What's Happening To My Chest?

One of the most common side affects and most talked about sign of pregnancy is soreness and tenderness in your bosoms. Most people don't know that starting from day one of conception, your chest will start to prepare for breastfeeding,  thus creating lots of changes. Those changes are responsible for the new uncomfortably. So what is really going on in there during and after pregnancy and what are some tips to cope?

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15 Breathe

First of all, its important to realize that although there are plenty of things that trigger a red flag, there isn't really a set list of things that "should" happen. Well for the most part. Some things are more common than others so don't feel bad if you don't have everything going on that you read about. New things are discovered every day that are considered normal and abnormal. Learn to love your body for what its doing (its incredible) and definitely learn to listen to your body, trust me that part gets more and more important throughout your pregnancy.

14 First Trimester

In your first trimester, your body starts to create extra fatty tissue in your breasts which creates and circulates more blood flow. This is what will cause increased tenderness that might sometimes be painful. The reason is to help the milk ducts and mammary glands grow for milk production. Every woman is different. But commonly, you may notice more veins in your breasts as well as the slow darkening of your nipples and areola.

13 Enlargement

Weather or not your looking forward to it, your boobs are going to get bigger. Rather quickly at that. As the fat builds up and your milk glands increase in size, so will you. Its not uncommon for women to gain a whole cup size in just the first six weeks of pregnancy. An average of two pounds is gained in just your breasts after the nine month period. Read on for further details.

12 New Hardware

Get a few new bras to make your changing breasts more comfortable. Nursing bras and sports bras are a great help for most people. Also, watch your diet a little. The more salt in your diet, the more likely you are to swell and be dehydrated. Lastly, we don't discourage exercise however you may want to avoid running, doing the stairs, jumping, or anything that causes your boobs to bounce as it can result in more tenderness.

11 Don't Go All Out

Remember there will be a lot of changes going on in your breasts. These changes will probably happen several times and its important that you stay comfortable. Having said that, get yourself a few bras that fit but don't spend too much because odds are you'll be having more than one shopping trip, for bras specifically, throughout your journey. Bras aren't cheap, make sure that your keeping a close eye on your budget. Its helpful to just buy a couple at a time and go from there. If money was never an issue before, it may become one with the little one coming.

10 Second to Third Trimester 

You might start to get more attention from your spouse as your breasts double or triple in bra sizes. Some women just one size and in rare cases you may not get big enough for the upgrade. It's all normal. A lot of people have questions about the do's and don'ts when it comes to being intimate during pregnancy. Truth is, the bigger you get the more you will have to experiment with positions that are comfortable for you. But unless instructed otherwise from your healthcare provider, sex is completely safe and will not harm the baby. Some macho men worry that they will hit the baby, they wont. Enjoy the attention and use it to stay intimate with your partner - even during pregnancy.

9 The Pain Wont Last Forever

Once you start getting to the halfway mark of your pregnancy, your breasts will get better. They become less tender and if you're lucky the tenderness will completely go away. If you haven't got any new bras yet, now would be a good time to start budgeting for a few. It will make a world of difference. Even though you may not have milk pouring out, your breasts are probably already beginning to produce milk.

8 Inverted?

If your nipples are inverted and your worried you wont be able to breast feed, have no fear. Be patient with your body. Most nipples that are inverted will fix themselves by the time  that you deliver. Although in rare cases you may remain inverted. Its ok though you can still breastfeed with correct positioning and lots of practice. About one third of first time mothers will deal with inversion to some extent. However, after all the changing that breasts go through only about ten percent of women will still have an inversion when the baby arrives.

7 Holy cow

As the blood flow and fatty tissue continues to increase, your boobs will continue to look fuller and most likely continue to grow. The growing obviously stretches the skin and you may notice your boobs develop stretch marks and or become itchy. But then again, you might be noticing a lot of that going on elsewhere due to all the changes in the rest of your body too. Your boobs aren't the only thing getting bigger! Another thing you may notice is your montgomery glands - the bumps on your areola - increase in size. A soothing tip: keep your growing body moisturized.

6 Crunch Time 

The closer you get to your due date, the more you might start to notice some leakage. This is completely normal and is called colostrum. Colostrum comes before the milk and is full of nutrients and vitamins to boost your little ones immune system in the first few days of life. Some people don't have any leakage during their whole pregnancy but don't worry, that's perfectly normal too. Odds are you will still be able to breastfeed if you plan to do so.

5 The Baby is Here

Your body releases the hormone prolactin as soon as the baby and placenta arrive. The hormone sends your boobs a message, "its milk time girls!" Your milk then starts to drop. If you plan on nursing, start trying right away because the stimulation of the baby sucking will increase your milk supply.

4 No Milk

Keep in mind that in most cases it will take a few days after you give birth for your milk to come. If you plan on nursing and don't have milk right away - don't lose hope. Your body may take a little more time to start producing milk. However, sometimes your body can't or won't produce milk. Don't be discouraged, it's often times a hormonal issue. The important thing is that your little one gets fed, one way or another.

3 Guess Who's Back?

After those first few days, your milk arrives. At this point, your breasts will enter yet another growth spurt. They will likely become engorged, swollen, lumpy, and yes achy. You may want to consider getting bigger bras at this point to make sure your keeping yourself comfortable and your not suffocating the milk ducts. If your breasts are squished it may start to lower your milk supply.

2 Make it Stop

If your plan on breast feeding, an easy way to ease the pain is to nurse several times a day to keep the pressure minimal and increase your milk supply.  Other things you can do are pumping and saving your milk or taking a hot shower and letting the milk run out.

If you don't plan on breastfeeding you might have to bite the bullet and deal with the pain until your milk supply decreases. Wearing a tight sport bra continuously for a day or two after giving birth will help to send the message to your breasts to stop producing milk. Applying a cold pack or frozen veggies can also relieve some pain. Some people say that putting cabbage leafs in your bra helps.

1 Getting Back to Normal

When you're done nursing your body will eventually absorb any left over milk. Your nipples will most likely return to their original size and color. If they are bigger or smaller, odds are it's the consequence of your post pregnancy weight.  Unfortunately, the growth from milk may leave your bosoms a little saggy due to the extra skin. Also, don't be surprised if they are left with stretch marks too but don't worry about it too much though, boobs come and go but babies are forever!



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