Pregnancy is a period where a woman bears a child in her womb from the period of conception to the period of delivery. During this period, the woman goes through psychological, social and physical changes. One of these physical changes could include dark nipples during pregnancy.
The most common change a pregnant woman may notice is an increase in breast size. The breasts can become significantly more prominent than before, but most women would also notice darker nipples.
It is believed that darker nipples are signs of early pregnancy because they are linked to increased breast size.
Are dark nipples during pregnancy normal?
While it isn’t something you are used to, dark nipples are natural signs of early pregnancy in women, and there is no reason to worry. When the breasts become bigger and tender, the areolas (the area around the nipples) grow darker and wider.
These are common signs during pregnancy.
Causes of dark nipples during pregnancy
The exact cause of nipples darkening during pregnancy is unclear. Notwithstanding, it is suspected that some hormones released during pregnancy are responsible for this.
The areolas are affected by the increased melanin in the body during pregnancy. Melanin is a pigment in the body that is responsible for the coloration of the skin, iris, and hair, and it is commonly known to darken the skin when found in high quantity.
Some experts believe that the darkening of the nipples are necessary when your hormones kick in, causing a lot of changes in the body, including the increment of the melanin in the area around the nipples.
This darkens the nipples so that when babies are born, they can easily spot the area for suckling and feeding.
Are dark nipples during pregnancy permanent?
The body changes women go through during pregnancy may or may not stay permanent. Nonetheless, most areas of the body where weight is gained may remain that way until you work on them—for instance, the hips, tummy, boobs, and more.
It is different strokes for different folks. In some women, the size of the breasts and the dark nipples may return as they were before conception. There are also women whose breasts remain the way they were during pregnancy years after.
Dealing with dark nipples
The following tips can be followed if you don’t want dark nipples during pregnancy
Avoid the sun or use sunscreen
High secretion of melanin in the body can cause over-pigmentation of certain parts of the body. If found in a large quantity; it may cause the darkening in such parts.
When the melanin is stimulated, more amount is being released, and the most common source of melanin stimulation is the sun.
You may also notice that too much time in the sun without applying sunscreen can cause the skin to get darker or get sunburned. Therefore, you must avoid the sun or apply sunblock if you must go out in the sun.
Use over-the-counter lotions (cautiously)
Certain lotions are made to have lightening or whitening effects on the skin, and these lotions are available to the public. You can apply them to the areas you want to brighten.
You would have to stop using them when you pregnant since they may contain elements that can harm your unborn child or cause a severe reaction to your over-sensitive breasts.
You should get your doctor’s recommendation before you buy any lotion.
Take care of your emotional health
Some experts understand that the darkening of the nipples is a significant physical change, but they also believe that it may be a result of the woman’s emotional health.
The emotional state of the woman influences the level of hormones secreted. Emotional instability can cause the levels of hormones to fluctuate, which can affect the degree of darkening around the nipples.
It is advisable to avoid things that may cause stress as this may affect the hormones in the body. Take the time to rest and engage in exercises that can help with relieving stress.
Darkened nipples are regular physical changes that the body undergoes during pregnancy, and it is harmless. To some women, this is a cause to worry because they feel like it makes them ugly and less appealing.
You are beautiful regardless of how you see yourself and not even the darkest nipples can change that. Your body is only going through natural changes as you expect your beautiful baby to suck from you.