Dark Nipples During Pregnancy: Causes and Things to Do

You may be one of those women out there wondering why you start developing Dark Nipples During Pregnancy, or perhaps worried if something wrong has happened to you because of the dark nipples during pregnancy!

There is no cause for alarm as the unique answers to your questions and worries are here within your reach in a very simplified format.

The human breasts, specifically that of females come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The breasts usually go through several changes throughout the life of an individual and these changes are unique to you and your body.

The nipples may darken or change in a variety of ways during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond and the darkened area on the breast is known as the areola. This term refers to the skin around the nipple.

Most times, women don’t anticipate the changes that come with pregnancy especially that of the dark nipples and this has brought about all manners of anxiety and worries among some pregnant women, most especially in the first pregnancy.

The changes that happen during pregnancy are always unique to each pregnancy, but some of these changes put more fear in those carrying their first pregnancy, unlike women that have given birth before and knew the most likely changes they are expected to see.

Dark nipples during pregnancy are one of those generalized signs experienced by both new and experienced pregnant women. It is usually a result of some hormonal changes that mostly occur in the pregnancy cycle of women.

Dark nipples during pregnancy are something bound to happen and should not be a cause of anxiety or an emergency visit to the hospital.

Dark Nipples During Pregnancy

Dark nipples during pregnancy are a resultant effect of an increased hormonal release (specifically the progesterone hormone and the estrogen hormones) which also leads to hyperpigmentation during pregnancy to make physiological provisions for the food source of the soon-to-be-born baby.

It is more like a physiological adaptation that the pregnant woman’s breast naturally undergoes to make the feeding part of the breast very pronounced for the baby when he or she is been given birth to. It is the darkening of the areola that eventually leads to the darkening of the nipples.

Some Of The Major Causes Of Dark Nipples During Pregnancy

There are numerous causes of dark nipples during pregnancy that are unique to each pregnant woman.

But there are also generalized causes of dark nipples during pregnancy which encompass but are not limited to:

  • The areolae darken because of the secretion of estrogen and progesterone which aids in the formation of the milk duct system and this lead to dark nipples during pregnancy. Around the sixth month of pregnancy, the breasts may begin to produce colostrum.
  • Melanin production in the skin begins to increase and fluctuate, as does the production of other pregnancy hormones. This is typically more pronounced in areas where melanin is already abundant, such as your areolas and nipples which then lead to pronounced dark nipples during pregnancy.
  • Dark nipples during pregnancy may result due to the excessive hormone increase which also leads to excessive pigment release that affects not just the nipple but also the face and some other parts of the body.
  • Dark nipples during pregnancy may result due to some endocrinological changes.
  • Dark nipples could also occur as a result of some health conditions like for someone with excess glucose in the body system; as a result of diabetes.
Dark Nipples During Pregnancy: Causes and Things to Do
Dark Nipples During Pregnancy

Things To Do When You See Dark Nipples During Pregnancy

pregnancy can emotionally affect the proper functioning of most women, so you have to do these few things:

  • Avoid or only use over-the-counter lotions after consulting a dermatologist: The market is filled with numerous topical creams and lotions that treat darkened areas and work to lower the melanin levels there. The limitations here are that these contain various chemicals that interact with the skin’s inner layers to lighten the skin. And some of them may be unhealthy for your unborn child.
  • Be mindful of your emotional wellbeing: Nipple darkening is a physical reaction, but it’s also an emotional one. Yes, it is caused by the varying hormone levels, but that varying hormone level may also be a result of your emotional well-being. The darkening of the nipples may become more pronounced if you have been under excessive stress because of your pregnancy or if you are in stressful environments.
  • Stay out of the sun: Similar to another area of the body, the darkening of the nipples and areolas is primarily caused by melanin that has been over-pigmented. Because of this, to stop the darkening, the melanin must not be activated further by constant exposure to the sun.

FAQs About Dark Nipples During Pregnancy

Are Dark Nipples During Pregnancy Common?

Yes, dark nipples during pregnancy happen to every pregnant woman and mostly around the sixth month of pregnancy, and persist throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding stage this implies that the color change is not a life-threatening situation; it is simply a normal part of being pregnant and giving birth experienced by every pregnant woman.

Is There any need to treat dark nipples during pregnancy?

No, there is no cause for alarm or quest for treatment options when you see your nipples dark during pregnancy as Darker areolas or dark nipples during pregnancy will in most cases return to their original color after childbirth, although they will most likely stay dark as long as you are breast-feeding.

Is Dark Nipples During Pregnancy An Irreversible Or Permanent Change For Every Pregnant Woman?

No, dark nipples during pregnancy is a temporary that mostly persist from the early stage of the first trimester till after breastfeeding, which after, the nipples go back to their normal color before pregnancy. Although the dark nipples remain permanent a little proportion of pregnant women who have given birth are done breastfeeding.

Read Also: What are the Montgomery Glands?


Dark nipples during pregnancy are a normal occurrence of pregnancy and usually start as early as the first trimester of pregnancy.

It is not something to be anxious or disturbed about as it is something bound to happen during pregnancy because of the increased secretion of melanin and other pregnancy homes like the estrogen hormone and progesterone hormone.


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