Excess estrogen and progesterone in your system causes an increase in your body’s production of melanin. This increase in melanin is responsible for many possible skin changes during pregnancy, such as darkening of the nipples.
When you experience a potentially uncomfortable change like this one, remember that it’s all for baby. Some scientists believe that nipples darken during pregnancy so that newborns, with their tiny eyes, have an easier time finding them. It’s one more thing your body does to help you nurture your little one.
It’s possible that your breasts will actually leak, typically during your third trimester. What comes out won’t exactly be breast milk, but a form of it called colostrum. This yellowish liquid is high in protein and contains antibodies meant to keep a newborn healthy in their earliest days.
After a few days of nursing or pumping, colostrum will transition to regular breast milk.
Many women experience an increase in breast size during pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, your breast tissue will expand and your milk ducts will swell in preparation for lactation. This can cause your breasts to grow by a cup size or two. Similar to your growing belly, the stretching of your skin may cause some itchiness.
Don’t confuse this growth with what’s called “engorgement.” This is a symptom caused by an uncomfortable buildup of milk in the breast, usually experienced by nursing mothers. It can lead to tenderness and the breast feeling hard to the touch.
If you do end up nursing, engorgement is a very real and very common symptom. Getting the amount of milk your body is producing and the amount your baby is requesting in sync is something you just have to leave up to biology.
For most moms, the easiest way to remove this discomfort between feedings is to pump. Keep in mind that unless you’ve been directed by your healthcare provider, you shouldn’t be actively expressing milk until after you’ve given birth.
Thankfully, the cost of a breast pump is likely covered by your insurance.
You only get to use this benefit once, so be sure you’re choosing the best pump you can get. Some moms make the mistake of using their insurance benefit on a simple manual pump, or an electric pump that isn’t strong enough, or isn’t portable.
Working with our partners at Edgepark is a great place to start if you want to learn more about your breast pump insurance benefit. Edgepark works with your insurer on your behalf, and if you’re covered, they can offer you a variety of pumps each designed to meet your unique needs.
Finding out which pumps are available through your insurance takes about two minutes with Edgepark. When it comes time to nurse, it’s good to have a breast pump on hand, and it’s even better when that pump comes at no cost to you.
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