Hormone changes in a woman’s body cause changes in the feel and even shape of her breasts, according to the Ohio State University Medical Center. These changes can include soreness. Many women experience breast soreness during their menstrual cycles. The soreness of breasts during a pregnancy are caused by hormone changes similar to those during a menstrual cycle, only more pronounced.
Most women understand that their bodies will change dramatically as their pregnancies progress. Mothers-to-be may look forward to the time when they can wear maternity clothes. In many women, the breasts change almost as dramatically as the uterus, but this is a normal part of pregnancy. A woman’s breasts are made to make milk. As the body prepares for the baby, her breasts prepare to feed the baby.
The levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body increase dramatically during pregnancy. These hormones work together to prepare the breasts to produce milk. Specifically, estrogen stimulates the milk ducts, and progesterone aids in the formation of milk glands, according to the Ohio State University Medical Center.
Soreness and Other Symptoms
As the milk glands swell due to the surge of hormones, the breasts may become hot, heavy, swollen and sore, according to NetWellness. They may be painful to touch, or feel or look lumpy. In addition, as the skin on the breasts stretches, it may itch. In some cases, the breasts may even develop stretch marks. As the pregnancy progresses, the nipples and areolas may become larger, darker and more sensitive, according to BabyCenter. If you have fair skin, you may even be able to clearly see the network of veins under the thin skin of your fuller breasts.
If you are not sure you are pregnant, consider the fact that something else might be causing the soreness in your breasts. Many women have sore breasts about a week before they get their period. The hormones in birth control pills can also cause breast soreness. Even an ill-fitting bra can cause temporary pain in the breasts.
There’s not much you can do to stop your breasts from changing during pregnancy, but you can reduce the pain. Invest in a sturdy, supportive bra. Soft, cotton bras with no underwires will probably be the most comfortable. Wearing a pregnancy “sleep bra” will also help protect your breasts at night and reduce soreness in the morning.