SORE BREASTS IN PREGNANCY
Are sore breasts common in pregnancy?
Yes, it is common to have sore breasts in pregnancy. Sensitive, sore and tingling breasts are one of the earliest signs that you’re pregnant. You may have noticed this tenderness from about three weeks or four weeks of your pregnancy, before you even did a pregnancy test.
Your breasts may become so tender that even your clothes brushing against them feels unbearable. You may also not like having your breasts touched. This will pass, and the soreness is likely to lessen after your first trimester.
Once you’re in your second trimester, your surging hormone levels will settle down. This won’t necessarily spell the end of sore breasts altogether, though. Tenderness may still happen now and then throughout your pregnancy.
Why are my breasts sore?
As your body gears up to support your growing baby, you produce more of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
A similar hormone surge happens to you before a period, so this tenderness is probably an exaggerated version of how your breasts feel then.
Along with the effects of a hormone surge, your breasts are likely to be getting bigger. The fat layer in them thickens, milk glands multiply, and blood flow increases. As uncomfortable as it may feel, these changes are preparing your breasts for the important role of feeding your baby.
Your breasts may grow rapidly in early pregnancy, or they may grow gradually as your pregnancy progresses. Or you may not even notice much difference in the size of your breasts until the end of your pregnancy.
When it does happen, the change in size can be quite dramatic, particularly if this is your first pregnancy. You will probably go up a couple of cup sizes by the time you have your baby. Don’t worry if this hasn’t happened by the end of pregnancy, as your breasts may expand more once your baby has arrived.
You may notice other changes, too. During sex you may feel a throbbing or tingling sensation in your breasts, as the blood rushes to them.
What can I do to ease the soreness in my breasts?
- A supportive bra will help to ease the soreness. Avoid underwired bras, as they’re not suitable for your changing breasts, and can be uncomfortable.
- Have your bra fitted by a specialist in-store fitter. If this isn’t possible, measure under your breasts for size, and around the fullest part of your breast for the cup. Though bear in mind that sizes vary according to style and brand.
- Try to get fitted more than once during your pregnancy. You may need to change cup sizes as your breasts grow.
- Always wear a well-fitting, supportive bra while you exercise, to hold the increased weight off your breasts.
- A maternity cotton sleep bra may help to ease soreness while you sleep.