Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Information

Changing of the Areolas and Nipples

Besides a woman’s breasts being tender and swollen early in the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman may notice changes to her areolas and nipples. New hormones running through her body may cause your nipples to become bigger and darker than they normally are.

As your breasts get bigger, your nipples naturally get bigger as well. The darkening of the nipples is caused by a temporary increase of melanin, the natural pigment that your body produces that gives your hair, skin and eyes their color. For most women, within a few months of having their baby, the nipples will return to their normal color and size. If a woman is breastfeeding, the nipples may not return to their normal size until after she weans her baby.

Another change in the nipples that a woman may discover once she gets pregnant are the Montgomery’s tubercles (glands or little bumps surrounding the nipples) getting bigger, elevating and becoming more prominent. Not all women experience this, and some may not experience it till the second or third trimester.

If you do not believe you are pregnant, there are other things that can cause these changes in your nipples. Weight gain can cause your breasts to enlarge, therefore causing your nipples to enlarge. If you like to tan, your nipples may become darker. A hormone imbalance may cause your nipples to get darker, or left over melanin from a previous pregnancy may cause this darkening. If you are not sure what is going on with your body, be sure to ask your doctor.

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24 Responses to “Changing of the Areolas and Nipples”

  1. 24
    Jessica Says:

    I had two boys. My first one was taken from me when he was 10 weeks old. I never finished weaning him and ironically my nipple size never went back down. Is there any way that I can artificially make this happen? I am a 36 C. I think that my normal bra size would be an A or a B. When my fiance met me in college he noticed that I was “flat”. I work out a lot. I go to the gym, bike ride and swim. I drink 2% milk. Please help.

  2. 23
    Amanda Says:

    Hello, so just a few days ago I found out I was pregnant, I’m due December 24th, 2015. Which makes me 8 weeks today. During the first few weeks of my pregnancy (before I knew I was pregnant), my breasts grew an entire size, were extremely full and heavy, and the were so sore I could hardly move around, as well as my nipples being extremely sensitive. It seems that almost immediately after confirming my pregnancy, my breasts went back to almost normal, with minimal to mild pain and nipple sensitivity. I have had no other pregnancy symptoms. No nausea or morning sickness, no frequent urination, no bloating, no fatigue… nothing. I’m worried. Should I be? Has anyone had any similar symptoms, or lack thereof..?

  3. 22
    Kirsten Says:

    Hi so last month I had sex unprotected I was worried tht I may be pregnant so I waited till I was to day late and took a test, it can out negative and another two day I got my period and out the thought out of my mind. Well resaintly I have noticed changes in my body like larger tender breasts, larger ariolas, fluid from only my left breast if lightly squeezed, feeling bloated and lower back pain, not sure what is going on! Can I be pregnant even thought I had my period??

  4. 21
    biigmamii93 Says:

    Hi im 19 and 11 weeks ago I had unprotected sexual intercourse and Ive been going thru so many changes since then for the 1st 3 weeks I had bad soreness in my breast and they’ve gotten a more full feeling I’ve been having very bad paines in my lower back like my bone is going to break and I can swear I feel flutters in my lower stomach I’ve also taken a few home pregnancy test and all came negative can some body give any advice

  5. 20
    minka Says:

    to Ala:

    Your experience seems to be exactly like mine! I had sex while I should have been ovulating and I got a negative test so I called the doc and was told that I tested too early based on the dates I had given. I have a sharp, jabbing pain in my rib area under my right breast and my nipples are darker and tender with the goose-bumps all around. But, I will say that the tenderness has eased up a little over the last 2 days or so ( although still tender), so that could be an indication of my period about to show face. However, I can’t escape the fact that my lower back aches, my stomach feels bloated all day long, and I’m having shortness of breath at times. I really do feel pregnant and if I am, I would be about 4 weeks along. All the anticipation is killing me. Yesterday was my first test so I’m waiting 2 more days to take another. I’m also being told that the pregnancy hormone may not be high enough to be detected right now so it’s best to re-test if I still don’t get my period in the next 2 days. We’ll see :-/

  6. 19
    Danielle Stevens Says:

    Hi I’m Danielle and I’m starting to get mad. I’m 18 about to be 19 and Me and my boy friend are trying to have a baby. He has a 4 year old son with another female. He says that since he has had his son he has lost a little bit of intrest with having another, but we still try. He thinks he may have a low sperm count also. We have been having unprotected sex for about 7 months now and nothing is happening. My breast seem the same size but my nipples are getting larger? Im still getting my period,I’m not gaining weight, getting sick, or having any of the ‘pregnancy signs’. (wish I was={) but if anyone can tell me what the heck is going on that would be great oh and if you have any tips about getting pregnant that I can have that would be great too.
    Thanks <3

