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Pregnancy Symptoms Breasts

Pregnancy Symptoms: Breasts

Pregnancy is a time of significant physical and hormonal changes, and the breasts are no exception. Many women experience breast changes early in pregnancy, even before they realize they are pregnant. These changes are caused by the increased levels of hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, that are produced during pregnancy.

Early Breast Changes

  • Tenderness and swelling: One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is breast tenderness and swelling. This is caused by the increased blood flow to the breasts and the growth of milk ducts and glands.
  • Veins: The veins in the breasts may become more visible during pregnancy. This is due to the increased blood flow to the breasts.
  • Montgomery’s tubercles: These are small, raised bumps around the areola (the dark area around the nipple). They become more prominent during pregnancy and produce a lubricant that helps to protect the nipples.
  • Colostrum: Colostrum is a thick, yellowish fluid that is produced by the breasts during pregnancy. It is the precursor to breast milk and can be expressed from the breasts in the later stages of pregnancy.

Later Breast Changes

  • Increased size: The breasts will continue to grow throughout pregnancy, reaching their maximum size in the third trimester.
  • Nipple changes: The nipples will become darker and larger during pregnancy. They may also become more sensitive.
  • Stretch marks: Stretch marks may develop on the breasts during pregnancy due to the rapid growth of the breasts.
  • Breast milk production: Breast milk production begins in the third trimester of pregnancy. The breasts will produce colostrum until after birth, when the milk will change to a more mature form.

Breast Pain During Pregnancy

Breast pain is a common symptom of pregnancy. It can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. The pain is usually caused by the increased blood flow to the breasts and the growth of milk ducts and glands.

There are a few things that can be done to relieve breast pain during pregnancy:

  • Wear a supportive bra.
  • Apply cold compresses to the breasts.
  • Take warm baths or showers.
  • Massage the breasts gently.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Other Breast Concerns During Pregnancy

In addition to breast pain, there are a few other breast concerns that women may experience during pregnancy:

  • Mastitis: Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue. It is usually caused by bacteria that enter the breast through the nipple. Symptoms of mastitis include breast pain, swelling, redness, and fever.
  • Breast abscess: A breast abscess is a collection of pus that forms in the breast tissue. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms of a breast abscess include breast pain, swelling, redness, and fever.
  • Paget’s disease of the breast: Paget’s disease of the breast is a rare type of breast cancer that starts in the nipple. Symptoms of Paget’s disease of the breast include a crusty or scaly nipple, itching, and burning.

When to See a Doctor

It is important to see a doctor if you experience any of the following breast concerns during pregnancy:

  • Severe breast pain
  • Breast swelling that is accompanied by redness or fever
  • Nipple discharge that is bloody or purulent
  • A lump in the breast
  • Changes in the nipple, such as a crusty or scaly appearance

These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as mastitis, a breast abscess, or breast cancer.


Breast changes are a normal part of pregnancy. However, it is important to be aware of the different breast concerns that can occur during pregnancy and to see a doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms.

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