My husband and I were watching “Dancing with the Stars” when co-host Samantha Harris returned from maternity leave. The first thing he noticed were her clearly larger breasts. “Wow! Check those out. I don’t remember her boobs being that big before!” I explained that she just had a baby and her breasts were now “working breasts”, providing nourishment for her new baby. They were plump with milk. He didn’t give two big fat ones about the reasons, but her breasts had him mesmerized for the rest of the show. And so it is with many Americans and the current celebrity pregnancy and birth explosion.
The booby boom is generating an overabundance of articles, blogs and general commentary about Halle Berry, Nicole Richie, Christina Aguilera, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez and pretty much every pregnant female celebrity. Why the outpouring of seemingly salacious attention? Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows why their breasts have “bloomed.” Perhaps a scientific explanation will take away the sexual aspect and diminish the obsession. Here goes: As pregnancy progresses, breasts become firmer and more nodular to prepare for lactation. The Montgomery’s gland surrounding the areola (the pigmented region around the nipple) becomes darker and more prominent, and the areola itself darkens. The nipples also become larger and more erect as they prepare for milk production. The blood vessels within the breasts enlarge as surges of estrogen stimulate the growth of the ducts and surges of progesterone cause the glandular tissue to expand. Prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, initiates the growth of the mammary glands and triggers production of milk (lactation).
If you’re turned on by that, please seek professional help. Believe me, I understand the concept of breasts as an erogenous zone. In fact, I have delightful, first-hand knowledge of that fact. But having a baby is a wonderful, exciting time in a woman’s life. Instead of focusing in on her “baby bump” and expanding breasts, why not talk about all the fabulous baby toys and