7 surprising pregnancy breast changes
For many women, breast changes are the first thing they notice in early pregnancy, even before the nausea and a positive pregnancy test!
Our breasts get tender, sore and bigger! Rapidly increasing hormone levels are said to be responsible. They start revving up our girls to prepare them for milk production. Oh yes, from the moment you get pregnant, they jump into action! Our boobs are amazing, and are doing what they are meant to do!
Here are some of the strange, but totally normal breast changes that happen to during pregnancy.
Huge size changes
It’s totally normal for your boobs to increase one to two cup sizes, or more, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. Extra fluid, pregnancy weight gain, and the expanding network of ducts inside your breasts contribute to this.
Your breasts will also get heavier; in fact, the average woman gains two pounds in her chest area alone.
All about the nipples
You may notice your nipples change right from the beginning of your pregnancy. They start taking center stage, growing and becoming more defined, often sticking out more than they used to. They will likely become more prominent, or even change shape as they get ready to nurse your baby.
Areolas get darker…
Your areolas will darken over the course of your pregnancy because hormones can cause your skin cells to produce more pigment. The reason is pretty incredible! When babies are born, they can’t see well and research suggests that the areolas become darker and bigger to help baby make out where to feed. After nursing, your nipples may lighten but some moms find they never fully return to their original shade.
…. and bumpy!
The small, painless bumps that develop on the areolas are called Montgomery Tubercles. They produce an oily substance that helps lubricate your nipples while keeping them clean and protected. Research advocates that newborns may recognize the amniotic smell of the secretions from these tubercles. This also helps them find the nipple and latch right after birth.
Veins may become more visible
Another pregnancy breast change is that you may notice the veins in your breasts becoming larger and more noticeable. This is due to significantly increased blood volume throughout your body.
Dreaded stretch marks
As your breasts grow and swell to accommodate the expanding milk ducts, the skin on your breasts strech a lot. This is another normal phenomenon that can lead to stretch marks. You might not love them, but stretch marks do fade over time. As the skin stretches, your breasts might also start to itch and become sensitive, you can soothe this by moisturizing to keep your skin hydrated.
Colostrum production may start
At the end of the second trimester, breasts are able to produce colostrum, which is a thick, yellowish-gold substance created before breast milk is released. This concentrated fluid can dry on your nipples leaving a subtle white powder.
Yes, these changes can be quite alarming and make us think there’s something weird going on. But they are all part of the normal changes your breasts will experience in order to become super milk-making organs. And, hang tight, once your baby is born, your breasts are going to be in for another set of changes!
It’s the time to support your boobs!
Your girls have never needed more love than they do right now! While every woman’s body changes differently, most discover that they need extra breast comfort and support in their second trimester.
Choose a maternity bra made with soft material, no underwire, a wide waist band and strong shoulder straps. Make sure your maternity bra provides quick access for feedings, and includes a little bit of padding for protection and nipple discretion. A few great bras can make all the difference when it comes to comfort during pregnancy and breastfeeding!
~ If you’re unsure about any changes to your breasts, talk to your doctor. Breast health is not something to take lightly! ~