Whether or not you plan to breastfeed, your breasts will prepare themselves for nourishing your baby. The female breast, also referred to as the mammary gland, takes its name from the Latin word for breast – ‘mamma’. Throughout pregnancy your breasts will undergo subtle, and not so subtle, transformations. This timeline charts your breasts’ remarkable journey.
Note: This timeline uses the medical format for calculating pregnancy weeks. So for instance, you technically ovulate near what would be called week two of pregnancy, and your due date is week 40. Notice how breast changes to prepare for breastfeeding occur as early as pre-ovulation!
These changes to your breasts (maturation and the rapid growth of milk ducts and alveolar buds) peak in the late luteal phase of your menstrual cycle. It is at this time that your egg is fertilised and embeds itself in your uterus.