Pregnancy and Breast Pain

From the first weeks after conception, women often complain about breast tenderness and pain. In the beginning, the pain can be attributed to the sudden increase in progesterone and estrogen. As the pregnancy reaches later stages, milk production and the activation of milk ducts can be to blame.

Causes of Breast Changes and Pain During Pregnancy

Breasts play an important role after pregnancy. In early times, breasts were the sole source of food for newborns and thus essential to the growth of the earth’s population. Though formula has been created and can be a healthy alternative to breast milk, the female body maintains the sense that it will need to provide food soon after birth. This fact alone can cause great changes in the breast that may evoke pain. Most women, however, complain about breast tenderness and pain from the first few weeks before milk production has begun. When the egg is fertilized and implants on the interior of the uterus, progesterone, and estrogen are released into the body. These hormones increase blood flow in the body and promote fat storage in preparation for pregnancy and birth. These changes alone can cause irritation and pain.

Important Facts About Breast Changes and Pain

In addition to breast growth and changes, the nipples and areolas will also change. Nipples often grow in size and will certainly protrude more often. Areolas will also grow and can change to a dark reddish, brown color.

Treatment for Breast Changes and Pain

Spouses or partners should be made aware of the changes occurring in the women's body. By the end of the pregnancy, milk may leak from the breasts during lovemaking.

Wearing a tight-fitting bra can help prevent pain associated with growth. Cotton sports bras can also be worn to bed to keep the woman more comfortable during the transition.

Read More:
Breastfeeding & Medications
Breastfeeding FAQs