The changes undergone by breasts during pregnancy are pretty amazing. I mean, they are preparing to be able to feed your baby. That’s crazy!
One negative side affect of this process though is soreness and tenderness in expectant mom’s breasts. Below we talk about why this happens and suggestions for alleviating discomfort.
Why are my breasts are so sore and tender?
Your breasts grow during pregnancy to accommodate for the milk you will be producing. For some women, having your breasts grow may sound enticing, but it’s often combined with some discomfort. Even during the first month of pregnancy, you may notice that your breasts grow considerably larger and feel very tender. This discomfort is similar but usually a bit more intense than the way your breasts might feel just before you get your period.
Breast tenderness is one of most common early pregnancy symptoms.
What are the reasons for the changes in breasts during pregnancy?
Breast changes are caused by the large amount of estrogen and progesterone your body produces during pregnancy. These hormones cause the glands inside your breasts to grow and branch out, as they are preparing for milk production and breastfeeding after your baby is born. Blood supply to the breasts also increases markedly.
You may notice large, bluish blood vessels in your breasts too. What is most amazing is that although your breasts can grow very large during pregnancy, they do not gain a single ounce of fat! This is all about the marvelous process of preparing to breastfeed your baby.
What other changes can I expect in my breasts?
Your breasts during pregnancy will continue growing gradually, but usually the greatest rate of breast grow occurs during the first 5 months of pregnancy.
The nipples and the areola also grow bigger and may begin to darken. You may begin to notice fluid leaking from your nipples by 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Do not worry if this happens, there is no need for alarm. This fluid is called colostrum, which is a thick yellow fluid that is the earliest form of milk. This happens normally to all pregnant women but is more common in women who have already delivered a baby.
During the last trimester of pregnancy, you have to continuously look at your nipples to identify some changes, for example:
- If they become erect in cool air or when you feel sexually aroused, then you are ready for breastfeeding.
- If they are flat or actually dimpled inward even when squeezed or stimulated, then you have to speak with your doctor or midwife to learn how to prepare your nipples for nursing.
My own experience with my breasts during pregnancy
Personally I enjoyed the changes in my breasts during pregnancy because I have very small breasts. Of course, I am very thin and I think my breasts are in size according to my physical body. But for me and, of course for my husband, it was a new experience to have larger breasts. My husband loves me, and during my pregnancy he also enjoyed the size of my breasts. Sex during pregnancy was different too.
I did have to buy at least two bra sizes while I was pregnant. And I did not hesitate to buy which ever I liked to feel comfortable.
My doctor advised me to use a bigger size bra for a good support in order to help me to reduce stretching and sagging later on, and even to reduce the soreness.
If you are not accustomed to use bra when you sleep, you may have to use one 24 hours. You can buy some soft pregnancy sleep bras if needed.
If you like large breasts you will love your breasts during pregnancy, and be prepared to enjoy this new experience. But if you may feel more self-conscious, do not worry, there are other pregnant women that feel the same way, so do not feel embarrassed about it.
If you do exercise during pregnancy, it’s especially important to wear a supportive bra that fits properly, because your breasts are heavier.
Feeding a newborn is a wonderful experience that will make you feel the happiest mom on earth.
Last but not least, you have to keep in mind that all changes that you will be feeling in your breasts have a lovely objective, breastfeeding your baby.