Does wearing a bra really make your breasts sag?
They're intended to provide support, but will they actually contribute to sagging over time?
Growing up, we were taught that wearing a bra counters the effects of gravity. Aside from this, there were quite a number of suspected reasons for sagging breasts — like ageing, genetics, or lack of exercise.
But it turns out some of these beliefs are actually myths. So which are true and which are false?
A 2013 study out of France claims that bras can actually make breasts sag.
The study asserted that wearing a bra 24/7 is a “false necessity” that could even inhibit the growth of supporting breast tissue, causing the breasts to sag earlier in life.
The study’s researchers based these findings on 330 volunteer women between the ages of 18 to 35 over the course of 16 years. They found that these women’s breasts sagged less and less every year they went braless.
They do, however, would not advise older women and mums to skip wearing one completely.
“It would be of no benefit to a 45-year-old mother to stop wearing a bra,” study lead Jean-Denis Rouillon told French site the Connexion.
Though this might be true for some women, further research is needed for this to be conclusive. What’s more, one of the main reasons for sagging breasts is simply age and gravity, both of which are inescapable.
“A bra will hold up your breasts to give you the shape and look you want, but it can’t prevent further sagging, which is caused by age and gravity,” Dan Mills, MD, vice president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery tells Health.com.
Over time, the breast’s connective tissue, or Cooper’s ligaments stretch and lose elasticity. Once you go into menopause, sagging becomes even more pronounced as tissue is replaced by fat.
Though age, genetics, and the continuous pull of gravity are reasons for sagging breasts that can’t be avoided, there are ways to delay this. The following health tips can also improve your breasts’ appearance while boosting your body confidence.
Another myth worth debunking is that exercises can prevent sagging. Why? Breasts are filled with fat, not muscle that can’t be made more tight or toned by exercise. However, certain chest exercises can enhance their appearance.
No, breastfeeding cannot cause sagging. According to a 2008 study, breastfeeding doesn’t lead to breast drooping. However, pregnancy can affect the elasticity of breasts because ligaments can stretch, causing breasts to sag.
How can you avoid this? Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Eat a nutritious diet and steer clear of unhealthy fats to boost breast health and appearance.
The exception to the study above is wearing a sports bra that fits right. It shouldn’t be too tight that it inhibits the growth of breast tissue. Neither should it be too loose that it affects breast elasticity.
“The more your boobs bounce around, the more stressed breast skin and collagen become,” Michael Edwards, M.D., a breast surgeon and president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery tells Women’s Health.
Yes, smoking and tanning can affect your breast’s appearance. Make sure to wear UV sun protection when going to the beach and exfoliate regularly to rid the breast’s surface of dead cells and boost elasticity.
Above all, don’t be too stressed about sagging breasts, mums! It’s all part of this rewarding journey of womanhood. Perky or saggy, our bodies are beautifully unique and strong!
Photo credit: MomJunction