Your boobs are amazing and unique!
Big, small, asymmetrical, round, pear-shaped, heavy, light, cute, happy, sexy, firm, saggy… we’ve probably all heard and used these adjectives when describing our boobs. We touch them, move them, stare at them, talk to them, exploit them and too often we complain about them, but our boobs are unique and precious!
Let’s adore and understand them!
What are breasts exactly?
This question may seem simple but the answer is far from it!
The female breasts are specialized organs overlying the chest muscles and are usually more developed than male ones, as their primary function is to produce milk for feeding a baby. Yes, Mother Nature thought of everything!
Our boobs are mainly composed of fatty tissue and many different glands that grow and develop during puberty.
The milk-producing part of breasts is organized into 15 to 20 sections, called lobes (in the mammary glands). Bands of connective tissue separate these lobes and within each lobe are smaller structures called lobules. This is where milk is produced and supplied during pregnancy. Breast milk is then transferred from these lobules to the nipple, through a network of tiny special tubes called ducts, to eventually feed your little one.
The dark area of skin surrounding your nipple is called the areola. This protects your nipple and keeps it moisturized during breastfeeding!
But if all our boobs were made for the same purpose, why aren’t they all the same size?
What determines our boob size?
Genetics play the biggest role in determining the size and shape of our breasts. If your mother has a very small chest, there’s a good chance you’ll follow suit.
Weight is also an important factor and even a weight gain of as little as five pounds can affect breasts size. It does for me! And the same happens when I lose weight unfortunately, my breasts get smaller.
Of course, there are both thin women with naturally large breasts and plus-sized women with small ones. That is an example of the great power of genetics!
Flow comes to town
Your menstrual cycle can also bring pretty distinct changes to your breasts size, texture, and shape. During the second half of your cycle, as you get closer to your period, progesterone stimulates the formation of milk glands (these little lobules we just talked about), which is said to cause swelling and your boobs may look a little bigger. Some hormonal birth control methods contain estrogen and progesterone, which may cause edema, or water retention, potentially impacting your breast size too.
Of course, pregnancy is the biggest factor in breast change and during and after pregnancy your breasts may reach their biggest size ever which is as traumatizing for them as it is for you! After breastfeeding or pumping, some women’s breasts go back to their pre-pregnancy size, but more often, breasts settle into a totally new shape and size, usually slightly larger, especially if you’ve had several babies.
What breast changes can you expect during your pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a perfect example of how amazing the female body is!
During pregnancy your entire body will go through a huge transformation, and most women tend to first observe changes in their boobs. These changes are completely normal; your breasts are evolving and preparing for the arrival of your baby! They occur as a result of hormonal fluctuations, sometimes as early as one week after conception.
Pregnancy boobs are a real phenomenon!
The first trimester
The volume of blood in your body starts to increase to meet the developmental needs of the growing fetus. This may cause the veins in your breasts to become larger, bluer and more visible. Your breasts will also grow in size, which may be rapid during the early weeks, or the size may increase gradually up to one or two cup sizes. Your breasts may feel sensitive, tender and swollen.
Some women have sore breasts during pregnancy right up until birth, but for most, these symptoms dissipate within the first few months as the body adjusts to the hormonal changes.
Nipple changes are also common and they may become larger and more sensitive, you may also see a little darkening of the areolas. Some women notice Montgomery tubercles which are small, painless bumps on the areolas. These bumps may not look cute, but they have antiseptic and lubricating qualities that help protect against soreness and infection once you start breastfeeding. Just what Mother Nature had in mind. In fact, scientists believe the smell of this oil is similar to amniotic fluid and may help guide your newborn to your nipples after they are born.
The second trimester
Estrogen levels continue to rise. As your body continues to get ready for birth, your rib cage will expand and your breasts will become heavier and denser. They will continue feeling full as the milk ducts keep developing.
By the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy your breasts may start to produce colostrum, which is the first form of breast milk. At this time, you may not be aware that your body is actually producing it – most of this milk will either be reabsorbed by your body, or you may begin to experience some leakage of breasts milk! Your nipples and areolas will continue getting larger and more pronounced.
As the skin on your breasts stretches to accommodate their growing size, you may experience itching or dryness and you might also develop stretch marks. Again, this is normally a matter of genetics and skin type; if you’re predisposed to them, there’s not much you can do to prevent it, they will fade and become much less noticeable over time. At this point of pregnancy, your breasts might be painful, leaky, itchy and bumpy. Relax, they are just keeping busy, it’s all part of the process of growing a baby!
The third trimester
Many breast changes that occur in the first and second trimesters will continue throughout the end of your pregnancy and your breasts may start to feel heavy or sore again. Every woman is different, but by week 28 to 40, your breasts are likely to be around two to three cup sizes bigger than before pregnancy. Your band size will probably increase considerably too, as your ribcage expands to make room for your baby. Your breasts can become even larger and heavier, your nipples may continue to darken, and colostrum might leak more regularly.
Yay! You are almost at the end… of the beginning! Get ready!
Your breasts go through a heck of a lot of changes over a small amount of time, more or less rapidly and sometimes on a monthly basis. Keep in mind that many pregnant women do experience breast changes, but plenty don’t – it’s all normal!
Your breasts don’t have to grow bigger, leak, or feel sore to indicate a healthy pregnancy or that you’re ready to breastfeed. I have heard that some women only notice breast changes when their milk comes in after their baby is born.
Oops, and yes, your boobs will continue changing postpartum! Didn’t I tell you they’re amazing and precious?
If you want a bra that is finally going to fit and support you through all of these amazing changes, take a look at our Infiniti Bra. We have designed it especially for you, it adapts and evolves along with your body! Check it out HERE.