Hi all, Midwife Paula here,
One of the early signs of pregnancy is tender breasts. From the 6th to 7th week you may notice raised spots on each areola. (dark area of skin around the nipple). These are Montgomery's Tubercles which secrete an oily substance to keep the nipples and areola soft and supple.
From the middle of your pregnancy onwards, you may notice tiny amounts of a yellowish substance called Colostrum (which is highly concentrated milk). At term (after 37 weeks) onwards you can begin to hand express and gradually be able to collect small amounts to freeze for storage in a sterile container.
Some women notice a change in size and texture of the breasts, and a darkening of the areola later in the pregnancy. Many are not aware that for the last 6 - 8 weeks of pregnancy you can apply nipple cream twice a day to condition the nipples in preparation for breast feeding. We at Babybumpcare recommend, Weleda's Nipple Care Cream or Natures Child Nipple Balm both of which are organic, high quality products.