What breast changes can you expect during your pregnancy, and when?
What breasts changes happen when you are pregnant?
Breast growth, and sore and tender breasts
Sure, you expect your breasts to grow bigger toward the end of pregnancy, when your breasts start producing milk. But did you know pregnant women can "sprout" bigger boobs right away? The changes that will later enable you to feed your baby start in the first trimester. Along with the breast growth you may love often comes a negative side effect your breasts may feel heavy, sore and tender. The feeling is similar to the one many women experience before their period starts. The difference is that the tenderness will last your whole pregnancy. A good bra is a life-saver here. You can consider purchasing a nursing bra, which can be open for easy access, while you are still pregnant. This way, you will prolong your "maternity bra's" life.
Darker and bigger nipples
Many pregnant women notice that their areola, the darker and more sensitive skin surrounding the nipple, becomes bigger and darker. Your nipples may also start protruding forward more. It may be weird to see that the look of your breasts changes so much, but your "new breasts" will be really handy for your newborn, who needs to find your nipple and latch soon after birth! These changes will go away when you stop breastfeeding.
Montgomery's what? Google "additional nipple", and you'll find out. Montgomery's tubercules are raised bumps that can appear on or around your areola during pregnancy. No, these are not extra nipples and they are nothing to be worried about. Not every pregnant women gets Montgormery's tubercules, so there is no need to be concerned if you don't have them either.
At some point during your second or third trimester you will probably notice a bit of white fluid coming from your nipples. This is colostrum, your baby's first milk. When colostrum starts leaking from the breasts, that is a wonderful sign that your body is working just the way it should and that you are on the right track to start breastfeeding when your baby arrives.
What can you do to be more comfortable?
Are your pregnant breasts bothering you? If so, you are not alone. Breasts can get so tender that you want to scream if someone bumps into you on the street, and they can even weigh you down so much that your shoulder start hurting! So, what can you do to alleviate your complaints? Most "solutions" involve bras. A sports bra or top can help some women, and you may also like to try to sleep with a bra on if your breasts are painful at night.
Make sure you get fitted by a professional, rather than guessing your cup size if you don't wear a sports top. If your breasts are sore when touched, tell your partner to keep his hands off. Hot baths are soothing for some pregnant women, and cold packs may also help. Your breast changes are all caused by pregnancy hormones, and knowing that you may feel better after you give birth (and start breastfeeding, perhaps?) can help. Your breasts will not be like this forever! Are you experiencing breast changes too? Come and talk about how you are feeling on our third trimester pregnancy forum!