Pregnancy

Breast Tenderness in Early Pregnancy

One of the most common symptoms during early pregnancy is tenderness of the breasts. Breast tenderness is considered one of the early signs to indicate that a woman has conceived. The main reason is that the breasts are being prepared to “grow” as they produce milk for the baby. This article focuses on the causes of breast tenderness in early pregnancy.

Breast Tenderness in Early Pregnancy – Causes

  • During the 4th or 5th week of pregnancy, the woman’s breasts begin to feel tender. A pregnant woman may experience swelling and soreness in the breast. Breast tenderness may be accompanied by an itching sensation around the nipples and the area around the nipples (the areola) becomes darker.
  • A woman may experience a burning sensation in the breasts and nipples may become very sensitive to touch. Breasts grow and become heavy in anticipation of milk production and the woman finds it difficult to fit into her usual sized bra.
  •  This is normal. When a woman is pregnant, the production of progesterone and estrogen increases for the healthy development of the baby.
  • The blood flow increases and one result is that the breasts become sensitive and tender. Even the shape of the breasts change as pregnancy progresses.

Breast Tenderness in Early Pregnancy – Helpful Tips

  • During the second or third trimester, breast tenderness usually decreases. There are some women, however, who experience this till the day of delivery.
  • The body begins producing the milk and stores it in the breasts. Another fluid known as colostrum is also produced by the body close to delivery. This is the first liquid that comes from the breasts when baby first suckles. It is high in nutrients and gives the baby immunity to whatever the mother is immune to. The milk is produced for maybe three days after delivery.
  • Cotton bras which are neither too tight nor too loose may be more comfortable. Avoid wearing under wired bras which may restrict the blood flow in the breast.
  • One can begin wearing nursing bras or try sports bras during this time if that means feeling comfortable. Otherwise simply buy a bra which is one size bigger than your normal size.
  • Take warm soothing baths which can help alleviate the tenderness. You can also get some relief by soaking a cloth in cold water and, after wringing it dry, placing it on the tender areas.

On the whole, breast tenderness during early pregnancy is to be expected. If you find the tenderness intolerable, consult a doctor.

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