It is normal to have concerns about breastfeeding. Your ability to produce milk is not related to the size or shape of your breasts, and women with flat or inverted nipples, or who’ve had some kinds of breast surgery, can also successfully breastfeed.


Breastfeeding does not require any special preparations. Your breasts may be tender initially and increase in size as their milk-producing cells grow and multiply. The dark skin around your nipple (called the areola) will also get larger and darker as your pregnancy progresses; this is nature’s way of making your breasts easy to find for your baby. The small bumps on the areola (called Montgomery glands) also play a role in breastfeeding. They produce a substance that softens the skin, may slow the growth of bacteria, and produces a familiar scent that will guide your baby to your breast.

Women used to believe that they needed to prepare their nipples (with nipple rolling or rubbing with towels to “toughen them up”) for breastfeeding to reduce the likelihood of nipple soreness. But nipple soreness usually happens when the baby is not latched on correctly, so positioning your baby correctly on the areola, not the nipple, will help, although some adjustment soreness is to be expected.

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