For many women, i perceived changes in the breasts they are one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. So let’s see how the breast changes during the nine months, what are the normal changes and what to do when the breasts are swollen or sore.
The main responsible for the changes that occur in the breast during gestation is the hormones estrogen and progesterone: these hormones prepare the breasts for breastfeeding. In particular:
- estrogen it stimulates the growth of the cells of the mammary duct and generates the secretion of prolactin, another hormone which in turn increases the size of the breasts and ensures the production of milk.
- The progesterone promotes the formation and growth of milk-producing cells within the mammary glands.
After giving birth, estrogen and progesterone levels plummet and prolactin levels rise, enabling breastfeeding.
THE breast changes they are one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and occur in the first few days. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), pregnancy breast changes can appear already one or two weeks after conception and 17% of women – surveyed in a survey conducted by the APA themselves – said that breast changes were the first sign of pregnancy. These include:
- breast swelling
- pain or tension
- feeling of heaviness or fullness in the breast.
The breasts will continue to change and become heavy during the first trimester.
Here, then, is what to do to manage breast changes and discomfort during pregnancy.
- when it is swollen
- When does it hurt
- when it leaks liquid
- when it is lumpy
When it is swollen
It is completely normal for breasts to increase in size and become more swollen and tense. It is very important to buy a bra comfortable of the right size, which does not tighten and supports the breasts naturally.
When does it hurt
The bra is essential even if the breasts hurt. It is advisable to use a bra with wide straps, of a comfortable size – generally one or two more than usual – and a sports bra even at night, for greater support in the supine position.
We also recommend putting aside the shoulder bag and switching to a backpack, which distributes the weight on both shoulders, and showering using the gentle jet.
When it leaks liquid
As we have said, it is quite common to have small losses of colostrum – just as it is normal not to have major symptoms or to experience particular changes in the breasts, this does not mean that you will not be able to breastfeed. Avoid stimulating the nipples too much as it is a form of stimulating contractions. If the leaks are bothersome, you can use breast pads.
When it is lumpy
During pregnancy you may also notice small bumps on the areolas – they are small glands called Montgomery tubercles. Obviously, any abnormal changes, nodules or growths must be reported to the gynecologist.