Updated: Oct 21, 2022
Reviewed by Dr. Theertha Shetty [Obstetrician and Gynaecologist]
The hormonal changes in your body have an effect on your breasts too! The hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin (the hormone associated with the maintenance of lactation) boost blood flow to the breasts and cause changes in the breast tissues.
The breasts are getting ready to prepare the food for the baby, that is the breastmilk. Whatever you are reading here may not be seen in all pregnant mothers. Some women may not have any of these changes and are totally fine. Some women may have these changes more evident than others.
In this article, you will read about -
Some of the changes that your breasts may go through -
Tenderness and soreness
This could be similar to your period symptoms. Your breasts feel sore and tender. Sometimes your breasts may pain when you wear a bra, hypersensitive, and many women prefer to avoid sex when they feel discomfort due to tenderness and soreness of breasts.
Your areola (the skin around your nipples) may tend to get darker. You might also notice small goosebumps or pimple-like white areas on your areola. Nipples tend to stick out for some women.
Size of the breasts
Your breasts tend to grow bigger, maybe a cup size or two and continue to grow throughout your pregnancy.
This is due to the increase in blood volume by 50%, and Blue veins tend to become more visible on the breasts and stomach.
Bumps or lumps
Some pregnant mothers tend to develop bumps or lumps in their breasts. If you notice any bumps or lumps, get them checked just to be sure they are harmless.
Note - if you feel anything unusual, get it checked with your doctor to make sure everything is good and are normal symptoms of pregnancy.
Steps to make you feel better
Body massages can help you relax. Get it into your routine and make it a habit. Massaging is a great way to bond with your body, and it helps you in the long run, and also helps you in your postpartum recovery.
Massage your breasts. Most of the time during self-massaging, most of us tend to ignore massaging the breasts. Just like including your bump, hands, and legs, including your breasts during a self-massage.
You can use simple oil or moisturizer to massage your breasts. Massaging helps in reducing stretch marks, cracked nipples, and blocked ducts.
Stay active. Allocate some time for physical activity. It helps in good blood circulation, tones your body, and stretching helps the body's muscles to relax.
Wear proper-fitting bras. As the breast size may change during pregnancy, do not try to fit in the old ones. If the old bra is not working well, then buy a new one. It is essential that you wear a comfortable one.
Practice good hygiene. Your breasts may leak colostrum during the later stages of pregnancy. You may use a cotton cloth or disposable nursing pad to absorb the fluid. If wearing a pad is not comfortable, you may consider cleaning your breasts using a clean cloth dipped in warm water.
Your mental health is equally important as physical health. Along with your physical fitness, work on your emotional health too. A strong mind can achieve great things!
Place four fingers on the top and bottom of one breast.
Apply light pressure while moving the fingers of both hands in circular motions.
Position the fingers on each side of the same breast and continue to massage in a circular pattern.
Repeat on the other breast.
Do not put too much pressure while massaging. Massaging should always be relaxing and not painful.
Check with your doctor before you start breast massages. Your doctor will be able to guide you on do’s and don’ts.
How much does breast increase during pregnancy?
It differs for every woman. Sometimes the size may increase to one to two cup sizes, your band size also tends to increase as your ribcage expands to make room for your baby.
Does breast size go back to pre-pregnancy size after childbirth?
The breast size may not go back exactly to how it was before pregnancy. The breast size changes due to hormonal changes to prepare for breastfeeding sessions.
Once you have completely healed, you can work on strengthening your body and maintaining a healthy weight.
If you want to share your symptoms with us, please mention them in the comments below 👇🏽
Medicalnewstoday.com, healthline.com, americanpregnancy.org, verywellfamily.com, babycenter.com