Pregnancy produces a wide range of discomforts, amongst which breast tenderness is the most common.
Besides feeling a little tender to the touch, you may feel discomfort when you walk up the stairs, when you sleep on your stomach or when you jump during gym activities.
Though it is annoying and quite painful, it is a natural course of pregnancy.
Breast tenderness is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy, and produces swelling, soreness and sensitivity.
Usually, the symptoms start between the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy and continue throughout the first trimester.
For most of you, this condition will vanish during the second and third trimesters, while for others, the condition lasts until the end of pregnancy.
What type of changes leads to breast tenderness during pregnancy?
All the changes that your body undergoes during pregnancy can lead to breast tenderness. During pregnancy, your breasts undergo plenty of changes in order to allow you to feed your baby to enable it to develop and grow, which can lead to soreness and swelling.
Increased hormone levels during pregnancy can also lead to this discomfort. A great increase in hormones such as estrogen [estrogen levels]and progesterone cause the blood to rush into your breasts, thus making them very sensitive to touch.
There is also a change in your breast tissues. The formation of milk ducts and milk-producing cells begins, which makes your breasts develop and alter the shape.
The development of more fat layers under your breasts can cause them to increase in size. All these conditions lead to soreness, swelling and tenderness in your breasts.
How to recognize signs of breast tenderness during pregnancy:
The symptoms greatly differ in severity and intensity based on your age and the number of children you give birth to.
First-time pregnant and younger moms will experience more discomfort in their breasts. Some of the symptoms that you may experience include:
- Heaviness in your breasts;
- Breast size increases up to two cup sizes;
- Nipples become very sensitive;
- Itchy or tingly sensation in your breasts and nipples;
- Tingling or throbbing breasts during intercourse;
- Observable veins crisscrossing in your breasts.
What to do to decrease the discomfort of breast tenderness?
- Don’t use under wire bras as they can cut into the breasts and decrease the blood flow.
- Take a warm shower in order to decrease the swelling.
- When you do exercise, wear a bra that is specially designed for pregnancy workouts.
- Use cotton bras as they allow your breasts to breathe more easily.
- If you feel a hot or burning sensation in your breasts, try to apply a cool facecloth to that area.
If you follow the above-mentioned tips, you will feel more comfortable with your increased breast tenderness.