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Changes to your body and breasts

Breastfeeding doesn't have a lasting effect on your body shape.

Your body after giving birth

Any lasting change to the shape of your body or breasts after becoming a mum is far more to do with muscles stretching during pregnancy, your weight going up and down before and after the birth, or from not wearing a supportive bra during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.

Your breasts while breastfeeding

Your breasts may seem very full in the first days as your milk 'comes in', but they'll soon know how much milk to make and reduce to a more comfortable size. They'll go up and down with every feed as they fill up with milk and are then emptied by your baby.

Your breasts after stopping breastfeeding

When you stop breastfeeding, your breasts may seem a little droopy, but they'll perk up again over the following months as fatty tissue begins to replace the milk-producing tissue. Make sure to wear a good fitting bra to avoid any lasting effects. You can find out what to look for in our page getting a new bra.

When will my periods start again?

If you breastfeed exclusively, including at night, and don’t bottle feed at all, your periods may not start again until you stop breastfeeding, or until you stop breastfeeding at night.

This is because the hormone that causes your body to make breast milk and controls the let-down reflex can also stop your body making the hormones that control your periods. The NHS website has more information.

For more information and advice on your health after having a baby, visit the Ready Steady Baby website.

This article was created as part of 

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Last updated: 2 Dec, 2021