You may be surprised at the numerous and varied changes you experience during your pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause many symptoms and discomforts. Along with morning sickness and weight gain, you may develop pain in your breasts. Although this discomfort may cause periods of distress, rest assured this symptom is common among pregnant women. Knowing what causes this discomfort and what to expect can allow you to relax and understand this normal, pregnancy symptom.
The hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy can cause a myriad of symptoms, including an enlargement of your breasts. Changes in the breast tissue and an increase in blood flow can cause your breasts to become sore and uncomfortable.
Pregnancy Stages and Breast Pain
You may begin experiencing pregnancy breast pain between the week 4 and week 6 of your pregnancy. You may continue to feel occasional periods of breast discomfort throughout your pregnancy, but the first trimester presents the most common phase for this symptom. You may notice an increase in breast pain and fullness immediately after the birth of your baby. Pregnancy breast pain occurs most often in young pregnant women, but it often affects women of all ages.
You may notice a feeling of fullness as your breasts begin to enlarge. Your skin may feel itchy, due to stretching skin. As your breasts become larger, the nipples and pigmented areolas become larger and darker. Your breast sensations may include tingling, soreness and sensitivity to touch. Your breast tenderness can resemble the discomfort you feel before the beginning of a period, only more pronounced.
Certain other conditions can cause breast pain. These conditions may occur while you are pregnant, but they are unrelated to your pregnant condition. Different causes of breast pain include shingles, injury, infected breast tissue and alcoholism with liver damage. Contact your doctor if you believe your breast pain may be unrelated to your pregnancy.
Your changing breasts require good support. You may find that your bras no longer fit and cause additional discomfort. Purchase a larger bra with good support. A cotton seamless bra can help you feel more relaxed. Try sleeping with a leisure or sleep bra to provide comfort during the nighttime hours. Apply a cool washcloth to your breasts to reduce the pain or try a warm, relaxing bath.
- prospective mother image by Svetlana Bogomol from Fotolia.com