From the moment you discover you are pregnant, your thoughts tend to revolve around the various ways that your life is about to change.
Pregnancy is just one great sea of change. From the moment you discover you are pregnantyour thoughts tend to revolve around the various ways that your life is about to change.
At this point, you can’t quite anticipate the level of emotional change that will occur but you can anticipate many other elements. Your plans will change, your future will change and your physical body will change at the very least.
The physical changes are perhaps the most tangible of all. What you see in the mirror is different to how it used to be. The clothes you wear might be in a different size or made from new material. Your physical body becomes the very real proof that you are actually growing a baby.
A woman’s body undergoes a huge amount of changes during the nine months of pregnancy. Some of those changes are visible on the outside and others are working behind the scenes preparing for birth and beyond. One of the greatest areas of change occurs in a woman’s breasts. Breast changes are often the first sign and symptom of pregnancy.
Here are 10 ways that your breasts can change when you are pregnant.
1. For many women, their breasts physically grow larger. Many women go up a couple of cup sizes or have noticeably full breasts which were never present in this way before. They may grow even larger after the baby is born if a woman breastfeeds.
2. Breasts can become very tender and sensitive. Clothes can become irritating and the slightest contact can feel intense for the woman.
3. Nipples and the surrounding area (areola) become darker in colour due to changes in skin pigmentation as a result of the hormonal changes.
4. Breasts may leak colostrum. This is a thick yellow liquid that the breasts begin to produce in later pregnancy. Many women experience leaking during the third trimester. This may happen when a woman is stimulated or in the shower for example.
5. Bumps may appear on the areola. These little bumps may have been present before the pregnancy but become more pronounced now. They are called Montgomery tubercles.
6. Lumps and bumps may occur. These are usually harmless and due to milk filled cysts or benign tumours. It is important to highlight these to your doctor but they tend to be harmless.
7. They feel heavy. Even if they have not actually changed in size they may feel heavier in nature.
8. They may be painful. This can be for a combination of reasons. The changes in size, the swollen tissue and fluid retention can lead to painful aching breasts.
9. They become extremely veiny. Prominent blue veins may become pronounced and visible throughout the breasts. This is due to the increased blood flow in the breast tissue.
10. Stretch marks can occur when breasts grow larger and become stretched. This can lead to an itch which can be soothed by regularly moisturising.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.