  7. 18
    lucy :) Says:

    Hi im in the same boat i am 6 weeks late on my period my boobs really hurt i had a white milky disscharge when i was 2/3 weeks late i get bad head aches i get nausea almost every day mainly at night feel sick when i smoke constantly hungry cant stop going for a wee and i have had thrush and not ive got cystitus my nipples have gone darker keep wakeing up in the night to go wee having weird dreams got pretty much every symptom if i was you lot i wud book an appoinment with my gp i have and im gettin a blood test done as its more accurate all your symptoms sound pretty much the same as mine also with my last pregnancy i felt the same as this but i did a test when i was 4 weeks gone and it was negative even though i was pregnant my test didnt come up till i was bout 6/7 weeks cause my hg1c wasnt strong enough good luck girls :) xx

  8. 17
    Angie Says:

    Hi. My breasts have been very sensitive for over a week now, I have noticed prominent veins on my breasts, my areolas have dramatically increased in size and I have small bumps around my nipples. My menstruation is due in 3 days so it is too early for me to do a pregnancy test. Is it possible that I am pregnant? My boyfriend thinks that I am having a phantom pregnancy because I so badly want to get pregnant. I am not on any birth control and we use the pull out method, but we are not actively trying to conceive(even though that is my greatest wish). Does it sound like I am pregnant? I have been researching early pregnancy symptoms and it seems like some of these symptoms would only occur later on. Please help!

  9. 16
    Samantha Says:

    I am 17 and in the month of september i had 2 periods. and the other day i noticed that my areolas are atleast 2 shades darker then usual.. is it possible i was pregnant an miscarried ? help ? :/

  10. 15
    Hannah Says:

    Message for Kirsten: you should have already, but if you haven’t then get a pregnancy test! Sounds like you could be between 6-7 months pregnant and you don’t even know it!

  11. 14
    Early Signs of Pregnancy - Pregnancy Symptoms | Early Pregnancy | Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting at Babies Online Says:

    [...] [...]

  12. 13
    Early Signs of Pregnancy | TTC | Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting at Babies Online Says:

    [...] you are pregnant, the skin around your nipples may get darker. This may also be caused by a hormone imbalance not related to pregnancy. Areolas [...]

  13. 12
    ala Says:

    Regular Period 12 days late. Serious restlessness and insomnia just lying awake for hours on end for no reason. Have butterflies and flutters in my stomach! Have severe horrific headaches, neck, shoulder, tonsils and back-ache. Side-stitches. Most aches and pains seem to be on my left side but I’m sleeping on my left side now would that be why? With an odd jab feeling on my right side now and again. Back pain tends to be in the middle or on both sides. Swollen, tender stomach. Ribs look swollen sometimes and feel very tight in my chest with lots of pressure when like this. I had an occasional jabbing darting pain in my sternum/gut just under where my cleavage would be. But lately this sensation moves sometimes to under my left or right breasts, same jabbing pain. Get a “crushed, squashed feeling” in my “spare-tyre” belly-rump! Rump deffo appears bloated/’swollen and getting bigger. Constantly fatigued and weary. Pretty weak all the time. Constantly hungry with hunger pains and I’m not a great eater usually! My spare tyre belly seems to be forming into 1 big mound with my lower abdomen and it can clearly be seen my navel “innie” is developing! I have grown “love-handles” 2 days ago, and my side-creases seem to be lengthening around to the middle of my back. I noticed yesterday a crease/indent is starting to form up my back from the bottom upwards, the dent is about two-thirds of the way up to my shoulder-bones? My breasts feel heavy and full and more veiny every day. 2 days ago I got new areola outlines about an inch further out than where my nipples are and the spaces are starting to fill in now with goose-bump-like bubbles in the space-inbetween. I’ve got 2 Negative Home Pregnancy Tests, but I see that in some women it can take a full 2 weeks for the HCG to reach the high levels of detection needed. But I am really worried in case if it’s a m/c or ecto. Certain Headaches and pain concentrating on 1 side are said to be signs to watch out for for Mc’s and Ectos. And an Ecto. Pg. also reads a Negative Home Pregnancy Test. I have had zero spotting or clotting. I have all my tools lol in-situ / in-tact; – kidneys, appendix, liver, gall-bladder etc. I can feel shapes under my belly-fat which could easily be clusters of cells developing, sometimes can feel them right up against my ribs or skin. But it could be other organ trouble as I don’t know if I’m pregnant or what’s wrong with me. If I’m not pregnant, is there anything else which would make the areolas enlargen? Is there anyone out there who experienced similair pregnancy-like symptoms and it then turned out to be something else? I don’t want to go to a Doctor until I have turned up a positive Home Pregnancy or at least have pretty-much ruled-out pregnancy and it’s just a matter of finding out what is wrong with me. So I will try a couple more Home Pregnancy Tests over the next few days. With my headaches, if I feel my forehead with my hand, sometimes at touch my forehead and face can be either pretty-warm or un-usually ice-cold at touch. Would love to hear any comments you have.

