Breast changes will be seen during pregnancy and occur because of hormonal fluctuations. Changes to the breasts can be noticed as early as 1 week after conceiving and continue until the birth of the baby and after pregnancy too.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Shalini Vijay, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals in Lullanagar, revealed about the trimester-wise changes in the breasts.
1. Breasts changes seen during the first trimester are:
• Tenderness and discomfort – If you are pregnant then you will notice breast tenderness. The pregnant woman’s breast can become sore, heavy, or tingly as early as 1–2 weeks after conception. The nipples will be sensitive or even painful after touching. These changes are noticed due to the fluctuation of hormonal levels in the body and increased blood flow to the breast tissue. Breast discomfort will subside after a few weeks, but can even return in the later stage of pregnancy.
• Enlargement – This is also a common occurrence during pregnancy. This will be mainly seen during the first pregnancy. The breasts will also become itchy due to the rapid growth. Furthermore, the breasts may also continue to increase in size even after giving birth to the baby.
• Blue veins on the breasts – Are seen in cases of some women. These veins are necessary to supply blood and nutrients around the body to the developing foetus.
2. Breast changes during the second trimester are:
• Dark areolas – Are you aware? The areolas mean the colored circles around the nipples. Thus, they can become larger and darker because of hormonal changes. So, changes in the colour of areolas are also a common sign of pregnancy.
• Areola bumps – Small, painless bumps are seen on the areolas of pregnant women. These are oil-producing glands known as Montgomery’s tubercles, and they help to lubricate the breasts along with promoting easier breastfeeding.
• Nipple discharge – A large number of women will also notice nipple discharge during the second trimester while some may notice it in the third trimester. This happens when one’s breasts get stimulated.
• Breast lumps – Lumpy breasts are seen in some women during pregnancy. But, they are not a matter of concern. Though, it is still essential to consult the doctor about it.
3. Breast changes during the third trimester are:
• The breasts can get larger and heavier, the nipples may continue to darken, and the colostrum might leak continuously.
• Rapid tissue growth during pregnancy causes the skin to stretch, which may lead to stretch marks.
• After delivery, one’s breasts produce colostrums that boost the little one’s immune system. Then, the breasts tend to produce milk instead of colostrums for 5 days to 2 weeks after delivering the baby.