Your breasts change during the pregnancy – in fact, the changes in your breasts may even be the first sign that tells you that you are pregnant! Your belly increases in order to make room for the new inhabitant, but you can only notice this a while after getting pregnant – on the other hand, the changes in your breasts may be more obvious.
Your breasts change throughout your pregnancy, slowly preparing for their purpose – that of producing breast milk and feeding your child. There are a lot of changes you should expect – some of them even unpleasant. Let’s see what is going to happen to you…
Breasts changing during pregnancy:
In the first trimester Early on, even before knowing why, you may feel that your breasts are extremely sensitive – especially your nipples (feeling that resembles, but is more intense, that you experience before your menstruation). You feel every touch more intensely and at one given point, they may even become painful. In time, you will notice that they are starting to become fuller, bigger.
In the second trimester Once the first three months of pregnancy have gone by, you will notice that your breasts have increased considerably – it is, however, only the beginning! Your breasts will continue to increase two or three cup sizes. This is why it is recommendable to buy your bras regularly rather than stocking up after the first trimester – as they continue to grow. The extreme sensitivity in your breasts will attenuate in the second trimester. During the months of the second trimester, you will notice an obvious change in your nipples – the areolas will grow, sometimes even doubling in size and their color will become darker – from pink to brown (due to the hormones and the intense blood-flow in the area). Generally, the areolas go back to normal after you finish breastfeeding.
In the third trimester Your breasts are still growing! You will feel them heavier and you will most likely notice certain small protuberances on the margins of the areolas – Montgomery’s tubercles, which secrete a liquid that hydrates dry skin. You start producing and secreting colostrum – the early form of breast milk that will feed and protect your baby during the first days. The colostrum is a yellowish thin liquid containing antibodies and nutrients that will feed your baby after being born.
Changes of the breasts during the pregnancy – what you should expect:
Sensitive and painful breasts During the first trimester, you will intensely feel any touch and you may even feel pain when being touched or when wearing tight bras. It is normal to have them sensitive, painful, swollen or even tickling – all of these are caused by the hormonal changes, the increased blood volume and the tissue changes.
Increased breasts A quite pleasant change – the breasts grow a couple of cup sizes (sometimes only one, but mostly two or three sizes). The growth is gradual and constant throughout the pregnancy. However, for a woman who already has big breasts, the pregnancy may determine them to drop considerably and the previous firmness will never be recovered (the muscles sustaining the increased weight of the breasts are overexercised).
Increased and dark areolas. As previously mentioned, the areolas may even double in size and the color will visibly get darker. Those small swellings called Montgomery’s tubercles appear and the nipples become somewhat more elastic.
Colostrum secretion Although colostrum is the first type of breast milk and is meant to feed the baby, you may have colostrum secretion before giving birth.
Increased veins Due to the hormones and blood volume, the veins may be much more visible and blue in the area of the breasts, arms, neck and face. They attenuate after giving birth.
Descuamated skin You may notice small pieces of descuamated skin in the area of your breasts, neck and armpits. It is a natural phenomenon that may be attenuated if you delicately massage the respective areas with lotion.
Stretch marks Due to the fact that the skin stretches and that it may be dry, the unpleasant stretch marks appear – on your breasts, belly, buttocks, hips and thighs. They can’t be entirely eliminated, but you may diminish the risk by having a healthy diet and by using vitamin lotions and natural oils in these areas during massages.
What if these changes don’t occur? These changes may be more or less intense because every woman lives her pregnancy differently. You may notice only some of the mentioned changes. However, if you don’t feel or see any changes on your breasts, ask your doctor for a complete examination.
Changes in your breasts during the pregnancy – how to take care of them:
Maternity bra The first step is represented by buying maternity bras that would properly support your breasts without pressing them. Buy them gradually because your breasts will continue to grow. Cotton maternity bras allow your skin to breathe and they help reduce sensitivity and diminish the risk of dropping. It is recommendable to find a comfortable maternity bra for sleeping; so make sure that your breasts are properly supported when you exercise in order to prevent the already vulnerable muscles from being forced.
Massage lotion Delicately massage your breasts (as well as other sensitive areas) with a lotion containing vitamins A and E, natural oils and lanolin, but without perfumes. The massage stimulates circulation and helps diminish the risk of stretch marks, while a lotion with oil will help avoid the skin descuamation. After finishing breastfeeding, you can use a special prescription lotion for the stretch marks.
In the shower Help your breasts with Scottish showers (alternative hot and cold jets) and by using a glove to massage them under the water.
Colostrum secretion If the colostrum secretions irritates you, you may use breast tampons so that you wouldn’t have wet bras.