Before the baby arrives
One of the most obvious signs that you are pregnant is a change in your breasts. There are many hormones that start dancing, with progesterone and estrogen leading the charge. Achy, sensitive, tingling: check, check, check.
This is because hormones cause your milk ducts and lobules to grow outwards, which in turn causes your little milk production plants to flourish. Your prolactin levels may be 20 timesTrusted Source greater than normal, but it’s like a maestro. The breasts can produce milk by six months of age.
After the baby is born
Contrary to popular belief, your milk does not rush from the moment your baby is born. Instead, you will have small amounts of colostrum. This is what the “liquid gold” term refers to. It is thick and yellow and a great way to boost your child’s immune system. Your breasts will begin to balloon with milk around day three.
It can be frightening and overwhelming, especially for first-time birth parents. Your breasts may become taut, and your outer ring will turn darker (bullseye baby!). Deep breathes. In a few days, your milk will settle. Two weeks later, if you decide to breastfeed, you will see normal production.
There may be tiny bumps growing up on your areola. You could have them for years and they may be more prominent. These are Montgomery tubercles. They’re cool. You don’t need to fuss about ’em. Due to an increase in blood volume, your veins might be visible more clearly.
Your ability to breastfeed or make milk has nothing to do the size of your breasts. However, I will mention that nipple shape, particularly if it is very prominent or flat, can have an impact on latch.
For full-term babies, if your baby isn’t growing in weight within the first two weeks after their birth (for lactation counselors), you can reach out to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or lactation counselor. It is my opinion the best money you’ll ever spend.
It would be standard postpartum support if it were available in other countries. It’s all learned.
Nipples change, too
Although they are more resilient after breastfeeding, nipples still need all the love and care possible. There are many advices out there, but I will keep it simple.
After breastfeeding, allow your breasts to dry completely. Moisture is your enemy
Showers are not the place to use soap. They can become dehydrated and lose their natural lubricating oils.
Avoid tight-fitting bras. They can cause nipple soreness, chafing, and even clogged ducts.
Breast shields are helpful for people with hyperactive letdown. Make sure you change them often. It is important to remember that moisture is the enemy.
You can rub olive oil onto each nipple if you feel any tenderness due to breastfeeding or pumping. Let dry. It will amaze you at its effectiveness.
When should you call your healthcare provider?
These could all be signs of thrush
Shooting pains in your breast
Itchy, flaky or blistered nipples
persistent nipple pain
These could be symptoms of mastitis.
nausea or vomiting
After mature milk has set in, you may notice a hard lump, red spots, or yellow discharge.
The leap from functional to sexual
There are other physical changes that we must address. Your breasts changing from functional to sexual. This can be frustrating, intense, and/or confusing for both you and your partner. (Survivors of abuse or sexual trauma have special needs and I encourage them to seek professional help in advance.
Your breasts become a part of your body, just like your pregnant belly. Your attention is drawn to milk supply, latch, nursing schedules, and nipple care. It’s incredibly inextricable and all-consuming and is not worth the time of your partner.
Don’t worry; you’ll soon reach another sexual phase, but take your time.
Changes after breastfeeding ends
Two words: Sag-gy. Sorry, friend. It is true. It is technically true that breastfeeding and pregnancy are to blame. These changes can lead to breast shape and texture being affected by the loss of connective and fatty tissue.
It will affect your breasts in a specific way depending on your genetics, your age, your body composition, and your previous pregnancies.
Some parents post-baby had breasts that stayed larger than they did before the baby was born, while others lost a size. Others felt their breasts were just moving in the breeze like two tennis balls hanging from a pair of socks.