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Why Do Your Nipples Change Colors During Pregnancy?

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You expect some changes to your body when you're pregnant — it's just nature. But your breasts specifically go through some adjustments. For one thing, they can become bigger than you ever thought possible (like ever) and they can also change colors. OK, so your breasts aren't exactly like the horses in the Emerald City and changing from pink to blue, but your nipples can become darker. So why do your nipples change colors during pregnancy? And why can't they become glow-in-the-dark to make nighttime latching easier on everyone?

The latter probably won't happen (please contact me if it does), but if your nipples are changing colors, you're not alone. According to The Bump, it's normal for your nipples and areolas to darken during pregnancy, but unfortunately, nobody's quite sure why it happens. There's the old stand-by to blame — hormones — but The Bump also theorized that the darkening is part of Mother Nature's plan to make breastfeeding successful; darker nipples may help your baby see them as their vision is limited when they are born.

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Parents also noted that the darkening of your nipples may be related to hormonal changes. Apparently the activity of melanocytes, the cells in the nipple responsible for their color, can be affected by the pregnancy hormones. In fact, this is one of the earliest pregnancy signs.

But don't worry too much. Although your nipples and areolas may remain darker throughout most of your pregnancy, they will go back to normal, according to Parents. Once your baby is born, you may see some new nipple colors thanks to breastfeeding, but it's best to reach out to a lactation consultant to make sure your baby's latch isn't causing an issue or nipple damage, noted Kelly Mom.

Who knew you could spend so much time looking at the color of your nipples?