Normal Breast Changes during Pregnancy
Normal Breast Changes in pregnancy
Before you have your baby, in the antenatal period, you may notice a few breast changes:
- The colour of the nipple and areola may darken
- The Montgomery's tubercles (small spots on the areola) may become more pronounced.
- A previously inverted nipple may become everted
- Your breasts may become enlarged and change shape
- They may become heavy with some tenderness
- You may get on them stretch marks
- Marbling - (a visible network of veins)
- Leaking of colostrum
Breast Changes Following Delivery
For the first few days after delivery the following Breast changes are normal:
- The breasts will become heavier and firmer and change shape
- May feel more tender
- Fluctuate in size in between feeds
- The Nipple may be very sensitive and sore
- Stretch marks and prominent veins will become more noticeable
- Colostrums and milk will leak from the breast
Once Breastfeeding is established the following Breast changes occur:
- The breasts revert to a softer feel and may even return to a smaller size
- Breast and Nipple tenderness lessens
- Leakage of milk may stop
Unusual and abnormal Breast changes -What to look for.
- An extra nipple may secrete milk
- Piercings and tattoos would need to be observed for infections
- Scars from previous breast surgery or trauma (breast reduction, enlargement, abscess, Lumpectomy)
- Any obvious swellings or lumps
- Swelling and shininess of the skin indicating that the breasts are engorged (Over full)
- Hot, hard and or painfulness could be an indication of milk stasis (Blocked ducts)
- Redness indicating inflammation/infection
- Breaks in the skin of the nipple and areola
- changes in pigmentation of the skin of the nipple area
- Any unusual discharge from the nipple.
- If you have any of these symptoms you need to inform your medical professional to have an examination. (Midwife or Doctor)
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