But I'm afraid my breasts will change...
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Becoming a mother can be exciting however scary--- in multiple ways! It is incredibly common to have moments of concern in regards to a new mother's body 'love' and confidence. Many mothers are afraid to breastfeed because they don't want to lose their perky breasts or their partner is concerned about the change in breast appearance (including the look of the nipple). Although there is truth that the breast appearance will change--- it is not solely due to the act of breastfeeding-- it is pregnancy itself. The women's body changes dramatically during pregnancy --- and the makeup/appearance of the breast is indeed a part of that. However, this should not affect one's decision to breastfeed because the changes will occur during pregnancy either way.
If you are pregnant and reading this--- what was one of the first clues that led you to believe you were pregnant? For many women, the first sign of pregnancy is a distinct change in breast size. Some women experience an increase in cup size (sometimes even a whole cup size!) by the sixth week of pregnancy.
Why does this occur?/ What are common breast changes?:
- The women's body increases the number of milk glands within the breast.
- Extra fat begins to accumulate in the breast.
- The nipples and areola begin to darken.
- Small glands (Montgomery glands designed to produce oils to lubricate the breast during nursing) on the areola become raised and appear 'bumpy'.
Did you know?
Approximately halfway through pregnancy --- breasts will begin to make colostrum. That's right ladies, they will start making milk! How cool is that...
In conclusion, although the change of breast appearance can be intimidating when choosing to breastfeed, we need to keep in mind that these changes will indeed occur whether you breastfeed or not due to the physiological changes that come with pregnancy. It is indeed true that when a mother chooses to stop breastfeeding (no matter the timing of the decision - i.e. right after pregnancy or two years after pregnancy), the breasts may appear less perky due to the lack of milk production. But again, a mother's body will make breastmilk whether she has decided to breastfeed or not.
All breasts are unique! Meaning each breast tissue will react differently amidst breastfeeding due to genetic factors, environment, overall lifestyle, etc. It is understandable to be fearful of physical changes that may occur with pregnancy and breastfeeding... but just think about the little one in your near future and how healthy they will be because of your life producing body --- and breastmilk filled with nutrients that are perfectly suited for your baby.
If you are reading this and are already on your breastfeeding journey---- or maybe thinking about it--- we thank you for your time and intrigue regarding infant nutrition, and we hope to hear from you soon! Check us out here!
Catch ya later alligator---
Cassie and Mikayla
Mamas Maternal Health Dietitians/Lactation Counselors
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