Table of contents:
- Various Changes in Breasts of Pregnant Women
- Tips for Overcoming Discomfort in the Breasts of Pregnant Women
Pregnancy can cause many changes in a woman's body, including breasts. Changes in the breasts of pregnant women are normal, but sometimes can make pregnant women feel uncomfortable. So, how can breast changes occur during pregnancy?
Changes in the shape of the breasts of pregnant women occur due to an increase in hormone levels during pregnancy, such as the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and the hormone prolactin which triggers milk production.
Changes in the breasts are normal and indicate that the pregnant woman's body is preparing itself for breastfeeding.
Various Changes in Breasts of Pregnant Women
The following are some changes in the breasts of pregnant women that occur based on gestational age:
First trimester of pregnancy (1–12 weeks)
The hormonal changes in the first trimester of pregnancy make blood flow increase and change the tissue in the breast. As a result, pregnant women's breasts will feel more painful, tingly, swollen, and sensitive to the touch.
This condition usually occurs around 4–6 weeks of gestation and can persist during the first trimester of pregnancy. Not only that, around the first 6-8 weeks of pregnancy, the breasts will also look bigger.
If this is the pregnant woman's first pregnancy, the enlarged breast size can generally reach 1 or 2 cups. Enlarged breasts can cause itching and are sometimes accompanied by stretch mark lines around the breasts.
Second trimester of pregnancy (13–26 weeks)
In the second trimester of pregnancy, the breasts are getting bigger and heavier. This change makes the blood vessels under the skin more visible.
Likewise with the color of the nipple and the area around the nipple or areola which also turns darker and widens. Pregnant women will also find the appearance of small lumps around the nipples.
Third trimester of pregnancy (27 weeks until delivery)
In the third trimester of pregnancy, especially in the final weeks of pregnancy, the nipples and breasts will continue to grow. At this time, pregnant women should not be surprised if they see a yellowish liquid coming out of the nipple. This fluid is also known as colostrum.
Colostrum fluid contains many nutrients that will be needed by the baby when he is born later. After a few days after feeding, your breasts will start to secrete milk.
Even so, not all pregnant women experience changes according to the stages above. Every pregnant woman can experience different changes in the breast. For example, there are women who secrete colostrum from their nipples, but there are also women who don't.
Tips for Overcoming Discomfort in the Breasts of Pregnant Women
Changes in the breasts of pregnant women often cause discomfort. To overcome this, pregnant women should no longer wear a bra that is usually worn every day and replace it with the right bra as the size of the breast increases.
To choose a bra that can support pregnant women's breasts well and comfortably, apply the following tips:
- Make sure that the bra you are wearing is not too tight or too loose, but that it can support your breasts comfortably.
- Choose a bra made of cotton or natural fibers, because it has good air circulation, so the breasts feel comfortable.
- If you want to exercise, use a special bra that can support your breasts properly.
- Especially for bras that are worn while sleeping, choose a bra made of soft cotton that doesn't limit the movement of the breasts.
Women can also put a cotton handkerchief or gauze into each bra cup to absorb the colostrum fluid that comes out of the nipples. Change the pad regularly to prevent skin irritation around the nipples.
In addition, avoid cleaning your breasts with soap or harsh chemical detergents because they can irritate the nipples and cause pain. Pregnant women just use warm water to clean the breasts.
Well, that's a variety of information about changes in the breasts of pregnant women that are important to know. In general, these changes are normal and nothing to worry about.
However, if the changes in the breasts of pregnant women cause disturbing complaints, such as severe itching or pain, fever, or pus-looking nipples, you should consult a doctor for proper examination and treatment.