  14. 11
    Kristen Says:

    Hi, i haven’t had a period since april i had 1 day of spotting in june but thats about it also my boobs have gotten huge with white bumbs and my stomach is getting huge also im also feeling something almost like a kick but i’ve never been pregnant so i dnt no wat baby kicks feel like could i be pregnant?? Somebody pleas help me out!!

  15. 10
    Britbrat Says:

    I am 19 and for the past two weeks my lower back has been killing me. It makes me cry at times bc it hurts so bad… my husband noticed my nipples getting darker at first but now im noticing it… I get cramps every once in a while… I took two at home pregnancy tests one was a faulty test… it had a very faint line going the wrong way and the other on was negative? Do I need to take more steps to find out what’s going on or could it be just hormones changing?… I don’t tan btw

  16. 9
    Cici Says:

    Im 18, my last period was in aug. And ive not bleed since thin. Just recently im ben very sickly , almost throwin up. Cramps. Head aches. Increse of CM. And the bumpes on my nipples are white. Oh and i smell everything, and my boobs and nipples are super tender. I jus feel pregnant. But ive had a blood and urine test a couple weeks ago and both negivite. And the doctors said nothing is wrong with me. So could this be early pregnancy? Please someone help me, have anyone else been through this!?

  17. 8
    Casperrito Says:

    @ baby_x Im 19 as well and that sounds just like how I was when I first found out I was pregnant. As for the test you should retake it because at home test are known for giving a false negative or you could also go to your doctor or a clinic.

  18. 7
    baby_x Says:

    hi im not sure if im pregnant or not. im 19 years old. i last had my period on august 28th and its now the 15th of october and i still havent seen any bleeding. ive been experiencing this feeling that doesnt really go away that i need to be sick but i never physically get sick, these abdominal cramps especially when i want to relax or sleep. which ive been doing quite alot. ive become very moody and certain smells are making me heave. im bloated and my nipples have changed from a light peach colour to a dark brown. ive taken a test but it said negative but something just dont feel right about this month. thank you please help me x x x

  19. 6
    Kayla Says:

    I had sex two weeks after my period , and then a week later i had my period. I had very tender breasts and i have been moody, and this month i am 2 days late for my period , am i pregnant?

  20. 5
    Holly Says:

    Hi this is my first time on here and I was just thinking why dose my nipples hurt ? Yesterday I was hunger all day long and don’t know why. What could it be should I take a taste to make sure I am not having a baby.

  21. 4
    Yolanda Says:

    For the past 3 ½ months I still have my period but it’s been late by 2days for the pass 3months. Which isn’t that uncommon since I’m been irregular expect for the pass year. I have been coming on every month whereas before I would only get my period maybe 3- 5 times a year. I have been feeling nausea now during intercourse, headache, fatigue, stomach pain on both sides, lower back pains, side pains, hot & cold flashes, bad gas, bloated feeling, sometime running off, sometime constipated, my breast has been getting bigger they stop being sore after 3 1/2 weeks. I took a pregnancy test and it was false what else do you think it could be?????

  22. 3
    Clare Says:


    Coming off the pill is a major hormonal change for the body. Be patient and you period will return to normal in a few cycles. I get all those symptoms every three weeks for a week before my period. It’s awful being a woman sometimes. :o)

  23. 2
    Jessica Says:

    Hi I have been on the pill for 7 years, if i skip one day or 2 latest i will bleed. I have not skipped at all and i got only 1 day spotting on my 4 day period. I stopped taking my pill there after and still have not bled. I have not had intercourse through this 2 week period. My nipples are sore and tender, i have cramping, tirdness, dizziness, back pain. I am also extremly moody. I have taken two pregnancy tests, one at night and then anouther in the morning but they both came back negative. What could this be? Am i pregnant or just very hormonal.

  24. 1
    omotola Says:

    i dont really understand myself cause my breasts are swollen and tender my mouth is tasteless,i feel dizzy sometimes but yet i have good appetite, i do not vomitt whenever i eat but am scared i cant weit for my messes to come because i am suspecting myself being pregnant. am i pregnant in this case?

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