There is so much that happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy that aches and pains can be ignored from time-to-time. The increase in breast size, thanks to the accumulation of fat and expanding mammary glands, is pretty common. Most women experience this and the soreness that comes with growing breasts is quite natural. Women feel soreness, swelling and sensitivity in their breasts which are basically tell-tale symptoms of pregnancy.
Breast pain during pregnancy, in most cases, is not a cause of concern. But as all matters go, if the pain persists, consult your healthcare provider.
Some Common Complaints
Here are 3 common complaints with regards to breasts and pregnancy:
With the release of estrogen and progesterone hormones during pregnancy comes tenderness and changes in breasts. During weeks 2-4, fat begins to build up, there is an increased blood-flow to the breast and milk-producing cells and milk-ducts begin to form, this is when most women begin to notice the tenderness. This form of pain in the breasts is natural as the body is adapting to the hormonal changes in order to successfully produce milk for the baby. You may experience sensitivity in the areolas, nipples and veins as they are preparing to develop for the course of your pregnancy.
During the second or third trimester, most women observe their breasts start to leak a thick fluid. As the breasts have started to produce colostrum (the first batch of milk your body begins to prepare for breast feeding), you may notice leakage if you’re sexually aroused or during a massage. This can also leave your nipples sore and sensitive and if the colostrum is blood stained, consult your midwife or doctor immediately.
For first-time moms, pain under the left or right breast can be a little scary, but do not worry. This pain can be brought about by the following:
b. Baby’s position
c. Acid reflux
d. Bodily preparations to accommodate the baby
e. Gallbladder issues
f. Increase in liver size
Pain that worsens after eating is probably just acid reflux or indigestion. If your midwife or doctor does not take this pain too seriously, ask for appropriate tests to be conducted just to stay on the safe side.
Remedies to Soothe Breast Pain
Good, Comfortable Bras
We cannot emphasize enough on the importance of good bras for pregnancy. Ensure that you keep in mind that as the pregnancy progresses, so will your cup size. Buy bras that have soft fabrics, stay away from lace and underwires as they will only make matters worse. Your best bet would be a good supportive sports bra that will be comfortable even when the breasts get bigger. Sleep in your bra so your breasts have the support they need and won’t move around enough to wake you up.
Soothing Ice Pack, Cool Towel or Warm Bath
Sore breasts during pregnancy can heat up and even cause a burning sensation. An ice pack, cold cabbage leaves or a cool towel can either be placed over your breasts or inside your bra for soothing. Taking a warm water bath also helps with sore, aching, tender breasts.
Investing in breast pads will allow you to wear lacey, sensual bras without the discomfort of nipples grazing against the fabric. Breast pads shield your tender nipples and also protect your clothes from leakage stains.
Water and Exercise
Do remember to drink lots of water so your body can flush out toxins and take care of water retention. Also, get some exercise by taking short walks to keep the body energized.
All said, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about medication, if that’s the route you would like to take. If your breast pain is sounding alarms or if any condition is beyond remedial care, consult your doctor or midwife and take it from there.