Breast Changes in Early Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there will bechanges in the levels of hormones in your body. Such changes will make you experience several body changes during pregnancy, like breast changes. Your breasts will become enlarge mainly due to estrogen. You may also notice some swelling, which happens because the milk ducts in your breasts startgrowing in preparation for breastfeeding. The increased blood supply is another reason why you notice breast changes in early pregnancy.Still, is it normal to have all those changes? Can you do something to reduce the discomfort? Keep reading to learn more.

Breast Changes in Early Pregnancy

Your first trimester is from week 1 to week 12 of pregnancy. During this time, you will notice your breasts feel tender and swollen. Your nipples are more likely to stick out and your breasts may even tingle a bit. Here are more details about breast changes in pregnancy week by week.

Week 1 to 3

During the first 3 weeks, you will notice the rapid growth of milk ducts as well as alveolar buds. Around week 2, the breast changes peak, because your egg is fertilized and implants itself in the uterus at the late luteal phase of your cycle. After the conception, some of you may notice tenderness on breasts. And your breasts will become more sensitive, especially on thesides, which is mainly because the internal mammary artery is on the same side.

Week 4 to 6

You will notice tingling and prickling around the nipples with the start of week 4, which is due to an increase in the blood supply. It is also common for breasts to tingle with a change in temperature. By the time you enter week 6, your nipples will become more prominent and areolas will become dark because of an increase in pigmentation. Your breasts may become slightly uncomfortable and look fuller due to progesterone, estrogen, and human placental lactogen. The mild ducts will also swell more in preparation for lactation.

Week 7 to 9

As you enter week 7, you will start to gain weight quickly. Some women gain over 1.5lbs in each breast, because pregnancy hormones encourage accumulation of fat and growth of milk ducts during this phase. By week 7, the alveoli will expand considerably and form lobules. Your breasts will become sore, tender, and nodular in week 8. It is easier to notice blood vessels under the skin of your breasts. Around week 8, you will also see small pimples around your nipples, called Montgomery's tubercles. The areolas become darker in week 9 with a second areola appearing around the lighter-colored tissue. Your inverted nipples will also correct themselves during this stage.

Week 10 to 12

Breast tenderness will still be present in week 10 with pimples around your nipples becoming prominent. If this is your first pregnancy, your nipples will protrude fully by week 12. Women with cosmetic breast implants feel especially tender in week 12 of pregnancy.

When to Seek Medical Help

You will notice breast changes in early pregnancy and most of these changes are very normal. It is however important to understand that there are always chances of developing breast cancer or noticing tumor growth during this time. If you notice any lumps, you should talk to your doctor immediately. It is also a good idea to ask for complete breast examination throughout your pregnancy to ensure everything is progressing normally.

How to Relieve Discomforts in Breasts During Early Pregnancy

Breast changes in early pregnancy can lead to tenderness and soreness and severe discomfort. You can just seek for some remedies to reduce the discomfort.

1. Select a Right Bra

Just do not stick to your old bra when your breasts are constantly increasing in size. Wearing a right bra will reduce discomfort and also support your back muscles.

Get a good quality maternity bra that comes with extra rows of hooks – this makes it easier to adjust the size as per the size of your breasts. Yet, just say no to under-wired bras during pregnancy. Change it if it irritates your nipples, and look for cotton bras because they are more breathable and comfortable. Synthetic fabrics and satin should be avoided because they may add friction and irritate your skin.

2. Nighttime Support

You can always try a pregnancy sleep bra to provide your tender breast with added support during the night, and a cotton one is preferable.

3. Use Breast Pads

You can also buy some breast pads to reduce discomfort. These pads are also effective when you leak colostrum. It is a good idea to let your breasts air-dryafter taking a shower.

4. More Tips

  • When bathing, ensure the water is warm enough and avoid using soap on your areolas or nipple, as this can dry out the skin and make things worse.
  • Also, avoid actions like knocking or bruising on your breasts. This will make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you have tender and sore breasts.
  • Tell your partner how you are feeling and ask them to keep their hands off when having sex. You can also consider giving a gentle massage to your breasts to reduce discomfort.
 
 
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