How Areola Size Affects Breastfeeding

 

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The size of the areola can vary widely from woman to woman. A normal areola can be small, average, or large. It may even grow a bit and become darker during pregnancy.

And while a small areola is just as normal as a large one, it’s important to pay attention to the size of your areola when you’re breastfeeding. Your breasts and nipples may grow considerably, and your areolas may darken. Your breasts should return to their previous state once you stop producing breast milk. Yes, you read that correctly. While breast pumps are usually used for extracting breast milk from a woman’s breasts who is currently breastfeeding a baby, in some cases, they resulted in changes to the breast, nipple, and areola.

The suction that is caused by the breast pumps can cause the areola to increase in size and even darken in color. The Areola tissue helps support the nipple and to also make the nipple much more visible. When a baby is born it has very poor eyesight. The size of the areola helps the baby find the nipple when breastfeeding. This is also why the areolas darken during pregnancy.

2. Your Areola Gets Bigger. Your breasts change size throughout your menstrual cycle, dictated by your hormone levels. This is totally natural, and as your breasts change size, so may your areolae.

It’s also unique to your body, and no two sets are the same. The average areola is 4 centimeters in diameter, but some are much smaller and some are much bigger. It. What about nipple size and shape?

For moms dealing with engorgement and latch-on issues, nipple size and shape could have an effect. Babies may find it difficult to latch on to large, flat, or inverted nipples. But not to worry, you and your baby will get used to making it work over time.

The size and shape of your breasts have nothing to do with how much milk you will make. Your WIC staff can help you find the most comfortable breastfeeding position for your own size! Nipple Shape and Size. The size and shape of your nipples do not affect your ability to breastfeed.

Most babies can breastfeed no matter what mom’s nipple is like. To answer your question though, pregnancies, hormones, genes, breast fullness, sun/tanning light exposure, sheer luck, and sometimes breast size can effect the size and color of the areola. I’ve seen mamas with let’s say a 32A with most of the breast being areola. Nipple size does not affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed, new research suggests. Areola width differs substantially between women, a study found.

This suggests there is.

List of related literature:

They decrease in both size and number when breastfeeding ends.

“Counseling the Nursing Mother” by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
from Counseling the Nursing Mother
by Judith Lauwers, Anna Swisher
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015

Your areolae may appear larger and darker; these changes help your newborn see your nipples.

“Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide” by Janet Walley, Penny Simkin, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, April Bolding
from Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
by Janet Walley, Penny Simkin, et. al.
Meadowbrook, 2016

In response to luteal and placental hormones, the lactiferous ducts proliferate and the alveoli increase extensively in size and number, which may cause the breasts to enlarge two to three times their prepregnancy size.

“Mosby's Guide to Physical Examination E-Book” by Henry M. Seidel, Rosalyn W. Stewart, Jane W. Ball, Joyce E. Dains, John A. Flynn, Barry S. Solomon
from Mosby’s Guide to Physical Examination E-Book
by Henry M. Seidel, Rosalyn W. Stewart, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

During pregnancy the breasts enlarge and become more vascular; the areolae increase in size and become more pigmented; the nipples darken, enlarge, and become more erect; and Montgomery’s tubercles become more prominent.

“Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women's Health Nursing E-Book” by Sharon Smith Murray, Emily Slone McKinney
from Foundations of Maternal-Newborn and Women’s Health Nursing E-Book
by Sharon Smith Murray, Emily Slone McKinney
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017

The physician should assess whether the breasts appear to have decreased in size recently (e.g., severe androgen excess), whether the areolae are well formed and pigmented (as they are in pregnancy), and whether a discharge (e.g., galactorrhea) can be expressed.

“Williams Textbook of Endocrinology E-Book” by Shlomo Melmed, Ronald Koenig, Clifford Rosen, Richard Auchus, Allison Goldfine
from Williams Textbook of Endocrinology E-Book
by Shlomo Melmed, Ronald Koenig, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

During pregnancy, the obstetrician should document the changes in the breasts in response to pregnancy, when the nipple and areola should become more pigmented and enlarged and the breast should enlarge several cup sizes.

“Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice” by Robert Resnik, MD, Robert K. Creasy, MD, Jay D. Iams, MD, Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, Thomas Moore, MD, Michael F Greene, MD
from Creasy and Resnik’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice
by Robert Resnik, MD, Robert K. Creasy, MD, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013

The areola increases in diameter, and the surrounding area elevates slightly.

