Breast Changes in Early Pregnancy: What You Can Expect
Pregnancy is a happy time for most women but also a time of change. In fact, almost every part of your body is growing and changing in some way to accommodate the tiny being expanding inside you. One body part that changes, often early in pregnancy, are your breasts.
It’s not surprising that your breasts undergo a metamorphosis, along with the rest of your body, when you’re pregnant. They’re getting prepared to breastfeed your baby once he or she is born. Your breasts will continue to change throughout your pregnancy but you’ll likely notice certain changes early on. Here’s what you can expect during the first weeks of pregnancy.
Why Your Breasts Change When You’re Pregnant
The main reason your breasts look and feel different when you’re pregnant are a result of the hormonal changes that take place after conception. After conception, two key hormones, estrogen and progesterone, begin to rise. These are the same hormones that fluctuate monthly with your menstrual cycle. It turns out that you need more of these hormones when you’re pregnant. These hormones, particularly estrogen, contribute to the changes that happen to your breasts when you’re pregnant.
Signs and Symptoms Many Women Experience
One of the first changes you may notice after conception is your breasts become tender. What’s happening is hormonal changes are taking place that cause your breast tissue to swell. As they swell, the become more sensitive. You’ve probably experienced breast tenderness right before your period in the past, this is a similar type of discomfort, although pregnancy breast tenderness is often more pronounced. When you first conceive, before you know you’re pregnant, you may mistakenly assume your period is coming in, only to learn you’re expecting!
Changes in the Appearance of Your Breasts
Not only will your breasts feel tender after you become pregnant, they’ll look different too. One of the most common breast signs you’ll experience is an increase in breast size. Remember, estrogen and progesterone are stimulating growth to get your breasts ready for breastfeeding later on. Your breasts will gradually begin to feel fuller and a bit tight as they expand. At the same time, blood flow increases to your breasts to supply them with more nutrients. You may also notice that the skin around your nipples and breasts tingles. Some women like the temporary boost in breast size that pregnancy brings.
How about your nipples? Along with feeling tender, they may become larger in size and darker in color. This, again, is the result of rising estrogen and progesterone. Plus, you may notice that the small bumps on the areola, the skin surrounding your nipples, become larger. These are all normal changes.
Dealing with Breast Changes
Swollen, tender breasts – chances are you’ll experience it – what can you do about it? Make sure you’re wearing a supportive bra that fits. Remember, your breasts will increase in size throughout pregnancy. Therefore, you may need to upgrade your bra to a larger cup size at as you progress. Choose a seamless bra without an underwire to avoid pressing on or irritating your breasts or nipples. The bra you wear should feel offer comfortable support but not feel tight. Taking the time to get the right fit will pay off with greater comfort.