For many women, one of the first indications they have that they are pregnant is increased breast tenderness.
Your breasts will undergo a number of changes while you are pregnant, all designed to prepare you to breastfeed your baby.
Here are some of the changes you should expect.
Expect your breasts to increase in size and become tenderer. This is because your milk glands are growing and preparing to make milk for your baby.
While there is always some difference in the size of your breasts, be sure to point out any unusual changes in size to your doctor. It is also normal to see your veins through the skin of your breasts.
Expect your nipples to increase in size and become tenderer. They may also become more prominent. Many women experience the leaking of some colostrum from their nipples in later stages of pregnancy.
You may not notice the colostrum itself, but only a crusty residue on your nipples; colostrum is a clear, yellowish liquid. This is normal. If you notice a bloody discharge from your nipples, talk to your doctor.
Expect your areolas to grow larger and darker in color. This is also normal. The increased contrast in color between your areola and skin actually helps your baby find your nipple and latch on more successfully.
You may notice small bumps on the surface of your areola. These are called Montgomery’s tubercles, and they produce oil which helps keep your nipples healthy. To preserve their antibacterial effect, do not wash your nipples with soap; just rinse them with water.