We all wondered growing up if our boobs were too big, too small, or the right shape. Some of us saw our friends develop breasts much earlier than us, and some saw our own develop earlier than others. Well, women’s breasts and sizes are varied, and the variation depends on a lot of factors. Age, hormones and genetics play the main field, of course. A lot of women are conscious about their smaller bust size while there are some who are looking at reducing their bust size. A larger bust size could cause an inconvenience and often times makes the body unbalanced.
Read on to find out what is actually considered a large bust, before you even think you need to go in for a reduction. Also, keep in mind that sometimes we don’t like a certain physical feature about ourselves because deep down we feel inadequate or not confident about ourselves, and then we go about finding some physical reason to pin this dislike on. It’s important to think a little deep about why we don’t like a certain physical feature about ourselves before we dedicate time, effort and money to go about changing it. You don't want to be in a spot where you've worked really hard or opted for drastic measures, and you have achieved your 'desired' shape, but deep inside, you still feel inadequate.
If you have carefully considered these factors, and still feel that you’d like to reduce your bust size, then there are a lot of healthy ways to do so - starting with natural and home remedies, to medications and supplements, and finally cosmetic surgeries.
Here’s everything you need to know about altering or reducing breast size:
Ideally when you say ‘large breast size’ you need to keep in mind two important factors. One would be your overall size and then the size of your breast in comparison to the overall size. This can be determined by the bra size that you’d usually opt for. A size 32D, says that your band size is 32 inches and your cup size is D which is seen as a larger size. Now that compared to a 34C, the band size is larger but the cup size is smaller. Which means this size would probably be ideal for the body type. If your cup size in comparison to your band size is much larger, that is when you should be looking at it as a problem. An international celebrity, Ariel Winters who stars in Modern Family was in the news recently for her breast reduction surgery. She admitted to it being a weight lifted off her chest, literally and figuratively. She went from a 32F to a 34D. That means she went down by a whole cup size. If you’ve determined your size and still think you should be looking at breast reduction as an option, here’s some more information that you might need.
Why Do Some Women Want To Reduce Their Breast Size?
People sometimes refer to women who are naturally endowed as “lucky”. A lot of us with a smaller size do not understand why they are a little annoyed about their large breast size. In some societies, bigger the breasts, the more attractive you are considered. There are a lot of women who are willing to take exemplary measures to get to a size that would be accepted as attractive, including going under the knife. But, if you ask cosmetic surgeons or even gynecologists, a lot of the women with larger breast sizes would do anything to get rid of the weight.
With this ‘lucky’ size comes bouts of chronic back pain and shoulder pain. Forget about the seemingly sexy lingerie, sometimes even the most supportive of bras cannot handle the load that comes with larger sizes. A lot of women opt for natural remedies or even go on to get surgeries to reduce breast size. For them, it is to just regain control of their bodies. To be able to do a lot of normal things like sleeping on their front or even working out. At the end of the day, it is about comfort more than the apparent attractiveness.General Information About Breasts (What Are They Made Up Of)
Breasts are mainly made of fatty tissues, breast tissues, and nerve endings. Adipose tissues, which would be the fatty tissue, fill up a large part of the breast. It is the reason for your breasts’ firmness and shape. The glandular tissue or breast tissue would be the reason for our breasts to be able to produce milk. There are also hormone receptors in the breasts which is the ruling factor in altering the size of the breast.
Breasts usually start growing through puberty due to the high estrogen levels produced in the female body. But through the years there are a lot of factors that cause the enlargement of breast size. It could be genetic, hormonal, it could be due to a recent pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding and even side effects of a certain drug that you might be prescribed.
