Is there a tingling feeling in your breasts? Do you feel like your breasts are growing faster and bigger than usual? These are signs that your body is preparing to make room for another life. Sore or tender breasts are the earliest signs of pregnancy apart from missing your periods. Breast tenderness in pregnancy is normal. In fact, chances are you will experience extra tenderness of breasts within the first two months of conception. During the early stages of pregnancy, the body produces large quantities of progesterone and estrogen which leads to growing breast glands.
While these symptoms are often prevalent during each menstrual cycle, the intensity is more severe among pregnant women. Each woman goes through a unique pregnancy and can experience the varied hormone activity in their body differently. So, here are details about breast tenderness in pregnancy to help you get a better idea of your body changes and development in all the stages of your pregnancy.
Causes of Breast Changes During Pregnancy
As mentioned earlier, the hormonal changes caused by progesterone and estrogen result in tenderness and other body transformations. The body also focuses on storing fats in your breasts to increase the blood flow in that region. This process is preparing your body to feed your baby in the months after the birth.
These hormonal changes result in retaining extra fluids which make the breasts feel heavy and tender at the same time. However, these sudden changes do not last throughout your pregnancy and start to ease up in the later stages. The breast tenderness in pregnancy will disappear after the first trimester.
You will begin to notice more breast changes during pregnancy in the last trimester. The body during late pregnancy is producing colostrum which aides in the production of breast milk. You will notice that your breasts are ready to feed your baby as it will start leaking around the last few days before giving birth.
How Your Breasts Change During Pregnancy
According to What To Expect, “In addition to achiness and tingling, your nipples may be protruding more than usual (your high-beams are on). And, although they might look luscious, they probably don’t feel that way. In fact, they may be incredible — perhaps agonizingly — tender.” The areola (the dark area around the nipple) start becoming darker, bigger and sometimes even spotted.
On closer examination, you will also notice small bumps (sweat glands) around the areola which supply lubrication in the region. These sweat glands are called Montgomery tubercles. Your veins will look bluer and visibly clearer through the skin’s surface as it carries essential fluids and nutrients from the mother and passes it on to the baby.
Breast tenderness can start as early as a few weeks into pregnancy and may continue throughout the first trimester. Some women may experience it throughout the entire pregnancy. The breasts may become more sensitive and sore to the touch. Wearing a supportive bra and avoiding rough handling can help alleviate discomfort.
Different Methods to Relieve Breast Tenderness In Pregnancy
The tingling sensation caused by sore breasts can make you very uncomfortable. In order to ease the discomfort of breast tenderness in pregnancy, bid your favorite bras goodbye and shop for full coverage bras like a sports bra or nursing bra. These bras aid in full support by lifting the breasts and reducing pressure on certain areas.
If the breast tenderness increases relieve it by using a cold compress to dull the soreness. Or try hot showers to relax your muscles. As the sensitivity is at its peak even touching or pressing the breasts will be painful. Convey this to your partner to avoid any discomfort until the tenderness eases in the later stages of pregnancy. Wear loose-fitting and airy fabric to let your body breathe. Tight outfits will further aggravate the concern of sensitive breasts. If the breast tenderness gets intense or unbearable make sure to consult with your doctor about all of your concerns.
Postpartum Breast Tenderness
Though you may be relieved from sore breasts later in your pregnancy, it won’t be gone for good. Post birth, due to the biological changes, it is most likely your breasts will again feel sore and painful. The breast tenderness will only last for the first few days until your body adapts to the changes.
You could also be prone to breast engorgement where the body is still figuring out how to produce milk and in what quantity. If the milk is not used it can get collected and turn hard causing you lot of pain. The nature of such occurrence is temporary and can be cured with a hot compress, hot water showers, or using a breast pump. It is a great idea to read up a little on breastfeeding so you will know what to expect and be aware of possible complications so that you can take the necessary precautions.
Absence of Breast Tenderness In Pregnancy
As I mentioned earlier, each pregnancy is different, and it is possible that you may not feel breast tenderness in the first trimester. Some women may start noticing the symptoms very early while others might notice it relatively later. This is not cause to raise any alarm as breast tenderness in pregnancy will in due time take its course according to your hormonal changes.
Breast tenderness is a common symptom during pregnancy and is often one of the early signs that a woman may be pregnant. This tenderness is mainly attributed to hormonal changes, specifically increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. The changes in hormone levels can lead to increased blood flow and enlargement of the breast tissue.
Be sure to take care of yourself during pregnancy and if you have any questions or concerns about breast tenderness in pregnancy or any other issues you experience, always consult the doctor to be in the know-how of how your body is reacting to the latest development. This will help ease your mind or if something is wrong, timely treatment can be given to the complication.
For me, breast tenderness in pregnancy was relatively mild but there were times when my nipples were very tender. I hope this information helps know the causes of breast changes during pregnancy as well as to prepare you for the possibility of breast tenderness during pregnancy.