Does breast tenderness come and go in early pregnancy? The short answer is, “Yes.” However, there is more to it than just that as women experience many different combinations of symptoms during gestation.
On top of that, individual pregnancies may also vary in symptoms and circumstances, like what happens when a mother gets pregnant with twins on her subsequent pregnancies.
The bottom line is that there is a significant percentage of pregnant women who experience breast tenderness as a symptom of their pregnancy.
Does Breast Tenderness Come and Go in Early Pregnancy? What It Looks/Feels Like and Why It Happens
In an article published by Cosmopolitan magazine, several women attested to the changes in their chests as early as the first month of pregnancy.
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Among the common changes most pregnant women experience is an enlargement of their breasts. Most of them reported discomfort due to the size of their busts that became too big and too heavy from what they were used to.
Meanwhile, others claimed an increase in sensitivity along the nipple area. Some find it pleasant, while others feel pain from the soreness of their breasts. The most common issue among them is the adjustment they had to deal with during sexual activity.
Aside from these, there are other visual indicators that you may notice during the onset of breast tenderness while in the early stages of pregnancy:
- Breast Enlargement
Breast growth usually begins between the 6th and 8th week of gestation and will continue throughout.
As for the appearance of your breasts, you may experience an increase in cup size by about one or two sizes. It is something that is more likely to happen if it’s your first pregnancy. Stretch marks and itchiness may also accompany it due to the stretching of the skin.
- Veins and Pigment Changes
The bluish veins under the surface of the skin of your breasts may also become more apparent as you advance through the pregnancy. During the first few months, the pigment of the skin around your nipples, or the areola, may also change — growing darker and larger.
- Bumps Emerge Around the Areola
The little bumps around the areola, which are glands that produce oil, called Montgomery’s tubercles, may also become more pronounced during pregnancy.
- Breasts May Become Lumpy
Although it may be alarming, not all lumps around the chest area indicate a severe medical condition. Lumpy breasts during pregnancy, for example, are generally harmless since the mammary gland is preparing for lactation.
The lumps you may feel may only be caused by the growth of fibroadenomas (benign breast tumors) or galactoceles (milk-filled cysts). But to be safe, you should consult your doctor if you feel any lumps in your breasts.
PMS or Pregnancy? How to Tell What Causes Breast Tenderness
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), about 17 percent of women reported that they experienced changes in their breasts before they even confirmed that they were pregnant.
With that, among other considerations in mind, the group deemed breast swelling or soreness as an initial symptom of gestation.
Since it can be mistaken as pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) symptom, swelling or tenderness of a woman’s breast should be accompanied by other signs to verify if it indeed is a symptom of pregnancy.
Like stomach cramping, breast tenderness is common to both PMS and pregnancy. However, PMS comes with an increase in appetite whereas nausea and vomiting can affirm that you are indeed pregnant.
Moreover, bleeding before menstruation is not a typical scenario while some pregnant women experience spotting or light vaginal bleeding.
How To Safely Alleviate Breast Soreness and Discomfort
Pregnant women are strongly advised to take precaution when dealing with illnesses, pains, and discomfort since any medication they consume may have adverse effects on the fetus or their child. The same is true for soreness and tender breasts.
Although it is a natural occurrence during gestation, pregnant women shouldn’t have to suffer through it. In fact, there are simple and practical ways of alleviating the pain and discomfort they may experience.
- Choose Your Bra Wisely
Brassieres were made to offer support for the breasts, in general, but this functional undergarment becomes even more important for pregnant women as their tender breasts are ultra-sensitive.
To avoid the excruciating pain from having your bust sway with your every movement, you should choose a bra that provides ample support.
And since your chest is still growing in preparation for lactation, you should choose a bra that is at least one size bigger than your previous measurement before pregnancy.
It means you should go for one that fits comfortably on the tightest clasp and can still be adjusted as your bust size and breast circumference expands.
- Invest in Bra Pads
Bra pads aren’t just meant to make your breasts look bigger; they also provide additional protection for your sensitive nipples. Most pregnant women experience discomfort from wearing a brassiere, especially when the lining of the undergarment isn’t padded.
- Wear Bra While Sleeping
Sleepless nights often come to pregnant women because of symptoms like breast tenderness.
Since hypersensitive nipples often cause agonizing pain, you can wear your most comfortable bra when sleeping. It will help prevent your breasts from moving while you find your most relaxing sleeping position.
- Have a Warm Bath or Warm Compress
Warmth is not just great for relieving stress. It can also help ease pregnant women of their discomfort from sore breasts. You have two options: put warm compress directly on your sore breasts or have a warm bath.
It is essential, however, that you keep the bath water temperature at a tolerable level— ideally, less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid causing harm to your baby.
So, Does Breast Tenderness Come and Go in Early Pregnancy?
What you need to consider when it comes to breast tenderness is that there are a lot of pregnancy symptom combinations. It may be commonplace for some women and what may be true for some may not apply to you. Still, it pays to know how to deal with it in case it does happen to you.
Breast tenderness comes and goes in early pregnancy. It may even continue through the latter part of the gestation for some women. Just know that you now have the tools to get through this uncomfortable part of the pregnancy period.