It’s normal to notice breast changes after pregnancy

Photo: Dummer

It’s normal to notice changes to your breasts during and after pregnancy. But it’s still important to be breast aware at this time and get any new lumps or other changes that are new for you checked.

Breast changes during breastfeeding

Your breasts go through a lot of changes during and after pregnancy.

Many of the changes that happen during pregnancy are caused by hormones and happen to prepare the breasts for breastfeeding.

Lumps in the breast can occur during this time. The most common ones are:

These are all benign (not cancer) breast conditions.

Sometimes, when breastfeeding, a milk duct in the breast can become blocked. This may cause a small, painful, hard lump. Gently massaging the lump towards the nipple before feeding can help clear it. 

Breast cancer in women of child-bearing age is uncommon, so most lumps in younger women will be benign. However, it’s still important to get any new lumps checked.

If you notice changes while breastfeeding

If you’ve noticed a change in your breast that's new or unusual for you, speak to your GP.

Signs and symptoms to report include:

  • A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit
  • A change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
  • A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
  • A nipple change, for example it has become pulled in (inverted)
  • Rash or crusting around the nipple
  • Unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple
    Changes in size or shape of the breast
  • While most breast changes aren’t cancer, it’s important to find out what’s causing the change.

Feeling worried?

If you're worried about breast health or breast cancer, we’re here for you.

You can call us free on 0808 800 6000.