Breast tenderness is one of the most common causes experienced by most pregnant women. This HerHaleness article will give you information on the causes of breast tenderness, and what one should do to find relief from this problem.
Missing a period is considered to be the most common as well as the first sign of pregnancy. However, this is not always true because there are many pregnant women who experience breast tenderness, even before they have missed their periods. This makes it one of the first indication of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the woman’s body goes through a variety of changes and among them, it’s the woman’s breasts which go through the maximum number of changes. One of the main reasons for this is that they are getting ready to produce milk for the baby.
Breast tenderness usually begins during the 4th or 5th week of pregnancy. This period can be quite difficult for the woman, as she may experience soreness and swelling in the breasts. This can be accompanied by an itching sensation, especially around the nipples and the areolae i.e., the pigmented area around the nipples, become darker. The breast and the nipples become sensitive to touch, and one is also likely to experience a burning sensation. Apart from this, it is also common to experience heaviness, and one may also observe that it becomes difficult to fit into one’s normal bra size, as it is likely for the size of the breasts to increase during this time.
Though these changes are normal during early pregnancy, not many people know as to why they occur. When a woman is pregnant, her body doubles up the production of estrogen and progesterone for the healthy development of the baby. Due to this change in the hormonal level, blood flow increases in the body, especially towards the breasts, making them tender and sensitive. As mentioned above, during this time, they are getting ready for feeding the baby, and this causes a change in the tissues. Milk producing cells and milk tissues start forming, along with layers of fat. This, not only causes the breast size to increase, but also for the shape of the breasts to change.
Tips to Alleviate Tenderness
Breast tenderness lessens during the second or third trimester. However, there are women who have experienced this problem till the day of delivery. Moreover, some women also experience fluctuating breast tenderness. This is also called intermittent tenderness, where one experiences soreness only during irregular intervals. During the second or may be the last trimester, one may experience colostrum leaking, which is a fluid that nourishes the baby during the first few days after birth, before the breasts start the production of milk. As this condition can be quite frustrating, it is important to know about the ways which can make one feel comfortable.
- One must wear proper fitting bras during pregnancy. It is important to avoid bras which have an underwire, as this can restrict the blood flow in the breast. Rather, opt for bras that are made of cotton which are not too tight, and are very comfortable.
- Many pregnant women feel comfortable wearing exercise or nursing bra during this time. It will also be a good idea to buy a cotton sleep bra, if your breasts tend to sore or swell more while sleeping. Moreover, it will be a good idea to buy a bra which is at least one or two sizes bigger than your normal bra size, so that it could accommodate your breasts comfortably during the later years of pregnancy.
- One of the best ways of reducing soreness is to take a warm water bath. Other than this, if you experience a throbbing sensation in your breasts, placing a cool washcloth on that area can give you some relief.
Apart from buying new bras, another remedy that can relieve breast tenderness is placing cabbage leaves over it. Though it is a natural occurrence, if soreness in your breast becomes unbearable, consult your health practitioner who can help you in finding a solution for it.