I think I have mentioned multiple times that during pregnancy, the female body goes through a lot of changes. And among all the other changes, the areolas change as well. Did you not notice it yet? This is something that happens to all women during pregnancy. If you did not know about that, then you are about to find out by the time you finish reading this article.
The color of the areolas changes a few times over the lifetime. But, during pregnancy, your breast changes, and along with that, the areolas as well. Aareolas are the circular area that surrounds the nipples. And there are some differences between normal areolas vs pregnant areolas.
During pregnancy, the color of the areolas darkens and increases in size as well. And it is not without reason; it serves a purpose as well. It is believed that these changes happen to make it easy for the baby to locate the nipples and have a strong latch while nursing.
What Causes The Change In Areolas During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, every areola changes, be it the color, size, or texture. It is particularly designed that way so that they know where they have to latch on. But, if you are actually looking for the exact reason why the areola chances, it would be because of the hormones.
After you have conceived, your body starts distributing a variety of hormones to help you nurture the baby’s growth inside the womb, and that continues even after the birth of the baby. There are four basic hormones that take charge to prepare your body for breastfeeding. Those are:
- Progesterone: This helps in growing the glandular buds (the nipples) and releases pigmentation.
- Prolactin: This makes the breasts enlarged and helps in milk production.
- Estrogen: This modulates the size of the milk ducts and helps in releasing pigmentation.
- HPL or Human placental lactogen: this contributes to the growth of the ducts in the mammary glands.
Normal Areola Vs Pregnant Areolas
Areolas are intimate and sensitive parts of the female body. They are unique in size, color, and shape for all women. It is said that women’s areolas fall mostly under a “typical” spectrum and are generally healthy. Here in this section, we are going to discuss what most areolas look like in general and during pregnancy.
On average, an areola is around 1.2 to 2.4 inches in diameter. But depending on the genetic makeup, an areola can be larger or smaller than this size. And change in the size of an areola is common throughout the life. It can also change in size when a woman hits puberty, during menstruation, and of course, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Enlarged areolas are one of the first signs of pregnancy. The size can change during the initial weeks of your first trimester. You will find the areolas getting wide and your nipples getting sore and protruding more than they usually do.
You must have seen those tiny bumps on the areolas. These are known as the Montgomery glands. These glands are the monument for the areolas. Their primary function is to nourish the future baby. They are mainly formed to help your baby during breastfeeding.
Montgomery glands are created to help the baby latch on while breastfeeding. They also secrete natural antiseptic oils and keep the area moisturized. It is also believed that it releases a light scent that helps the baby locate the nipple while feeding.
But the texture of normal areola vs pregnant areola is a bit different. During pregnancy, the glands get enlarged and protrude further. Oil secretion also increases with the signature scent for preparing your body for breastfeeding.
The color of the areola is different for every woman. For some, it is close to red, for some, it is brown; and for some, it is pink or beige. They have mostly lighter or darker pigmentation than the nipples. Most women have a different shade for their areola than the nipples. During pregnancy, it is common that the color of the areola will change, but it also changes during menopause and menstruation.
You might start noticing a change in your nipple color from the later part of your first trimester. And then this is going to continue for the entire nine months of your pregnancy, and not just for the nipples but for the areolas as well. You might see a color now and then a completely different color another month, and this is completely normal. Overall this is the difference between a normal areola vs pregnant areola.
Other Changes In The Breasts During Pregnancy
Breast tenderness, along with sensitivity and achiness, is among the first physical signs of pregnancy. But you will not see any drastic change until you reach the end of the first trimester. Some of the changes include:
Boobs are the part that faces most of the change during pregnancy. This is the time when your body prepares you for breastfeeding. It circulates more blood during this time to your breast, and that is the reason why you might see darker, larger, and more noticeable veins around your chest. You can see this change around the 12th week of pregnancy.
By the second month or around the eighth month of pregnancy, you will see your breasts swelling up. This is when you will start finding that your clothes are not fitting you. As the milk ducts are still growing and developing for the coming nine months, it is normal to expect that you will go up one or two cup sizes.
From the start of the second trimester, few women start noticing a yellow fluid secreting from their nipples. This liquid is known as the colostrum. This is your body preparing you for providing your baby with breast milk with the help of this rich in anti-oxidants and rich in nutrients liquid.
Your body will keep producing colostrum, this liquid, even two to three days after your delivery. After this time, your breast will switch this liquid with breast milk.
Does This Change Last After Pregnancy?
The changes in the breast that happen during pregnancy have some good and bad effects. Some people love the extra pound they gain and the extra curve their body gets. If you are thinking about whether the change in normal areola vs pregnant areolas going to last or not, then again, it is different for all. But it might last, depending on your genetics, how much weight you have gained during pregnancy, and if you have breastfed your baby.
Take care of yourself during this phase and learn about the changes that your body is going through. It will make you feel more connected to your body. Just knowing the difference between normal areola vs pregnant areola is not all. This is the time to cherish everything your body is presenting you with.
But if you find extreme pain in your breasts or bloody nipples during pregnancy, consult your doctor immediately and take care of the matter right away. Mostly the changes are obvious, but anything concerning should not be left alone.
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