Breast Changes During Pregnancy, By Trimester

Let’s talk about your boobs. If you think your belly is the only thing that changes during pregnancy, you’d be mistaken. Changes in your breasts are one of the first early pregnancy signs you may notice. And it might even surprise you to see the number of changes your breasts will go through during the next nine months. Pregnancy causes the hormones estrogen and progesterone to fluctuate in your body, which is what affects your breasts. There are a lot of changes to expect during and after pregnancy. Here are the breast changes that occur during pregnancy, by trimester.  

Breast changes during the first trimester

One of the first changes you may notice during pregnancy is that your breasts feel tender. After you become pregnant, the hormonal changes in your body can make your breasts feel sore, tender to the touch and swollen. This is one of the earliest changes during early pregnancy, and may even happen before a missed period or pregnancy test. As your body gets used to the hormonal changes, the tenderness should subside after a few weeks. You may also notice more prominent veins in your breasts and they could begin growing in size. Moms have also reported noticing their nipples became sensitive and their areolas darkened.

Breast changes during the second trimester

By the second trimester, your breasts will probably have noticeably increased in size due to rising estrogen levels. As milk production develops, they can feel very heavy and full. By this point of your pregnancy, your breasts will also start to produce colostrum, which is the first form of breastmilk. Because of this, you may notice your breasts leaking milk from time to time, which is completely normal. The raging hormones can also affect the skin pigment, resulting in dark spots on your breasts and nipples.

Breast changes during the third trimester

Over the course of your pregnancy, your boobs can gain one to three pounds in weight. As you ease into the third trimester, expect your breasts to continue increasing in size. The skin surrounding your breasts can become dense, causing stretch marks. As the skin stretches and becomes thin, you might experience itchy, dry skin. By this point of your pregnancy, your nipples are likely to change shape and become more pronounced as they prepare for potential breastfeeding. Toward the end of your pregnancy you may also notice a discharge coming from your breasts. It usually appears as milky or yellowish.  

What you can do to ease pain or discomfort during pregnancy

It’s normal to feel discomfort as your breasts go through so many changes during pregnancy. There are a few things you can do to help ease the pain. First, try out a maternity bra that is designed to support growing breasts. You can also try nursing or sleep bras, which accommodate growth and changes to your breasts. Breast pads can protect your sensitive nipples from rubbing on other fabric. Some moms swear by hot or cold compresses to relieve pain and soreness. And lotions or creams can help combat the dry skin and itchiness.

The one thing you can be sure of during pregnancy is that your breasts will change A LOT. Your body is going through the single biggest change it can experience, so it’s only normal to have your breasts feel the changes too. Embrace the changes and remember it’s all for baby’s sake, which can make the pain of the changes a little easier to tolerate.

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How soon do your breast change when pregnant?

Breast changes occur early in pregnancy and in fact can be an early sign of pregnancy. Changes such as breast tenderness and swelling can occur prior to when a pregnancy can be detected by a test.

How do your breasts change in early pregnancy?

In early pregnancy, breast changes include increased tenderness, swelling and a heavy or full feeling. Over the course of the first trimester, changes can also include growth in size, pronounced veins, increased nipple sensitivity and darker and larger areolas.

Why do breasts get bigger during pregnancy?

Pregnancy alters estrogen and progesterone in the body, both of which cause changes in the breasts. Breast changes are in preparation for lactation, meaning estrogen and progesterone prompt changes such as the growth of cells that produce milk. Triggered by estrogen, the hormone prolactin plays a role in the increased growth of breasts during pregnancy.

How do your boobs feel when pregnant?

During pregnancy, breasts can feel tender, sore, heavy or full. The overall growth of the breasts can cause skin to stretch, resulting in skin that feels itchy.