BreastsIs it normal for breasts to be tender during pregnancy?
How the Breast Changes during Pregnancy
Breastfeeding is the final stage of breast development for women who have children. Recognizing and understanding breast changes can encourage a mother about breastfeeding.
During your pregnancy your breast will get about 10% bigger. the following breast changes are normal:
Breast Changes that are Normal during Pregnancy:
`Red Flags` (or Possible Causes of Concern) during Pregnancy:
- The breasts feel tender and fuller because pregnancy hormones are stimulating the milk making parts of the breasts to grow.
- The areola (the dark skin around the nipple) is darkening and getting larger so it will be easier for the baby to find the place to eat when he is first born. Newborns like to look at dark circles more than any other shape.
- The Montgomery glands enlarge and become more visible as bumps on the areola. These glands make a fluid that cleans and lubricates the nipple and areola. This fluid smells like amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby in-utero) so the smell of the breasts will be familiar and attractive to the baby. Newborns have a strong sense of smell.
- The blood vessels in the breasts are easier to see through the skin. The skin is stretching as the breasts increase in fullness. The breasts need a good blood supply because nutrients are drawn from the blood stream into the milk.
- Breastmilk may start leaking from the breasts during pregnancy. Even if their breasts do not leak, all moms produce colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk and it is thick and yellow.
- By the time a mother is about four months pregnant, her breasts are ready to make milk in case the baby is born early.
If either of these red flags is noted, refer the mother to a lactation specialist or her health care provider for a breast and nipple assessment.
- The mother has not noticed any breast changes during pregnancy.
- Her nipple(s) are flat or inverted (turned inside), either at rest or when stimulated. Women with flat or inverted nipples can still breastfeed, but they may need extra help at first.
How to Care for Breasts during Pregnancy
There is no need to prepare the breasts in any way for breastfeeding. Advise mothers to use warm water only to wash their breasts because soaps may cause dryness. Women should not `toughen up` their nipples. A breastfeeding mother needs at least one comfortable nursing bra. If she buys a bra in the last three months of pregnancy, she should make sure it has a cup adjustment that will allow her breasts to increase one to two cup sizes and can be adjusted around the chest.
What is Engorgement?
After birth, most women will experience some breast fullness and firmness when their mature milk comes in at 3 to 4 days. This is normal. As milk production increases, blood and lymph fluids accumulate in the breast. If the baby is nursing frequently, effectively, and as long as he wants, this fullness will decrease significantly in 12 to 48 hours. Read more in the article on Engorgement.
Most breastfeeding mothers will begin leaking milk at about 3 to 5 days after birth when the mature (white) milk comes in. Mothers leak the most in the early weeks of breastfeeding. At about 2 to 3 months after birth, the mother`s breasts adjust to making milk and leaking decreases. Some women leak milk for as long as they are nursing.
Treatment for Leaking Milk
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- Wear absorbent cloth bra pads.
- Apply gentle pressure to the nipple. This can be done with the forearm or heel of her hand through her clothes.
- Wear clothing that will hide wet spots, such as print clothing, vests, fleece and sweaters.
- Breastfeed more often, if possible.
- If separated from the baby, pump milk when breasts become full.
- Have an absorbent cloth ready to catch the milk leaking from the other breast during feedings.
1 2 3 4 NextTracy11
12 days ago.
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1323 days ago.
I feel silly posting this on here and will eventually gather courage to ask my doctor- but my nipples are different- one has an opening and one doesnt?! I'm around 22 weeks pregnant now and am desperate to breastfeed...has anybody heard of this before/had this? I'm terrified that only one breast will be functional Denise27
1428 days ago.
im 18 weeks and the nipple opening on one boob is very very sore. would it be because my milk from my last baby didnt dry up. i have soak my boob in warm water and it help. can by any chance anyone can help me out. HisBabyMama85
1600 days ago.
I have a question one of my breast is a cup size larger than the other. I tried pumping on just breast, tried pumping and feeding I tried the opposite, is there anything i can do about my 2 different sized breasts ... they werent like this pre preggo... Kontessa
1727 days ago.
thank you for the article it is useful, my question is in early pregnancy one of the symptoms of being pregnat is tender breasts, till which week they will remain tender? MoNtRiCe8488
1752 days ago.
Can you get breast cyst in pre-pregnancy symptoms? I did have extreme breat tenderness with my daughter but this is a different pain... mamadear04
1846 days ago.
Oh maaannnn!!!!!!!! I wont get any help here I just saw that the last post was 84 days ago!!! LOL LOL mamadear04
1846 days ago.
Hopefully I can get some advice here ....I went to the breastfeeding page and the big topic was car seats...My question was past by very fast that im not sure anyone even saw it.LOL So here it is....I breastfeed my baby she is almost 11 months old, and I have this painfull what seems to be a blister ,but not the kind pops its more like a bump that is white and it hurts to breastfeed on that side, and I have had it for a few weeks now...Hummm hopefully someone understood that.....Can anyone tell me what it might be and what to do about it? Thanks :-) ƸӜƷ~Jo~ƸӜƷ
1930 days ago.
