The Importance of Knowing Your Breasts

How many times have we seen our breasts? They are two very beautiful things that evoke our femininity, and are am undeniably large part of our womanhood. We are familiar with their shape and size, the unique colorations and forms of the nipples and areolae, and while every breast is lovely, and a blessing to behold, how well do we know them? Can we recognize obvious changes? Do we fully understand what our normal is? Breast health is so important, and it’s often easy to overlook; change is frightening–even when some transformations are perfectly natural, due to genetics, age, weight loss (or gain), menses, and pregnancy and/or lactation, but it’s very important to know your body and define the world “normal”.

When it comes to breasts–and particularly the nipples–normal is defined as the breasts you are born with. Nipples are often classified in three very specific ways: 1. Everted, 2. Inverted, and 3. Retracted. Inverted or retracted nipples are not always a sign of a worrisome breast condition or serious illness; if you were born with either of these conditions, then this is your normal. However, nipple change should always be discussed with a qualified healthcare professional to be certain that an underlying problem is not present.

When lactation begins to occur, there will be physical changes in your breasts. They may swell and ache; you may experience tenderness at the outer sides (where the first size increase typically occurs) and in your underarms. The body of the breast may hold small warm spots; you might even experience little shooting twinges of growing pains–or notice tiny lumps and bumps that have never been present before.

The areolae often increase in diameter and darken in color,  and the nipples sometimes widen and change shape. You might even notice tiny prominent “bumps” popping up along the surface of your areolae–these are Montgomery glands, and are a perfectly natural occurrence in beautiful brand new nursing breasts.

All of these changes are normal, and should be celebrated as you begin the lovely journey into lactation.

Once you have established lactation, and your body has grown accustomed to the milk-making process, you will begin to recognize your new “normal”, which is probably much different than the “normal” you once knew to be your breasts, and any changes that vary from what you know.

And, chances are, your partner will recognize them, too.

I think it is very important for a man to know this “normal”. Allow him to learn every inch of your breasts through sight and touch.

Mr. S often gives me breast massages–and has even assisted me with breast self-exams to ensure that what he and I both recognize as my normal remains that way. It is an intimate–and very soothing–way to practice proper breast health care at home.

Always take care of your precious ta-tas! And, remember, no matter how you define your normal, they are not merely practical, but pretty and perfect–and made just as unique as you! 🙂

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