Breast in pregnancy: how it changes month after month

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Breast in pregnancy

For many women, i perceived changes in the breasts they are one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. So let's see how the breast changes during the nine months, what are the normal changes and what to do when the breasts are swollen or sore.





In this article

  • How your breasts change in pregnancy, month by month
  • After how much does the breast change in pregnancy
  • Breast in pregnancy, the first days
  • Breast in pregnancy what to do

How your breasts change in pregnancy, month by month

  • During the first trimester of pregnancy, the body's blood volume begins to increase to meet the developing needs of the fetus. This could cause the veins on the breasts to become larger, more colorful and visible. The breast, therefore, in the first 3 months of pregnancy it changes radically: it has become firmer, tense, sore and swollen. It is also normal to feel pain that reaches up to the armpit. In addition, changes in the areola to the nipples are also beginning to be noticed, which become darker and wider.
  • During the second trimester, estrogen levels continue to rise. Your breasts will become heavier and heavier and breast ducts continue to develop. It is time to buy a bra of a larger size, a comfortable model without underwire or parts that tighten too much. Around fourth, fifth month your breasts will begin to produce colostrum, the first form of breast milk, so it is normal for a few droplets to come out of the nipples.
  • In third quarter the whole body prepares for childbirth and even the breasts can become even bigger and change shape. The nipples and areola may darken significantly and the nipples will become more pronounced and larger. Stretch marks can also develop, which are actual tears in the skin that undergoes a certain amount of pressure. It is therefore a good idea to apply a specific anti-stretch mark cream regularly.
Read also: First months of pregnancy

After how much does the breast change in pregnancy

The main responsible for the changes that occur in the breast during gestation is the hormones estrogen and progesterone: these hormones prepare the breasts for breastfeeding. In particular:



  • estrogen it stimulates the growth of the cells of the mammary duct and generates the secretion of prolactin, another hormone which in turn increases the size of the breasts and ensures the production of milk.
  • Il progesterone promotes the formation and growth of milk-producing cells within the mammary glands.

After giving birth, estrogen and progesterone levels plummet and prolactin levels rise, enabling breastfeeding.

Breast in pregnancy, the first days

I breast changes they are one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and occur in the first few days. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), pregnancy breast changes can appear already one or two weeks after conception and 17% of women - surveyed in a survey conducted by the APA themselves - said that breast changes were the first sign of pregnancy. These include:



  • breast swelling
  • pain or tension
  • feeling of heaviness or fullness in the breast.

The breasts will continue to change and become heavy during the first trimester.

Breast in pregnancy what to do

Here, then, is what to do to manage breast changes and discomfort during pregnancy.

  • when it is swollen
  • When does it hurt
  • when you lose liquid
  • when it is lumpy

When it is swollen

It is completely normal for breasts to increase in size and become more swollen and tense. It is very important to buy a bra comfortable of the right size, which does not tighten and supports the breasts in a natural way.

When does it hurt

The bra is essential even if the breasts hurt. It is advisable to use a bra with wide straps, of a comfortable size - generally one or two more than usual - and a sports bra even at night, for greater support in the supine position.

We also recommend putting aside the shoulder bag and switching to a backpack, which distributes the weight on both shoulders, and showering using the gentle jet.

when you lose liquid

As we have said, it is quite common to have small leaks of colostrum - just as it is normal not to have major symptoms or to experience particular changes in the breasts, this does not mean that you will not be able to breastfeed. Avoid stimulating the nipples too much as it is a form of stimulating contractions. If the leaks are bothersome, you can use breast pads.

When it is lumpy

You may also notice small bumps on the areolas during pregnancy - they are small glands called tubercoli di Montgomery. Obviously, any abnormal changes, nodules or growths must be reported to the gynecologist.

References

  • Bayer CM, et al. (2022). Assessment of breast volume changes during human pregnancy using a three-dimensional surface assessment technique in the prospective CGATE study
  • Leaking from your nipples. (2022).
  • Pregnancy Symptoms

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