Is it just me thinking that this article did not tell us how to make the pain go away, im having my 3rd child and i knew i was preg a wk after conception because i never ger sore boobs nt even with my previous pregnancys, after the birth yea but i cant take this for 9 mnths lol, shall def be investing in new bras if that doesnt work ill have to cling film them down haha the joys of pregnancy ladies x DeeDC
1974 days ago.
My breasts are so sore! I dont remember them being this sore with my first child. Is there anything I can put on them to soothe them? I am only 9 weeks tomorrow and I dont know if I will make it! one step at a time
1983 days ago.
ok ladies I need help my son is 5 days old I was going to bottle feed and then changed my mind, yesterday I was able to get my son to lach on and feed but as the day progressed I noticed that he was really gassy, does anyone have any advice for me things have changed so much since I nursed 7 years ago. Im not sure if its because I'm not producing enuf I have read that you can supplement with formula also, my son dosent seem to have a problem switching from Brest to nipple, please post to my page thank you angnen
1984 days ago.
I have breast questions, TMI I know, but I am peirced, both sides, I think they are beautiful but i will not get it done again, I do plan to brestfeed when should i actually take them out or can i keep them in the whole pregnancy and take them out just to breastfeed? mimimorrow1985
2010 days ago.
OH MY lord my boobs have been itching like crazy and it is embarressing when i am at work? any one else had this problem? *Precious.Moments*
2030 days ago.
So I dont know if this is the page I should post on but I cant find one closer to what I have going on so here goes... Im having issues with a swollen lymph node in my right armpit area during ''that time of the month''.. I went to the doc and she told me its no worries and something Im just gonna have to deal with basically but I have an ultrasound tomorrow to ease my mind a bit more.. Has anyone else experienced this or something similar?.. Id LOVE to hear from you!!! =) sarahs6th
2072 days ago.
Im on number 6 and have never had achy bb's they are killing me lol im 14+5 and it started about a week ago, hopefully they will be growing as I am small anyway only 34b, compared with my first pregnancy when i was only a 34a they have grown a little bit. It would be nice to know the pain is growing pain so it will be worth it lol. kelly.m
2095 days ago.
im 28 weeks on wednesday and oh my god the pain in my left breast for the lat couple of days ahs been ammense. i cant sleep on that side i cant wash it properly in the bath, my nipple is agony and i cant get a bra on properly. you dont need to know this but just thought id mention incase anyone is having the same trouble!!!!! xxx michelle007
2108 days ago.
O.K. I have a problem! This is kind of gross but ,I 'm giong to ask anyways. My breast are huge this pregnancy and for about the last month I have this really bad oder coming from them and I can't stand the smell, I don't know what to do about it. I bathe all the time but about 30 min after a shower or bath it's back, I never had this the 1st time. Does anyone else have this problem? alexis0321
2111 days ago.
i always pick it right after i shower, it is normal and i dont think you should worry. i actually have a little milk. phonics
2117 days ago.
The top/middle of my nipple or I guess the nipple opening is seeming to get dry and white. Not white flaky stuff that you can wash off, but like the sking part. I can actually pull it off if I want (I have done it before), but I am scared to. It does not hurt at all for me to do it, but I can feel it. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this normal/ What should I do? mom2akkin
2121 days ago.
Hi , I have a 3 year old son and iam now pregnant with my second. My son was preterm bornanad i wasnot able to breast feed him . now iam concerned about the second baby . will ther b a problem in me feeding and also my nipples are flat what should i do.. iam now only 7 weeks pregnant.. michelle007
2129 days ago.
Ambar, my areola's are almost all brown (dark brown). This is normal, I had it with my first pregnancy and this time almost my whole boob is brown, not very pretty is it? I can't stand it! LOL! It will go away one day, I can't remember how long it took, but it did go away. I have olive complection (sp?) and maybe that is why. I hate it! Plus my boos are soooooo Big!!! I am out of my G cup and now in a I cup, normally I wear a 34DD, so I am huge, not sure if I want to breast feed with these monsters!!! LOL! Good luck! OH!!! Keep them baby's lubed up, maybe you won't get stretch marks:) ambar
2130 days ago.
Okay so I noticed that areola on my breasts are getting darker, but I also notices that my breasts are getting darker, like blotches of darker skin. It almost seems as if they were dirty. I know weird. Has this happened to anyone else. I don't know if they are stretch marks, they don't really look like stretch marks. I know its weird but I am so nervous about them being stretch marks. My husband says they aren't, maybe he is just trying to be nice. Mellissa.Dowd
2137 days ago.
I just have a basic question i was wondering.. what the fluid looks like that leaks out of the breasts and if its ok for it to start at 6 months? chloesmommy24
2138 days ago.
I noticed a small lump in my breast near my areola. i have a dr appt next week and i will be asking about it. has anyone had anything like that before?
2143 days ago.
Wow reading through these message I think perhaps I've been spared the worst...til I breastfeed I guess. I seriously was a 42D before I became pregnant and almost 5 months later am a 44D...that's it. Sometimes they tingle a bit at the nipples, but I've yet to experience any soreness as described by so many of you. My only real concern is that they don't get any larger as my back hurts and honestly they annoy me a bit as it is.