As the rest of your body changes during pregnancy, your breasts change too, getting themselves ready to make and supply milk for your baby.
Your breasts will get bigger. They may be sore sometimes. Your nipples may change color. It's all a natural part of being pregnant. And if some of these changes bother you, it's good to know that there are ways to help yourself feel better.
During your first trimester (weeks 1 to 12), your breasts may start to feel swollen and tender. They may tingle. Your nipples may stick out more than usual.
Some women find that their breasts start to get bigger during this time.
In the second trimester (weeks 13 to 27), your breasts will get larger and heavier. You may need a larger bra that gives you more support. You will probably feel less of the tenderness and tingling from early pregnancy.
As your breasts grow, the veins become more noticeable under the skin. The nipples and the area around the nipples (areola) become darker and larger. Small bumps may appear on the areola. These bumps will go away after you have your baby.
Some women get stretch marks on their breasts.
As early as the 16th to 19th week, you may notice a yellowish discharge, called colostrum, from your nipples. This just means that your breasts are getting ready for breast-feeding. Colostrum is the "pre-milk" that helps protect your baby from disease during the first few days of breast-feeding.
In the third trimester, your breasts will grow some more and may feel even heavier. You may need a larger bra or a bra extender.
If you haven't had colostrum leaking from your breasts before, it may start to happen now. But some women don't have leaks. Either way, it has nothing to do with your ability to breast-feed.
Here are some tips you can try.
If your breasts are tender or sore:
If your skin itches where it has stretched—on your belly, your breasts, or anywhere else:
If your breasts are leaking colostrum:
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofAugust 4, 2014
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.