Breast Changes During Pregnancy

Breast Changes During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the breast undergoes both anatomic and physiologic changes to prepare for lactation. These changes can be expected almost from day one and are due to hormones. These changes include growth of breasts, tissue cells beginning to divide, and increased blood flow to the breasts.

The most common symptoms or changes in breasts during pregnancy can be divided by trimesters and include:

First trimester: Growth and enlargement – Around weeks 6-8, your breasts will get bigger and continue to grow throughout your pregnancy. Expect to go up a bra cup size or two.Tenderness and hypersensitivity. Darkened veins along your breasts (due to the increased blood supply to your breasts).

Second trimester: Darkening of nipples and areolas (the skin around your nipples) due to hormones that affect the pigmentation of the skin. You may also notice little bumps on the areolas. These are small oil-producing glands called Montgomery’s tubercles. Nipple discharge. Breasts may start leaking a yellowish, thick substance known as colostrum. Some women may leak earlier, some never at all.

Third trimester: Nipples stick out more, and the areolas and nipples will grow larger. Further increase in breast size, stretch marks and beginning of milk production.

Breast changes during pregnancy are a natural phenomenon to prepare the mother for the arrival of the baby. To ease the pain and discomfort during pregnancy, consider using a supportive bra that can help you feel more comfortable as your breasts grow.

Your breasts are growing in size, are tender, and sometimes may even be lumpy, but it is still important for you to examine your breasts during pregnancy every 4-5 weeks to detect abnormal lumps, which can still occur during pregnancy.

The images in this library are available to use for educational and training purposes only and are not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

All images are covered under copyright and cannot be used for resale or any other commercial use.