Your genes play an important part in the way that you look. Breast size is a factor that is determined by your family history. But contrary to popular belief, your genes would usually predict a sort of scale that would determine how small/big your breasts could grow, but it doesn’t determine actual size. This just means that you could be born with the genetics that would determine a certain breast size, but over time due to a lot of factors, that size could vary.Weight
Because breasts are predominantly made up of adipose tissues, which is basically fat, if you gain or lose weight considerably, there could be a change in your breast size. A few kgs here and there, of course, wouldn’t affect the weight, but a significant weight loss or gain could definitely alter your breast size.Birth control
If you are on a hormonal birth control pill, chances are it could be causing water retention, which could cause a change in your breast size. Again, this ‘change’ will rarely be permanent and usually shows up when you begin a birth control cycle.Pregnancy and breastfeeding
A woman’s breasts can grow by a few cup sizes during and post-pregnancy owing to the hormonal changes. There is an increase in progesterone which can be a driving factor for the enlargement. Following which, your breasts would increase in size when you are breastfeeding. But they usually go back to normal several months after you stop nursing. The changes would be more pronounced if you have multiple kids.Age
Of course, as you age, your body changes. Your breasts won’t remain the same size nor look the same as you get older. They start to sag, due to the reduction in the skin’s elasticity and the slowed down regeneration process.Hormones
As we have mentioned before, hormones are the driving factor when it comes to the change in your breast size. Our hormones cause an enlargement of the milk-producing tissue or glandular tissue and even affect the growth of the adipose tissue. There could also be a swelling in the breast owing to temporary fluid accumulation. A lot of women who are in the premenopausal phase of their life could have enlarged breasts due to the increase in estrogen production.Medication
A lot of medications that contain traces of estrogen or steroids could affect the hormones which could cause enlargement of the breasts.Natural Remedies
If you ask any cosmetic practitioner, doctor or aesthetician, they would be quick to tell you that natural remedies for breast reduction may or may not work the way you’d want them to. But a lot of women and ayurvedic and naturopathy enthusiasts believe that what is within affects the physicality. So here are some natural remedies that could help reduce your breast size over time. Please note none of these results would be immediate and would require a dedicated lifestyle change along with the inclusion of these remedies in that lifestyle, every day.Ginger
Ginger can increase the metabolism in your body resulting in burning a lot of the fat. This could result in a decrease in your breast size over time. The best way to include ginger as a wellness tool in your day to day life, apart from including it in your cooking, would be to sip on ginger tea two to three times a day.
Grate some ginger to create a paste and store for regular use.
Add 1 tsp of the paste to a cup of water.
Boil it for 10-15 minutes and strain.
Add a teaspoon of honey to sweeten the tea and calm the burn.
Have this tea twice a day.Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which could reduce the estrogen level in your body. It also helps remove harmful toxins off your body. The best way to consume flaxseeds is to mix one teaspoon of the powder in a glass of water and drink it every morning.Green Tea
Green tea rates high in antioxidants. It has ‘catechin’ which promotes digestion and weight loss. The reduction in body fat will ensure a slight alteration in your cup size. You can drink green tea for up to 4 times a day.Turmeric and neem
Combining turmeric and neem is one of the most recommended ways in Ayurveda and naturopathy to reduce breast inflammation. Both of these ingredients are rife with anti-inflammatory properties that aid the reduction.
Add neem leaves to four cups of water.
Steep for 10 minutes on medium heat and then strain the mixture.
Add 2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp honey to the water.
Drink this water every day and you should see results in a few months.Fish oil and consumption of fish
Fish oil consists of a high level of omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce high estrogen levels in a woman’s body. Which in turn help reduce the enlargement of the fatty tissues. Alternatively, regular consumption of cold water fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel could also yield similar results. Including these in your daily diet could help reduce fat if combined with a moderate workout.Reduce salt, fat and sugar intake.
This should ideally be the stepping stone to the lifestyle changes that you would need to make in your life in order to reduce your breast size naturally. The first thing you must do is to limit the amount of salt, sugar and fat you consume on a daily basis. Salt retains water in the body. Sugar is rife with calories that your body doesn’t need and even makes you feel hungrier as you consume it. Unhealthy fats and trans fats, as well as saturated fats usually found in red meat, butter and some condiments and fried food, should be cut out of your diet. Include fish and nuts in your diet to consume healthy fats that your body needs as nourishment.Cosmetic And Topical (Store Bought) Alternatives To Reduce Breast Size
Again, medication of any sort - topical or ingested - is not usually recommended by doctors and cosmetologists. They do not believe in the claims of medications and firming creams. Some women claim they have seen a lasting difference thanks to these pills and firming creams.
Here are the elements and components that are typically in such pills and firming creams. Furthermore, we have also listed down the pros and cons of consuming any of these pills or applying the topical creams.
