Five Common Breast Changes in Early Pregnancy
Breast changes are likely to appear just a few weeks into a pregnancy–in fact, this symptom is often the first clue noticed by pregnant women. Here are five of the most common, along with explanations for their development.
Breast tenderness can be severe in the early weeks. It’s typically similar to the pain felt when you’re expecting your period, but it’s often more acute. For some women, just a slight brush against a breast can feel like agony! This is a result of increasing levels of the hormone estrogen and progesterone, and it should ease off during the second trimester. If you do find yourself in extreme discomfort, try ditching underwired bras. Sometimes, wearing a sports bra can offer more appropriate support, and this can also ease back pain caused by increased breast weight.
- Increased size
Some women are pleased to have the ample bosom that develops during early pregnancy and beyond, though this is less likely to be the case if you suffer from extreme pregnancy. You’re likely to see noticeable differences in size by around the sixth week, but you can expect your breasts to get increasingly larger right up until delivery. You’ll probably have to arrange multiple bra-fitting sessions during this all-important nine months, and it’s well worth having this done professionally to ensure you end up with a comfortable bra.
- Visible veins
By the time you’re ready to give birth, you’ll have around 50% more blood in your body in order to accommodate your baby’s needs. This increased blood flow during pregnancy can quickly lead to more prominent veins in early pregnancy, especially on the stretched skin of your expanding breasts. Once again, however, this symptom becomes more obvious as pregnancy continues. Thankfully, your blood vessels will likely return to their normal state once your baby is out in the world.
- Nipple changes
The skin on and around your nipples can become quite a bit darker during pregnancy, and this can be seen even in the early weeks. Eventually, your nipples will also get bigger. This is related to your body’s preparation for breastfeeding. Meanwhile, you may also spot little bumps on your areola just a couple weeks into pregnancy. They are called “Montgomery’s tubercles” and their purpose is to produce a bacteria-fighting oil.
There seems to be a slightly increased risk of cysts and fibrous lumps of tissue during pregnancy, which you might come across when you’re examining your breasts for signs of cancer. Any new lumps should of course be checked out by a doctor, though it’s comforting to know that they tend to be benign and are relatively common in expectant mothers.
As you can see, breast changes in early pregnancy are both likely and potentially uncomfortable. How did you cope with any discomfort? For example, do you have any tips to share on particularly supportive bras, or did you use a moisturizing cream that helped?