During pregnancy changes should be expected as your body is making way to accommodate that human being forming within. In preparation, your body becomes the epitome of transformation and we don’t mean the superficial type politicians promise to make when they want to garner our votes.
This is the real deal, changes within and without. Just look at these eight crazy changes that hit your milk factories.
1. Bigger and better
Like almost every other part of your body, your breasts start to expand. This is because fatty tissue and blood begins to migrate to your chest area in large amounts. They’re just gearing up to help the mammary glands and milk ducts start to produce the nutritious milk. This increase in size starts as soon as conception is confirmed and continues until you stop breastfeeding. Get ready to start buying appropriate bras as pregnancy and breastfeeding progresses.
2. Heavy with substance
Consider these changes: more fatty tissue, more blood, more hormones and increasing production and retention of fluids. As is to be expected, these changes will make your breasts gain weight i.e get heavier.
3. Itchy stretch marks
As the expansion takes place, your skin starts to stretch to accommodate the increase. This may causes stretch marks to appear. Along with the stretch marks come dry, scaly itchy eczema. Not to worry, extra virgin coconut oil, lanolin cream or some other moisturising cream after your evening shower will help soothe the itch and keep the dryness at bay.
4. The nipple effect
Around the second trimester, the increase in hormonal level, estrogen and progesterone to be precise, will cause your nipples to shoot out. The nipples and areolas will become darker and larger. The little bumps on the areolas are not left out of this effect as they become more pronounced. The bumps, called Montgomery glands, start producing some oily substance that prevents them from becoming dry.
5. Sensitive tenderness
As all these changes take place, they become tender and sensitive. So sensitive that they’ll hurt. The sensitive tenderness starts as early as the first trimester and also goes on until after breastfeeding.
6. Dilating veins
The veins start to become more visible as soon as the increase in blood flow starts. They become noticeable because they are dilating and making space for the transportation of blood from the heart to the breasts. As long as milk is being produced, these veins will be visible. This means they’ll remain so until a couple of weeks after you wean your child of breastmilk.
7. Milk spills and crusts
If you thought milk will only start flowing when your baby starts feeding, you are in for a surprise. Sometime in the second or third trimester, you’ll start to notice the thick, semi-transparent milk coming out of your nipples. Don’t freak out thinking it’s pus or an infection, it’s just one of the things that occur in the breast department when you’re pregnant.
8. Some of these changes remain
After breastfeeding, some things return to normal. The size and colour of your nipples, areolas and Montgomery glands return to normal, the size reduces but maybe not all the way. The skin, haven stretched might go soft and stretch marks will remain visible.
It’s not such a bad thing at the end of the day. Your breasts will remain the wonder orbs that they are, ever ready to transform and serve another baby if and when they receive the call to duty.