Tender Breasts During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nic on January 16, 2012

One of the early signs of pregnancy is breast tenderness. The breasts and nipples may feel sore and tender to touch. There may also be discomfort while walking, jumping or lying down on the stomach. Tender breasts during pregnancy may be uncomfortable and annoying, but it is a normal occurrence and very much a part of pregnancy. Read more on itchy breasts.

Breast changes during pregnancy usually begin in the fourth and sixth weeks. It may continue through the first three months.


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Many women experience relief from breast tenderness in the second trimester. The soreness may also come and go throughout the course of the pregnancy. These symptoms occur due to the changes that take place in the body.

The breasts are in the process of preparing themselves to feed the newborn baby and hence must enlarge and develop. The increasing hormonal levels are what bring about these changes in the breasts. The levels of the hormones, estrogen and progesterone increase and this leads to an increase in blood flow to the breasts. This makes them highly sensitive and tender. Lumpy breasts during pregnancy are another common occurrence. The tissues of the breasts also undergo changes as the cells and ducts responsible for milk production start growing. This makes the breasts enlarge and change in shape. Layers of fat start forming under the breasts and there is likely to be an increase in breast size.

The pregnancy symptoms may vary from woman to woman. There is also a difference in the intensity and severity of the symptoms depending on the age of the woman and how many children she has given birth to. Breast discomfort tends to be more in first time mothers. Some of the symptoms one is likely to experience during pregnancy include heaviness, tingling and throbbing of the breasts. The veins across the breasts may also become more visible. Breast tenderness can be extremely discomforting in many cases. But there are a few ways to alleviate the soreness and increase comfort. Firstly, it is essential to wear comfortable, properly fitting bras. It is best to have yourself measured at a maternity store so that you can get the right size for you. Cotton bras are more comfortable as they allow the skin to breathe. Underwire bras can be quite uncomfortable and hence must be avoided. Warm baths are very beneficial in easing breast pain and tenderness. Placing a cool washcloth over the breasts will also help to reduce tenderness.

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