Breast Changes during Pregnancy
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One of the first things that you notice when you become pregnant is changes in your breasts. Hormones produced as a result of pregnancy increase blood flow to the area and cause changes in the breast tissue. The changes make your breasts feel like they do before you get your period, but worse – swollen, sore, and sensitive to touch. The changes begin a few weeks after conception and last through the first trimester.
Your breasts will also get bigger, starting at about the 8th week of pregnancy, and continuing through your pregnancy. You can expect them grow a cup size, maybe two if this is your first pregnancy. Your breasts in early pregnancy are storing fat and the milk glands are developing in preparation for nursing. As your breasts increase in size, the skin will feel tight and itchy as the skin is stretched, and you may develop stretch marks.
Increased blood flow to the breasts results in the veins becoming more prominent, and visible through the skin. Your nipples and areolas will grow larger and become more pigmented. You may also notice that the small bumps on your areolas - which are called Montgomery’s tubercles and are oil producing glands – grow in number.
Most women begin to produce colostrum around the third month of pregnancy. Colostrum is the first milk that your baby will get when he begins to nurse. You may leak colostrum and it can appear thick and yellow early in pregnancy to colorless around the time of delivery.
 Breast Care
The best thing you can do is to wear a support bra, one with no underwire. Under wires can put pressure on milk glands and interfere with milk production. Go to a maternity store or a department store to get fitted for a proper support bra. Choose a cotton bra over one that is synthetic – cotton is comfortable and breathable. Get a maternity sleep bra for support at night.
In your third trimester, get a selection of nursing bras, if you will be nursing. Select a bra that fits you when the chest band is in the tightest position, so you will have room to grow. If leaking is a problem, use breast pads in your bra. Change them several times a day, and allow your nipples to air dry at each change. When you bathe, do not use soap on your nipples so they do not get dried out.
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