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    Breast and Nipple Changes During Early Pregnancy

    Breast Changes

    Breast and Nipple Changes During Early Pregnancy

    Updated on 30 May 2023

    During the early stages of pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes incredible transformations to support the growth and nourishment of a developing baby. Among them, nipple changes in early pregnancy are significant and therefore, it becomes important to remain aware about these changes.

    Embarking on the journey of pregnancy is a remarkable experience filled with joy, anticipation, and a myriad of changes happening within your body. One area where these changes are particularly intriguing is in the breasts and nipples. As soon as pregnancy begins, a series of fascinating transformations take place, all in preparation for the incredible task of nourishing your growing baby.

    Join us as we delve into the captivating world of breast and nipple changes during early pregnancy. We'll explore the hormonal influences, the physiological adjustments, and the amazing functions that these changes serve. Get ready to uncover the secrets behind the tender love and care your body provides as it prepares to nurture your little one. So, sit back, relax, and let's embark on this journey of discovery together, exploring the fact that how do nipples look like in early pregnancy.

    Breast changes in early pregnancy

    From tender and swollen breasts to darkening areolas and the emergence of Montgomery's tubercles, your breasts and nipples become key players in the miraculous process of creating new life. Here are some changes you can expect during early pregnancy:

    1. Breast Tenderness

    Sometimes, your breasts may begin to swell and feel tender during the first trimester of your pregnancy (weeks 1 through 12). They might feel tingly. Your nipples can protrude more than usual.

    You may also like: Breast Changes & Pain During Early Pregnancy: Causes and Remedies

    2. Breast Size Increase

    During the next three months of pregnancy, your breasts will continue to increase in size and weight. You should consider wearing a bra that offers higher support. You will most likely experience less tenderness and, further, less tingling as the early stages of pregnancy progress.

    3. Hormonal Changes

    First and foremost, hormones take center stage in orchestrating these remarkable transformations. As soon as pregnancy begins, hormonal changes, particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone, stimulate the mammary glands. This stimulation prompts the growth and development of the milk ducts and lobes in preparation for breastfeeding.

    4. Changes Around Areola

    When your breasts grow, the veins hidden under the skin become more apparent. Nipples and the peripheral area around them, known as the areola, become darker and more extensive and this marks the nipple changes in early pregnancy. On the areola, you might notice some tiny bumps. After you give birth to your baby, you won't have to worry about these bumps anymore. Some women experience breast stretch marks during pregnancy.

    Also read: Experiencing Body Changes During Pregnancy: Know What to Expect?

    5. Nipple Discharge

    You may see a yellowish discharge, known as colostrum, coming from your nipples as early as the 16th to the 19th week of your pregnancy. Simply put, this indicates that your breasts are preparing themselves for breastfeeding. Colostrum is often referred to as "pre-milk" because of its role in warding off illness in infants during the critical first few days of life.

    6. Montgomery's glands

    Another remarkable change during early pregnancy is the development of Montgomery's glands. These tiny glands in the areolas produce a substance that acts as a natural lubricant and antibacterial agent. This secretion is thought to help keep the nipples and surrounding area clean and protected.

    Some Helpful Tips to Deal With Breast Changes in Early Pregnancy

    With so many changes to your breasts, you must look for measures to make yourself feel better and avoid infection or health complications. Here are a few suggestions that might be useful:

    • If you feel pain or tenderness in your breasts, wear the kind of bra that offers good support in the back. Padded shoulder straps can be of assistance. Bras made from cotton are more comfortable for you. You can also invest in some Maternity wear bras for added comfort and support during pregnancy.

    • At night, try a sleep bra. Even though they are softer and lighter, these bras will still support you while you sleep.

    • Do not apply soap to the area that surrounds your nipples. It has the potential to make the skin dry. Just using warm water to clean them should be sufficient.

    • If you notice itching in areas of your skin where it has stretched, such as on your stomach, breasts, or anywhere else, steer clear of showers and baths that are too hot.

    • After you get out of the shower or bath, pat off any excess water and apply moisturizer to your skin before it can dry completely. If you keep your moisturizer in the refrigerator, it provides an even more satisfying sensation.

    • It is best to avoid using drying soaps, skin products containing alcohol, and water with a high chlorination level. These factors may exacerbate the dryness of the skin.

    • You should see a doctor if the itching is severe and nothing seems to relieve it.

    • To prevent leaks from occurring, insert breast pads into your bra. There are washable & reusable breast pads available in the market.


    Remember, there is no correlation between how does breast look like in early pregnancy and the type of milk production you will have. After pregnancy, some women's breasts return to their previous size and shape, while others' breasts remain the same.

    In summary, nipple changes in early pregnancy are awe-inspiring. From increased breast size and tenderness to darkening areolas and the development of Montgomery's glands, these changes are a testament to the incredible biological transformations happening within your body. Embrace and celebrate these changes as signs of the beautiful journey you're embarking upon—nurturing and bringing new life into the world.


    1. Alex, A., Bhandary, E., & McGuire, K. P. (2020). Anatomy and Physiology of the Breast during Pregnancy and Lactation. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
    2. Motosko, C. C., Bieber, A. K., Pomeranz, M. K., Stein, J. A., & Martires, K. J. (2017). Physiologic changes of pregnancy: A review of the literature. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology
    3. Żelaźniewicz, A., & Pawłowski, B. (2015). Breast size and asymmetry during pregnancy in dependence of a fetus’s sex. American Journal of Human Biology: The Official Journal of the Human Biology Council
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