Breast tenderness is one of the earliest telltale signs that a woman is becoming a mom, according to the March of Dimes and the American Pregnancy Association. While this can be frustrating to deal with, it is virtually never dangerous and helps prepare you for birth and then breast-feeding if you choose to do so. A number of other possible symptoms and side effects also indicate pregnancy and are especially common during the first trimester.
Breast Tenderness & Early Pregnancy
About one to two weeks after conceiving your future son or daughter, you’ll probably notice tender and swollen breasts, according to the American Pregnancy Association. The first six weeks of pregnancy usually show the most significant increase in breast size, according to the March of Dimes.
Additional Breast Changes
Your nipples, especially the areolas, usually darken in early pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This, like swollen and tender breasts, is typically caused by hormonal changes in your growing body.
Several other symptoms and side effects can occur in pregnancy, especially in the early days and weeks after conception, according to the American Pregnancy Association. You might notice light bleeding right after your future son or daughter implants itself into your womb. Headaches, backaches, nausea and vomiting also usually begin in expectant moms soon after conception. Fortunately, most women don’t experience “morning sickness” later on in pregnancy; backaches, headaches and breast changes usually continue throughout your term.
Likely, your breasts will grow by at least one full bra cup during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. The most growth tends to happen during the first trimester of pregnancy, though some women experience additional bulk in that chest area throughout their terms.
At-Home Treatment Options
You can’t necessarily “cure” breast tenderness and swelling during pregnancy, but you can take some steps to alleviate any discomfort, according to the March of Dimes. A good maternity bra is key to avoiding unnecessary pain due to changing breasts; such bras also support the muscles of your back so those don’t become overwhelmed by increased breast size. Cotton bras are also preferable over synthetic ones, as cotton bras tend to reduce your risk of unwanted skin rashes. Your nipples can sometimes leak fluid during pregnancy or even dry out after showering; avoid this potentially irritating and painful problem by air-drying your breasts a few times a day and avoiding using hot water around your nipples.