Pregnancy & Sore Breasts

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Breasts become sore and tender early in pregnancy because increased hormones prepare the breasts for breastfeeding. First-time mothers are usually more aware of breast soreness.

Significance

Sore breast may indicate your pregnancy is progressing normally and hormone levels are rising as they should.

Time Frame

You may notice increased tenderness and sensitivity in your breasts and nipples shortly after conception and even before you miss your first period. You may still notice increased sensitivity in your nipples throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding, but generally breast soreness lessens in the second trimester.

Effects

Your breasts will typically increase about one cup size in the first three months and grow one additional cup size during the remaining months.

Considerations

You may notice tender lumps in your breasts during pregnancy; these may be milk glands, but let your health care provider know in case additional evaluation is needed. Most breast lumps in pregnant women are not cause for concern.

Misconceptions

The breast changes that many women attribute to breastfeeding occur because of pregnancy, not breastfeeding.

Prevention/Solution

Wear a bra with good support, even when you sleep if it helps. Use warm compresses to help reduce soreness, and treat your breasts gently.

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