“Scientific Foundations and Principles of Practice in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation E-Book” by David J. Magee, James E. Zachazewski, William S. Quillen
from Scientific Foundations and Principles of Practice in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation E-Book
by David J. Magee, James E. Zachazewski, William S. Quillen
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2007

They become enlarged and quite noticeable during pregnancy and lactation, because they secrete a substance that cleanses, lubricates, and protects the nipple during nursing.

“For Women Only!: Your Guide to Health Empowerment” by Gary Null, Barbara Seaman
from For Women Only!: Your Guide to Health Empowerment
by Gary Null, Barbara Seaman
Seven Stories Press, 2001

As pregnancy advances, the breasts enlarge, feel nodular, the areola and nipples enlarge and become more deeply pigmented.

“Manual of Obstetrics E-book” by Daftary, SUDIP Chakravarti, Muralidhar Pai, Prahalad Kushtagi
from Manual of Obstetrics E-book
by Daftary, SUDIP Chakravarti, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015

Whether the breasts appear to have decreased in size recently (e.g., severe androgen excess), whether the areolae are well formed and pigmented (as they are in pregnancy), and whether a discharge (e.g., galactorrhea) can be expressed should be assessed.

“Williams Textbook of Endocrinology” by Henry Kronenberg, Shlomo Melmed, Kenneth S. Polonsky, P. Reed Larsen
from Williams Textbook of Endocrinology
by Henry Kronenberg, Shlomo Melmed, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2007

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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12 comments

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  • Why are people ashamed of big areolas? Just looks more feminine to me. I have big areolas and also big boobs and my boyfriend loves them possibly a little too much lmao

  • No doubt you didn’t keep him around too long? If someone is that shallow minded then they aren’t worth the trouble.
    I’ve never met a ‘bad’ areola yet, they’re all great!

  • lol i’m a guy but i do under stand if u want to watch porno or something this is a lesson not about boobs…… even thou i wanted to see it to.

  • Everytime i watch american stuff like this i always feel that it is staged, those women in the audience were preloaded to ask questions this is not a problem but dont then pretend that they have just turned up and randomly asked the question.

  • Ladies.
    One thing.
    We love your chimmichangas.
    No matter what they look like (almost).
    I love girls with large areolas and so do a LOT of men.
    Brown, pink. Who cares.

  • I’m 14 and i have flat nipples and big areolas, it makes me so insecure. Cause my nipples only really look normal when they’re popped out (when it’s cold)

  • Please please please help
    My baby is almost 8weeks noe and I suffered from cracked nipple from day 2… and since I had a c section they were giving my baby formula to allow me to slrep… and I didnt know that this was happening… any way, I am struggling with EMPTY breasts… the breasts I see online makes me feel that there is no hope for me to reestablish adequate breast milk for my baby… now when i pump in the morning I get max 3 ounces from both breasts!!. and during the day I get an ounce at best ������
    I am having fenugreek capsules, drinking ALOT of milk… eating and yet I my breats are never full
    Is there any hope that I can do something to increase my milk supply…

    I am supplementing with formula

  • This video does not provide any solid advice for the problem. Just saying it’ll happen doesn’t do anything when baby is crying and can’t latch on.

  • I hate it when guys bully me because of how small my boobs look like. I often wear loose shirts that doesn’t show of my shape and that makes me look like I’m super flat. I feel like they don’t have the right to point out that I’m flat.

  • Easiest and safest solution is small “suckers”, like snake bite kits or google Nipple Fun Wear. I am a man who has used devices like this for about a year with great results. Started with nothing, now I have nipples that poke out like your average full grown woman. I love how they show through my shirts. I have videos here showing them, too.

  • Well, one thing to consider is that maybe the woman herself does not want inverted nipples. While it is totally normal, she also has total control over her body and should be able to choose what she wants to do with it. Since her question was how to change it, the only way to do so is indeed through surgery. Should she feel ashamed or embarrassed? Definitely no. But should she be advised on how to change her physical traits to better suit her own standard? Sure, why not?

  • I only knew one guy who cared enough to insult me for the size of my areola. He happened to be 7 years older than me (I was 18 at the time) and he was also asian.