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Kelly Alfieri

Early Pregnancy Signs: Darkening Areolas

Darkening areolas are the first of many changes in store for your breasts. Learn what's causing it—and what to expect down the road.

If you’ve noticed that your areolas (the area around your nipples) have become darker or larger, you may be witnessing one of the first signs of pregnancy. This can happen as early as a week or two after conception. There’s no need to be concerned—this change in appearance is just a normal result of pregnancy and isn’t a cause for alarm.

If you are in fact pregnant, this will be the first of many changes that happen to your breasts over the course of your pregnancy. Like so many pregnancy symptoms, darkening of the area around your nipples happens as a result of surging pregnancy hormones and is preparing your breasts to feed baby. Some women may notice bumps (resembling goose-bumps) pop up on the perimeter of their areolas. These are called Montgomery tubercles and they’re your friends! They provide lubrication to your nipples, which will be welcome when baby latches on to nurse.

As your pregnancy progresses, your areolas may grow and the color may deepen. For better or worse, these changes often remain after giving birth.

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