What changes occur in the breast during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Assoc. Prof. Didem Öncel Yakar

Dr Öncel Yakar’s comments

Depending on the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, there are serious changes in the structure and shape of the breast. In this period, when the breast and milk ducts are preparing to produce milk alterations such as pain due to growth, darkening of nipple color can be seen. After birth, milk production is ensured by both audio-visual and tactile stimuli. With the termination of breastfeeding, these stimuli disappear and milk production stops, changes in the breast and milk ducts cease.

Breast tissue consists of milk ducts and mammary glands (lobuloalveolar secretory unit) in adipose tissue. These structures complete their development at different stages with different hormonal effects. Breast development is not completed in women who have not given birth. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, there are serious changes in the breast tissue with the intense hormonal effect, thus milk production and nutrition of the baby are provided by one of the most miraculous processes of nature. In terms of breast health, it is recommended that every woman over the age of 40 should have a breast screening annually. However, breast health follow-up protocols during pregnancy and breastfeeding are tailored to the individual.

Knowing these processes closely as both a female surgeon and a mother, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Didem Öncel Yakar answers your questions about breast health issues that arise during pregnancy and breastfeeding. May health be with us in every moment of our lives.