Breast Reduction Pills
Most of the supplements that you would have for breast reduction would have components like diuretics or caffeine and other such stimulants that aid weight loss. So according to doctors and aestheticians, the only reason why these pills would work is that you’d lose weight. But, these pills with their high potency of these materials can lead to serious heart problems. We suggest you don’t go by just the claims by the brands. Ensure you read the fine print and consult your doctor.Slimming/Firming Creams
Creams and lotions that can be topically applied may be a little less dangerous than the supplements, but they are still apparently as ineffective as the ingested pills when it comes to breast reduction. Usually, they just give your skin a high boost of hydration and moisturization that just temporarily makes you feel like it is making a difference. There are a lot of manufacturers and cosmetic companies (especially on late night tv and telecommunication shows) that guarantee the loss of fat or firmer skin just by the topical application of a particular emollient. No matter the claims, it is close to impossible for a topical product to be able to burn fat.Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements that contain the aforementioned foods like ginger and flaxseeds and green tea again would mostly aid some weight loss. These foods are a god sent when it comes to having a healthy and balanced diet, but more than that, expecting something extraordinary from these supplements would probably only lead you to disappointment. As mentioned earlier, ginger and green tea consist of compounds that are essentially considered to aid and accelerate ‘fat burning’ and help increase your metabolism. But these components, foods and supplements would not work by themselves. You would need a healthy lifestyle that features a good diet and workout to actually manage to lose enough weight to see a reduction in your breast size.Best Workouts To Reduce Breast Size
While this is definitely the most researched, asked and searched question on the world wide web, workouts again are the same as natural remedies. Immediate results would be difficult to see and the only real results would happen when you would lose a considerable amount of weight around your chest area. Workouts for breast reduction also need to become a part of your lifestyle and will not yield results unless you are regular with them. There are various workouts and exercises that claim to do the task at hand, namely yoga, weight training and even workouts at home. Here are some forms of workouts that could help you reduce your breast size but are also great to just start with if you’re looking at building a healthier lifestyle.Yoga
Yoga is considered to be the ideal amalgamation of postures, stretching, breathing regulation and mental wellness. Some women have sworn by the health benefits of yoga and also its success in reducing breast size. Here are some poses that work to reduce the size of your breast and firm up your chest area over time.
1. Surya Namaskar
One of the most popular asanas in the world of yoga, the Surya Namaskar is a full body workout that works out every muscle in your body. 15-18 reps of this every day would slowly begin to trim down the back fat and fat around your chest. Some women also felt their breasts firming up.
2. Wall Press
Stand with palms against the wall and extend your arms entirely. Basically, create a slanting line with your body with your palms touching the wall. Now do a vertical push up, but hold the post for 10 seconds when you are closer to the wall. This helps firm up your chest.
3. Prayer Pose
Sit with your legs crossed over each other forming a half pretzel shape on the floor. Then press your palms against each other in the Namaste position and keep it parallel to the floor. This creates pressure on the pectoral muscles which help firm up the area and eventually reduce the breast size a little more.
4. Bridge Pose
This yoga pose basically consists of creating a sort of a bridge with your body. Place your head and neck firmly on the ground. Fold your legs at the knee with your soles on the floor. Slowly lift your body off the floor starting at the hip. Do this until your knees and neck make a slanting line. This is a difficult yoga pose to master and would require instructor supervision until you master the technique.
This is what you would call a headstand. A complicated pose to master, this pose aids in improving the shape of your body and also firming it up. It improves the body posture as well. We suggest you only attempt this pose in the presence of a qualified yoga instructor. Also, in the beginning, take the support of the wall so there aren’t any grave injuries caused.
This palm tree pose is another essential exercise that you need to add to your repertoire. For this, you need to stand straight and keep your hands straight down beside you. Then life your arms straight above your head. Breathe in and then stretch your body upwards so you’re standing on your toes. Keep that balance and hold the post until you can. Do this at least 10 times for every session.
This bow pose helps strengthen your back and lifts your pectoral muscles. If you have a spinal issue then you need to stay away from this pose. It is a fairly advanced pose and shouldn’t be attempted until you’ve been taught by an instructor and you also have someone supervising your first few attempts. For this asana, you lie on your front and then stretch your body. Reach back and hold your ankles with your hands by bending your knees. Hold this pose for as long as you can and then slowly go back to the starting position. Start with repeating this pose five times and then build from there.Strength Training
Another series of workouts that work to reduce the fat around the bust area and firm up and tone up the body are strength training exercises. Here you use equipment at a gym or even at home to stretch and workout particular parts of your body to get a leaner chiseled frame.
1. Bench Press
For this workout, you would need a basic set of weights that you would be comfortable with and a bench. This workout could also be done at the gym where they have specially made equipment for this.
- You have to lie down on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Now while holding the weight, you need to extend your arms straight up over your body until they touch.
- Hold it there for 3-4 seconds and lower the weights with your elbows bent and your arms parallel to the floor.
Do about 2 sets for 30 reps each to start off with. This workout, in particular, helps tone up the chest and gives you a perkier, slimmer frame. This in particular works on the pectoral muscles that support your bust.
2. Vertical rows
This workout works on your entire upper body reducing the fat from all sides while toning your chest and bust in particular.
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Hold your dumbbells in your arms facing your thighs.
- Using your upper arm and shoulders slowly pull your arm up until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
- Then bend your arms at the elbow towards your chest. Repeat.
Do 2 sets of 20 reps each to start off with.
3. Front and side raises
Using the same weights, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands in front of your thighs.
- Lift one hand up without bending it at the elbow.
- Bring it up until it’s parallel to the floor and hold it there for 10 seconds.
- Then bring it back down and repeat with the other arm.
