More from CafeMom: 12 Women Share the Incredible Perks of Having Large Breasts

Myth #5: Certain oils, lotions, and supplements can protect breasts from gravity.

False!

Lotions and oils will keep your skin soft, sure. But they can't minimize sagging, Dr. Ross confirms. And don't waste bucks on supplements, either. They do nada.

Myth #6: Breastfeeding makes your breasts sag.

Sadly, yes.

"Pregnancy starts the dramatic change in breast tissue as a result of  hormonal changes and in preparation of breastfeeding," says Dr. Ross.

And we hate to be the bearer of more bad news, but the number of pregnancies you have also contributes to permanent sagging.

Myth #7: The bigger the breasts, the more your breasts will sag one day.

True.

"Larger-breasted women are more likely to have saggy breasts if they're left unsupported for long periods of time," confirms Dr. Ross.

But hopefully you won't/don't do that because you're also likely to feel more uncomfortable when you go bra-less.

Myth #8: Well, at least gravity and support are the ONLY things we have to worry about when it comes to sagging breasts.

False.

"Other factors include genetics, age, and menopause," says Dr. Ross.

So where does that leave us? Here's our, er, breast guess:

Love how your breasts look, no matter their shape or size -- and use this news as an excuse to invest in some nice bras. Or don't and, you know, celebrate your breasts wherever they may be.  

 

Image via kudia/Shutterstock

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