Reasons for Breast Tenderness

Reasons for Breast Tenderness

If your breasts are giving you the Dolly Parton look (which isn't so bad for some of us), but they're so sore you can't put a bra on without wincing, and you're late for your period - you might want to take a pregnancy test. Breast tenderness as a result of pregnancy usually doesn't happen until you've missed your period, but if you are pregnant, one of the first signs of conception is sore breasts.

There are a few reasons for breast tenderness that include:

· Changes in progesterone levels during ovulation

· Menstruation

· Pregnancy - a first sign once you've missed a period

· Puberty (probably not applicable here)

· Breast feeding

· Menopause (also not applicable here)

Actually, there are three definite points in a woman's life where breast pain is evident and they are during conception and pregnancy and in menopause. A light amount of breast discomfort can be experienced during menstruation and often one of the ways a woman can tell if she's ovulating or getting close to her period is by breast tenderness.

Although breast tenderness can be caused by a variety of factors, the primary culprits are hormones (are you surprised?) Estrogen and progesterone levels that become unbalanced, as they do in pregnancy and menopause are the basic cause of the tenderness. When estrogen decreases and progesterone increases, the size of the breasts change - read that as increase. While the look is great, the sensation can be less than thrilling.

Breast Changes in Pregnancy

When you are pregnant your breasts change in order to facilitate feeding your baby. There are some basic changes, other than the soreness, that you'll notice.

1. Along with aching and tingling, your nipples will stand at attention most of the time. It looks amazing, but it hurts a lot.

2. The dark area around your nipple is called the areola and you'll notice it becomes darker, bigger, spotted (maybe) and will look like it has goose bumps. The goose bumps are called Montgomery tubercles and they are actually sweat glands that keep your nipples lubricated.

3. Your breasts, along with growing exponentially, will also develop a network of blue veins. These veins function to bring a large blood supply to the breasts which provide nutrients and fluids for baby.

Loving the look is special, but you'll really love the fact that you'll maintain the size and the pain will likely go away by the second trimester. Bonus! And then, when you've finished breastfeeding or if you choose not to breastfeed, then after your baby is born, your breasts will return to almost normal.

Keep The Pain At Bay

Just to be sure that both you and your partner are able to enjoy this miraculous phenomenon, we suggest you communicate the situation and then proceed with caution. Lovemaking and even hugging can be a painful experience so it's important to let him know what hurts and how best to be intimate without excessive discomfort. You'll also want to invest in a good nursing bra. The sooner you wear one, the better off you'll be. Your breasts will become very heavy and if you don't have the proper support, they will pay the price by sagging after you've finished breastfeeding or giving birth. Keep them perky with proper support. If you're working out, be sure to wear a great sports bra - again, you need the support. Also, if you find that sleeping is a challenge, then use a cotton sports bra at night.

Some women go through their entire pregnancy without experiencing a great deal of breast change. The symptoms may be only slight or non-existent. If you don't have breast changes, don't panic. This will in no way affect your ability to have a great pregnancy nor will it affect your ability to breastfeed.

One last thing ... Your breasts may leak colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk and it is loaded with good things for your baby to start life, such as a healthy dose of immunities and protection against jaundice. Sometimes, toward the end of pregnancy, women experience a leakage of this golden fluid. Your nipples may be caked with a film of it. Don't worry - be happy - you're producing good things for your baby. Just get a pad to insert in your bra and carry on.

This and More ...

There are so many changes you will encounter during your pregnancy, and breast changes are part of the package.

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