Do 2 sets of 20 reps on each side. This works particularly on your sides and to tone up saggy breasts. The same way, move your arms to the side. Raise one arm with the weights to the side without bending. Hold for 10 seconds and bring it back down. Do 2 sets of 20 reps as well.
This exercise would require weights and a gym ball. This workout focuses mainly on the chest and back muscles. This improves your posture and aids in reducing your breast size over time.
- To do this exercise, lie on your back on the ball with your legs apart to support your body.
- Lift the weights above your head with your arms straight and hold that position for a few seconds.
- Then bring it back down.
You should start with doing this 5-10 times with a break in between.
5. Shoulder shrugs
This seemingly easy workout helps firm up your chest and bust area over time. It also strengthens your shoulders.
- Stand straight with your arms beside you.
- Hold weights that you’re comfortable with.
- Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and your arms are straight.
- Move your shoulders up with your arms still straight.
- Pull them up till your ears, hold it there for 3-5 seconds and then bring them back down.
Make sure your elbows are not bent. This workout is an upward and downward motion. Do not roll your shoulders. Do 2 sets of 30 reps each to start off with.At Home Workouts
If you’re not into strength training at all there are a few workouts that you could try for timely reduction of breast size.
Apart from maintaining overall health a 30-minute jog could also help firm up your breast area. Jogging regularly would also put you on the path to losing weight which in turn would again result in your breast size shrinking over time.
Swimming works your upper body as no other workout does. It works specifically on your chest and shoulder muscles. So if you’re a water baby, you know what to do.Breast Reduction Surgery
This would be one of the effective ways to get breast reduction especially when you’re facing a health hazard due to your larger bust issue. Before we get into more details. This is what breast reduction surgery technically is. It is a cosmetic or aesthetic procedure that helps reduce the size as well as the weight of large breasts. This cosmetic procedure treats sagging breasts, asymmetrical breasts and heavy breasts by making them smaller and firmer and reducing the weight. Women usually opt for this elective surgery to alleviate back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain and to stop them from the discomfort of everyday activities that are hindered by large breast sizes. This surgery is also called ‘reduction mammoplasty and gynecomastia’.Things To Keep In Mind
- Always consult your regular doctor and get a go-ahead from him or her before going to a plastic surgeon.
- You need to know that you are physically and psychologically fit to endure the surgical procedure and the recovery period.
- If your breast size is not causing any physical pain and can be altered with just leading a healthier lifestyle as would be in case of obesity, then you’d rather opt for the natural options first. You can read about the reasons behind your breast pain here.
- Pregnant women should not opt for this procedure during their term.
- While the effects of the surgery are permanent, the breast could vary in size if you gain weight or go through another pregnancy cycle.
- Women are advised to maintain their weight after they opt for the surgery.
- It would also be advisable to go for a follow up after three to five years to make sure everything still is fine.
- You need to remember that in women the final results of the breast reduction surgery only show up after two or three months.
- Remember that post-surgery recovery is extremely painful, and it takes time. Be sure to have help and support from family and friends during this time.
There are a lot of different ways for performing this procedure on women. The degree of how invasive the procedure is depends on the patient’s requirement.
For women looking at a small reduction in their breast size could opt for liposuction. This procedure removes fat tissue in the breast and thereby reduces the size of the breast. It does not correct asymmetry nor does it rectify sagging issues
2. Vertical breast reduction
This is for women looking for a moderate reduction in their breast size and correct slight sagging. In this procedure, there are two incisions. These incisions assist the surgeon to eradicate the excess fatty tissue as well as tighten the extra leftover skin.
3. Anchor breast reduction
This procedure is the most invasive of them all. It is done by making three deep incisions on the breast surface area. This reduces the breast size to a much larger extent and also corrects sagging and restores symmetry completely.Cost
Breast reduction surgery could cost you from somewhere between INR 60,000 to INR 1,50,000 depending on the approach that the plastic surgeon plans to take.Recovery
The recovery time is at least three weeks. The patient can then slowly start going about doing their usual less strenuous and stressful activities. Workouts and heavy lifting can be done only six to seven weeks after surgery. A month is a good time of recovery from the surgery. You would require that much time until the scarring heals properly. The patient should also avoid going into the sun until the bruising subsides. Women are also advised to wear surgical bras until the bruising heals.Side effects
- Thick scarring could be an issue that some women might face after they opt for breast reduction surgery.
- They could also face problems with the wounds not healing correctly.
- Loss of sensation in nipples is something that has been reported by some women who have opted to get their breasts surgically reduced.
- There could also be damage to the glandular tissue which could make women unable to breastfeed again.
- Women have also faced fat necrosis, where there are red lumps and bumps that appear on the breast and refuse to go away.
MUST-READ: Also Read How To Reduce Arm Fat
This story was updated in January 2019.