You love them when they’re round and perky. You hate them when they lose their shape and droop. I’m talking about your breasts, and you might be surprised by some of the following facts.
1. The way you sleep affects your breasts. Sleeping on your stomach flattens out your breasts because they’re pressed against the mattress for hours. Sleeping on your side without support is a no-no as well, because it causes your Cooper’s ligaments to stretch, and as they stretch, your breasts will increasingly sag. What’s the solution? Sleep on your back. But if that doesn’t work for you, the next best choice is to sleep on your side with a pillow under your breasts for support.
2. A 2008 clinical study showed that after pregnancy, it’s not the breast feeding that causes the droops. The fault falls squarely on pregnancy weight gain, again, because the connective tissue gets stretched and becomes unable to support the added weight. How to avoid this? During pregnancy, be vigilant about gaining no more than your doctor says you should. This will keep any sagging to a minimum.
3. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a 15-year study published in 2013 found that women who never wear a bra experience less sagging than women who do. The study was conducted by French sports science expert Jean-Denis Rouillon of the University of Besançon, who concluded that wearing a bra may make breasts sag more because the bra weakens the underlying muscles that provide support.
4. Love getting an even, all-over tan? While your breasts may be two of your proudest assets, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen and bring along a cover-up. Sun overdone is the single greatest cause of skin damage and premature aging. And accelerating the aging process will lead to prematurely droopy breasts.
5. Similarly, smoking is toxic for your body, and that includes your breasts. In fact, an 8-year study found that smoking can contribute to sagging because the toxicity breaks down the elastin fibers that make skin tighten and retract when stretched.