Pregnancy could probably be the most important and life-changing experience for a woman, the moment she transforms from a girl to a lady.
It is the most important because you will finally meet your little self, someone that you will care for and love for the rest of your life. It is life-changing, because you get to have an amazing nine-month journey.
You get to know someone without actually literally getting to know him or her, by merely bonding with your feelings, emotions and those little movements.
With the changes in your emotional and psychological self, and prepping for the coming of the love of your life, comes the changes you will have physically. Of course, you will have this really big baby bump that will require you to wear bigger clothes. Among the many parts of your body that will evolve into a conducive home for your baby for nine months, your breasts will have a lot of changes, as well.
Your breasts play a big role in your pregnancy and after. So it is just that you know the breasty changes that you should expect when you’re expecting. Here they are –
1. Tenderness Of The Breasts
This is actually one of the first signs of pregnancy. You will feel your breasts growing a little more tender than normal in the first two to three weeks.
However, this is also one symptom that you can have if you are about to have your menstrual period. So, many women who are planning pregnancy would get to this part and still need to confirm if the pregnancy is a go or a no go.
The increasing levels of the hormones, specifically progesterone, are responsible for the tenderness of the breasts. From conception to the formation of the embryo will increase the supply of progesterone in the breast area and will make the breasts feel tender and heavy, because it is preparing them for lactation. Thus, this leads to the start of the many changes that your breasts will go through during pregnancy.
2. Breasts Will Grow Bigger
This is great news for ladies who want bigger breasts. For those who already have big breasts, not so much probably. But the fact is that your breasts will grow bigger as the pregnancy progresses.
This is because your breasts are starting to lactate and the changes produce more hormones in your body towards your breasts, where plenty of hormonal activity happens.
At this time, you will have to look into buying bras that can support your breasts comfortably. Choose bras with softer fabric and deep bands and cups, as your breasts will actually grow bigger as your pregnancy goes on, up to nine months. Avoid bras with underwire, since they mostly compress or follow just one shape or size.
3. Your Breasts May Feel Itchy
You may feel some tingly or itchy sensation on your breasts as you go through the pregnancy. This can go on up to nine months and you can even develop skin stretch marks in your breasts.
This is probably one of the most uncomfortable changes that your breasts will undergo during pregnancy.
Itchiness happens because the skin is starting to stretch, since your breasts are growing. As growth happens, the skin is extended therefore causing some tingly or itchy sensations. It would help if you would avoid sweating, or keep your body and breasts feel fresh and clean all the time. But overall, the sensation is something that you will have to go through during most of your pregnancy.
4. Your Nipples Will Grow Bigger And Darker
Your nipples and areola will also go through changes during pregnancy. Nipples and areola will grow bigger as the weeks progress, and during the final trimester or just before you give birth, the nipples will protrude, preparing them for breastfeeding.In addition, your nipples will also feel tender and sensitive, especially when it’s protruding, so you may also feel a little pain while it does.
The increased blood flow in your breasts during pregnancy is caused by the hormonal changes, specifically estrogen and progesterone. With this, the increased blood flow causes the color of your nipples and areola to change into a darker shade.
5. The Veins Around Your Breasts Will Darker
You might grow concerned about the little veins that appear around your breasts and probably think that they may be a form of varicose veins. Actually, this is a normal episode during pregnancy and is something that you should expect.
The darkening of the veins is caused by the increased blood flow. Increased blood flow will make the veins work double time, therefore making them bigger and more visible.
6. Your Breasts Will Feel Sore And Sensitive
As you advance into the further weeks and trimesters of your pregnancy, you will notice that your breasts will grow more sensitive to touch and you will feel sore around your breasts a lot.
You may feel uncomfortable because of this. The sensitivity of your breasts may also be an advantage to your intimate life, because it will make you feel more sensation.
Hormones are preparing your breasts for producing milk and lactation. The growing and stretching milk ducts, where the milk will be stored and pass through, causes the breasts to be sensitive and feel sore.
7. The Little Nipple-Like Bumps Around Your Areola Will Become Bigger
They are called Montgomery’s tubercles and they will become bigger and more pronounced. You may feel alarmed or a little concerned that you are growing an extra nipple but in reality,
these are oil glands that appear around your areola and are way much smaller than your nipples. These small bumps may appear at the first or latter stages of the pregnancy.
Montgomery’s tubercles, or the little bumps, are actually oil glands, sebaceous glands to be specific. They secrete oil and prevent bacteria from forming or spreading, so they actually protect you and your breasts while it is lactating.
8. Leakage Of Colostrum
As your breasts start to lactate and produce milk in preparation for giving birth and for breastfeeding, there are secretions that will happen and would sometimes stain your bra or clothes. These initial secretions of milk are called colostrum.
Colostrum is said to have a high content of protein and antibodies that can help keep your baby protected. They are yellowish in color and are denser than the breast milk. But if I’m already secreting them even before giving birth, my baby might not have enough, you ask? Don’t worry.Your baby will still have enough for their first breastfeeding.
9. You’ll Feel Cyst-Like Bumps Inside Your Breasts
You may notice and feel some lumps and bumps inside your breasts during pregnancy that you may deem not normal or should not be really there.
This may cause a stir and concern in you that these lumps may actually be harmful cysts. Yes and no.
Actually, feeling lumps and bumps inside your breasts are normal because you are lactating and producing milk. When the produced milk is not extracted, they are stored in your milk ducts and they have the tendency to become globules that you may feel as lumps.
If you are, however, not comfortable and think that it can be something more serious, you can always have it checked by your doctor. In fact, it is strongly advised that you have your doctor examine anything and everything that you think is out of sorts on your body, especially during pregnancy, since you have to make sure that you and your baby are healthy throughout.
10. You Will Feel Some Pain When You Start Producing Milk
The milk glands and milk ducts will exert extra effort, and the movements and mechanism within your breast that is allowing the production of milk is actually the reason why you are feeling the pain.
Also, you will feel sore and it will be painful when you start secreting milk, and especially when you start to breastfeed. The pain would even reach high points as your baby starts and learn to suck the milk from you.
Most breastfeeding mothers goes through this, or at least has some level of discomfort in the beginning. The pain is normal and something that you will have to go through and will get used to as your pregnancy and the breastfeeding method progresses. After all, breastfeeding is still the best for your baby so this is something that you should really do.
These changes in your breasts may pale in comparison to the bigger picture, which is the whole pregnancy, but it would help that you know what changes to expect, so that you will understand your body changes more.
Motherhood starts from the moment of conception, from the moment you realize you are carrying a life within you. For the first time in your life, you are responsible for someone else’s existence. It becomes your job and utmost duty to nurture and protect your little one, as he or she is a gift and a miracle.