Breast Changes

First Trimester Symptoms

When a woman conceives, several signs and symptoms let her know there is a baby on the way. Often, the first trimester of pregnancy brings the bulk of changes and symptoms. Some of them have the potential to be very uncomfortable, while others are just a small disruption in the normal course of events. Breast tenderness is one of the early signs of pregnancy appearing usually during the first month and lasting through the end of the first trimester.

Those women who, until their pregnancy, had a "flat chest" will be able to revel in the joy of having to purchase larger bras to accommodate the grow to this area of their bodies. Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy cause an increase in blood flow and changes in the tissue of the breasts, making them sore, tingly, swollen, and very tender to touch. It is like the breast soreness a woman gets just before her menstruation, times ten.

Itchy With Stretch Marks!

Once the soreness dissipates, from about eight weeks onward, her breasts will grow-straight through until the end of the pregnancy. It is not uncommon for a woman's breast size to increase by one or two cup sizes. As the skin stretches the breasts can become itchy and, in some cases, stretch marks appear. The skin on the breasts becomes more transparent as it stretches and the veins underneath may become more apparent. The nipples get bigger and darker, and after a few months the pigmented circles around the nipples, the areolas, will also become bigger and darker.

Preparations For Nursing

Before pregnancy, the little bumps that are on the areolas are usually not visible. However, as the breasts grow and stretch, these bumps (which are oil glands called Montgomery's tubercles), may stand out more and be more pronounced. These changes are preparatory for nursing the baby. By the third month, colostrum is being produced in the breasts. This is the special milk the newborn baby will receive once born and it contains anti-bodies and many good things to help the baby's system become strong and able to fight off infections. During the last few months of pregnancy a woman may or may not begin to leak a small amount of colostrum, appearing as a thick, yellowish substance. There is no cause for alarm. As with many other things going on in the body, it is all in preparation for the birth.

How To Deal With Breast Soreness

In order to reduce the soreness in the breasts it is best to find a few good, supportive, bras. A salesperson in a maternity shop can be of invaluable aid when it comes to advising a woman about proper fitting bras. Choose one that has a soft body and does not have a seam running through the middle of the cup. Under-wires and push-up bras are not practical during this period of life. A woman is far better off with a breathable fabric, such as cotton. During the last month or two of pregnancy, a nursing bra is a good idea. The support is great and, if nursing is the mother's decision, then a nursing bra will be necessary anyway. If the mother is active and into fitness, a bra that is fitted well and very supportive is important because her breasts are heavier and bouncing can be painful.

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