When a woman gets pregnant, lots of hormonal changes take place in her body. These start from day one. A lady getting pregnant for the first time could observe the changes taking place in her body, especially breasts within days of her missing the first menstrual cycle.
Changes take place to accommodate the growing life inside you. Major changes that are apparent in the body of a lady at different times of pregnancy are a change in size of the uterus which is to accommodate the child and allow it to grow. There is also a change in the size of breasts to accommodate development of cells to produce milk to feed the baby. Changes in levels of progesterone and oestrogen hormones help to make these and other changes.
The change that takes place in the size and shape of breasts during each trimester of pregnancy can be observed by the woman. Common changes that take place are:
Early pregnancy breast tenderness is generally the first change a woman notices. Due to increased blood flow as a result of hormonal changes, the breasts become tender and sore. This increases in the first trimester of pregnancy. Breasts become painful if touched. Even wearing your regular bra may be painful.
In the second trimester next changes are apparent, increase in size and color of nipples and areola. Both grow in size and become dark. The skin in this region becomes bumpy. The secretion of oil from this region increases to prevent cracking of nipples and areola skin.
Even after six months of pregnancy, the size of breasts will continue to increase. The reason for this is the increase in size and development of milk glands necessary to provide feed to the newborn baby. As the glands develop and it is delivery time, the milk made by your body is ready to feed the child. In case premature milk leaks out before the delivery of the child you can use breast pads to reduce discomfort.
Due to increased blood flow you could notice blood veins under your skin all around your breasts. These result in itching and are sometimes painful.
Remedies to prevent discomfort
This condition cannot be avoided and a pregnant lady has to face this and other discomforts during this period. The only option available is to arrange your affairs in a way that you are more comfortable. For this you can:
- Buy loose cotton bra. Specially designed bras are available in stores for this period of life. These are made to support large sized breasts without pressing the nipples.
- To give relief from pain you can buy a sleeping bra to support your breasts during the time you sleep.
- Avoid applying soap to the nipples and areolas as it may dry the oil present on these parts resulting in dry and cracked nipples. Prefer warm water bath which is soothing and relaxing. Do not bathe with excessively hot water.
Remember this is natural and normal. After the delivery of the child the breasts will slowly return to their original size and shape. In case of some doubt consult your doctor regularly.