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Actually no.. you shouldn't rough them up. The way that the baby will "rough" them is completely different from a towel. Treat them gently and don't soap them up. Soap removes the natural oil that heal and protect the nipple. For more info check out It's been a life saver to me, and I have now been breastfeeding for 11 months today : )


If you think you have cow boobs now, just wait until you use a breast pump. I felt like a dairy farm.

I also had fibrocystic cysts (my doctor once said, "gosh, your breasts are lumpy." uh. thanks) but after baby my breasts are lump-free!

I didn't "rough" mine up either.


No! Don't rough them up. And I agree with Robyn, try not to soap them up too much. For great info on breast care and breastfeeding (if you plan to) I found the book, So That's What They're
For, by Janet Tamaro, to be very helpful. It was recommended to me by my doula.

I've been breastfeeding for five months now and it just gets easier and easier (although difficult in the beginning)....


Please don't do that to your poor nipples. It's an old wives tale. Besides, exactly how would you do that?


I have breastfed three kids for >1 year per kid (well, the last one is not quite a year yet, but she's turning one in a couple of weeks, and is still nursing six or seven times a day, so....). You do NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING to you nipples before the baby comes - UNLESS you have "inverted nipples." If you have inverted nipples, post about it, and I can point you to a faq on fixing that.

Breastfeeding CAN hurt in the early postpartum days, yes, it can, even if you are doing everything correctly and the baby is latched on well. Some people will say that pain always means something is wrong but that just isn't so. That said, it DOES pass, and not every woman finds it painful. I had severe pain with my first baby, but none with my second, and then a mild to moderate pain with my third. Obviously my nipples did not "untoughen" before the third baby was born...

Anyway. Is there a breastfeeding resource center near you? Are there any IBCLCs working with your local pediatricians, or at your local hospitals? You might consider a pre-natal IBCLC consult if you are worried about BFing.

Good luck!


I have spoken with MANY lactation consultants, and "roughing" them up doesn't not affect the pain that you will feel when your baby learns to nurse!! And as Robyn do not need to wash your nipples during the shower as you have montgomery's tubercules on your nipples to keep them moist and healthy(really improtant when you will be breastfeeding). Also, look into buying lansinoh cream for your nipples as you are going to need it almost definetly when you are breastfeeding!!!

Stephanie G

no roughing-up. :-)

And... it might be worth your while to buy one of those night-time nursing bras. They are oh-so-comfortable! And even if you outgrow it before the baby arrives... you'll be able to wear it as the boobs begin to 'deflate' sometime post-partum. (Sorry, G., They do usually deflate! :-) )


My MIL was obsessed with telling me to roughen up my nipples throughout my pregnancy, and wouldn't listen to me when I told her that every medical professional I talked to said NO to this! I'm so glad so many people have steered you in the right direction with this!

Another thing - I've lurked here for a year now and gave my congrats back when you found out about this pregnancy. However, for weeks my dumb computer didn't register your updates, and I was stuck on the Oct. 28th (I think) post until just 2 weeks ago. I thought something had happened, and was in agony for you - figuring no updates meant bad news. I can't tell you how overjoyed I was when my computer finally registered that your blog was new! I spent a few hours reading through the past 2 months and crying with happiness.
Just wanted to let you know that you've been in my thoughts and that I'm overjoyed.



I was so paranoid when I was pregnant (ok, it was YEARS ago) that I'd have sore nipples, simply because I was/am a redhead. I did the 'rough up' with the washcloth every day, and then sat in front of a "sun lamp" as well (don't ask why, I dreamed that one up myself!). Well, I never had any sort of sore nipples, but think honestly it was due to the fact that I was taught (by books, and wonderful nurses) to breastfeed *properly*... making sure the baby took a mouthfull of the areola, and didn't suck on just the nipple, etc. Nowadays, we (health professionals)*NEVER* recommend toughening up nipples! You'll do great!
All my best wishes to you for a happy, healthy pregnancy!! Really enjoy your blog!


Don't rough up your nipples, they will do just fine "unroughed". Sage advice from ladies pregnant in the dark ages will come at you full force now. My MIL still insists I must put rice cereal in the baby's bedtime bottle (how do you do that with breastfeeding?) and my own mother insists Jello water is a great beverage for an infant. WHATEVER. GO with modern information.

I felt the same way about my breasts when I was pregnant with my first child. These enormous dark raspberries showed up out of nowhere. And the areaola spreads to what??? China? It is like an impossible to miss bullseye for the kid!


So I saw someone at the Curves today that is due in 5 weeks. I'm just curious, are you working out? If so, how? What kinds of problems do you face? (I guess the new breast size doesn't help!)


I too experienced the two aliens on my chest syndrome when I was pg. Having to wear a bra to bed can be TORTURE, so I thought I'd send a recommendation over. Below is a link to Bravado ... they make maternity bras and underwear. I didn't find them to be strong enough to hold my "girls" during the day, but their bras are very soft and very comfortable for nighttime wear. Just thought I'd pass 'em along.


I should blog a bit about working out. I've been pretty remiss - trying to get a little something here and there. Walking, some light stomach crunches, 5lb weights to do some arms, and just starting squats which I hear are the best thing for prepping for labor. Will blog more about my workouts soon!

If you’ re looking to burn chest fat fast, you need to burn THIS into your brain first… Eat breakfast. Look, you can make fat loss as difficult as you like. You can make it out to be complicated if you choose. But one of the easiest things you can do to start melting the fat off is to[…]

The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks. In addition to making your baby healthier, breast feeding may also make him smarter. Many studies have proved that breast fed babies tend to be more smarter than babies who were fed with formula or other methods

Hands Free Pumping Bra

There are many ways not to incur those things like darkening of nipples, sagging or swaying like of boobs. I've seen in a video that when pulling your chlld from your breast specially on the nipples the nipples tends to hurt and even make it huge and dark the remedy there is don't pull automatically your child to your nipple when BF, what you do is slowly put your small finger to their lip and their mouth follow through the movement and for your boobs not to sag or sway like figure, when BF you must be comfortable. It is better to a sideward lying position that couldn't hang your boobs while BF or rather use a hands free breast pump.

Hope it might help you in some way.

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