Breast Skin Changes/Areola Coloring

Your breasts change in preparation for breastfeeding. By month three, you may notice your nipples and the area around them (areolas) are darker. This is from hormone changes that affect the skin's pigmentation. The freckles and moles on your body may be darker, too.

Your nipple may stick out more and the areolas may get bigger. Also, small glands around the nipples become raised. These glands produce oil to keep your nipples soft. All these changes make it easier for your baby to find and latch onto your nipples for breastfeeding.

Call Doctor If:

  • You have a mole or freckle that is growing, changing color and shape, itching or bleeding, or larger than a pencil eraser. These may be signs of skin cancer.

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Use warm water to wash your nipples. Soap can dry out your skin. Use moisturizer on your breasts after showering.
  • Make sure you have a bra that fits well and is adjustable so it doesn’t irritate your nipples.
  • Choose cotton bras to allow your skin to breathe.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on August 05, 2020



The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Your Pregnancy and Childbirth, Month to Month. 5th edition. 2010.

The March of Dimes. "Your Pregnant Body."

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