When you become pregnant, your body produces more estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are chemicals that get your breasts ready for nursing. They can also make them sore and tender, just as they are when you have your period.
Some women find their breasts are so sore early on that they can't stand having anything touch them, not even fabric. Your breasts may also:
- Feel heavier than normal
- Be a bit painful when you walk or run
- Have darker skin on the areolas (the skin near the nipples)
- More blue-colored veins may show under the skin, a sign of more blood flow
How long will the soreness last?
- Most women find their breasts are most sore very early when pregnant
- The sensitivity should lessen during the second and third trimesters
- Your breasts grow when you are pregnant, which may cause some of the soreness
- It's normal to gain as much as two to three bra sizes, but not everyone does
What can I do to lessen this pain?
- Try to avoid anything that hurts
- If you don't like your partner touching your breasts during sex, say so
- If rough fabrics such as woven blouses are causing trouble, switch to soft knits for the next couple of months
Get a good bra
- The best thing you can do for your own comfort is find a good, supportive bra
- If your bras feel too tight, go up a size
- If underwire bras are bothering you, switch to the soft cup kind
- Try a maternity bra, which often has wider straps for more support and comfort
- These have a little more coverage in the cups
- They also have extra rows of hooks you can adjust as your ribs grow with your growing baby
Making sure you have the right size bra
- If you can, have someone who works in a big store or maternity shop fit you for a bra
- If you don't have a store near you, take the time to measure yourself carefully
- If you were a 34B last month, you may be surprised to find you've become a 36C
- Make sure you measure the fullest part of your breast to get your cup size, and just under your arms for the chest size
- Your breasts will keep growing, so be ready to measure yourself or have a fitting again in a few months
To help you through the night try a sleep bra - a type of lightweight cotton bra sold mainly at maternity stores
- Invest in a couple of good sports bras - you'll feel much better when you work out
- Even if you are small breasted, look for bras that are marked "full support"
Keep in mind that breast soreness is mostly a problem during the first three months. As your hormone levels even out, the sensitivity will lessen and that "don't come near me" feeling should go away.
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