Having painful or sore breasts is a common pregnancy symptom during early pregnancy. If you’re suspecting a pregnancy, the best way to confirm is to take a pregnancy test. Otherwise, the pain can occur due to PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).
If you see the 2 lines on the pregnancy test, Congratulations! Your suspicions were right! However, the sore feeling is going to last for some time, but you shouldn’t worry as the body is yet to go through many physical and hormonal changes.
You can have sore breasts for many other reasons, not just pregnancy. They can occur during the menstrual phase of your cycle or other medical conditions. You shouldn’t be disappointed, though, there are some features that distinguish pregnancy sore breasts from others. The article will focus on the concern.
What Breast Pain Feels like During Pregnancy?
Breast pain can occur in different types, it can be in one breast or in a specific spot. The pain can also be throughout the area extending towards the armpits. Everybody is unique, and hence the reaction is unique. The pain you experience can be constant, or it may come and go.
During early pregnancy, your breasts can be achy in the initial weeks, and you can often mistake it for premenstrual syndrome. Your breasts would seem fuller, swollen, and heavy. As they get pretty sensitive to touch, you might find it a bit difficult to carry out your daily activities such as exercising, some heavy work, or sexual activity. The pain can also keep you up at night in case you’re a stomach sleeper.
Since your breasts are sensitive and tender to the touch, the nipples can also be super sensitive. You would find it difficult to dry them off after a shower and change into a bra, but don’t worry; the extreme sensitivity fades away after a few weeks.
As the first trimester advances, rather than being tender, you will notice that your breasts become heavier and fuller. A tingling sensation may be felt in the areola and nipples in the first trimester.
Although less common, sharp pain can also be felt in the breast, which can feel like stabbing pain. It is a possibility but not commonly observed among pregnant women.
Why does the Pain Occur During Early Pregnancy?
Of the many early symptoms of pregnancy, breast pain is one of them. These can be seen as early as 1-2 weeks after you conceive or usually after 3-4 weeks. The symptoms where you experience having sore breasts generally occur in the first trimester of pregnancy as that is the peak time when most physical and hormonal changes occur in your body. These hormones carry out their functions in order to prepare your body to make room for the little human and help it develop and nurture.
In all the act, the breasts prepare themselves to produce breast milk for your baby. With the change of hormones, more blood is supplied to the breast area resulting in the breasts becoming larger. The growth process can be painful and can also result in itching and skin irritation. Pregnancy is the time when breast changes occur the most as the hormones prepare your breasts, the milk-producing glands, for the baby to feed on.
It’s not just pain that occurs in your breast as a change during pregnancy. Many other changes take place, and you can notice those symptoms. As previously mentioned, more blood is supplied to the breast region for its growth, and you can see the bluish veins in your breasts pumping blood to it. You can also see that there is a change in the size and shape of your breasts/nipples.
As the second trimester begins, you may notice that your areolar regions have become darker in shade, and just so you know, they will continue being darker throughout the last two trimesters.
Other things that you would notice and be suspicious of would be the appearance of tiny bumps on your areolas. These may seem alarming, but don’t worry, as they’re completely normal. These oil-secreting glands are also called as Montgomery’s tubercles which function in lubricating the breasts during breastfeeding in order to make the feeding comfortable for both the mother and the child.
During the second two trimesters, you can also observe slight leaking, which is usually yellowish in color. You might get worried about various reasons, but let us tell you, this is good. The yellowish fluid, called colostrum, is good for your baby to consume as it is an immune-boosting fluid. This is usually fed before the milk comes in after the baby’s delivery. The fluid is commonly called liquid gold as it is nutritious and beneficial for your baby.
Another discharge that you can observe from your nipples can be in different colors, such as creamy white, brown, yellow, or green, but it’s okay. These discharges are not something you should be worried about. There is a possibility that you might even observe bloody discharge, but this can be due to both growing milk ducts or blocked ducts. Hence if you observe this sort of discharge, it’s best to consult your doctor once.
The discharge can occur in very small amounts but at the wrong time, which can be embarrassing. To avoid such situations, you can always insert breast pads in your bra, which would absorb any leakage produced.
As your pregnancy comes to an end, in the last weeks, your breasts would look larger and heavier than you had in the initial weeks. The nipple discharge may increase and become frequent, stretch marks would appear on your breasts, and finally, it would be the time you hold your little one.
Breast Pain as an Early Pregnancy Symptom:
We have discussed before that breast pain can be an early sign of pregnancy. it is not definitive, and you shouldn’t depend on it as a test, but if you observe it in combination with other signs of pregnancy, there is a higher chance that you are pregnant.
If you experience breast pain while trying to get pregnant, you can take a pregnancy test to confirm your suspicions. There is a higher chance of the test coming out positive if you have missed your period.
Breast pain can also occur before your periods and are usually a part of PMS, these occur due to the change in hormones during your menstrual cycle, do take a test if you’ve missed your period.
When to be Concerned?
Breast pain can occur not only during PMS or as a sign of early pregnancy but also due to many other reasons. These can be due to other medical conditions which can prove to be harmful. If you’ve just had your period and your tests came out negative but you still experience breast pain, you should consult your doctor to diagnose the reason.
If you sense lumps in your breasts, these can possibly be benign tumors, do seek medical attention in such cases. If you observe anything unusual, make sure you contact your doctor and let them know, as breast cancer is always possible. According to studies, every 1 in 1000 women suffers from breast cancer.
If you experience unusual breast pain, speak to your doctor, let them know of your condition, and they would be able to give you the best advice. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor for prenatal care for the best for you and your child.
As you can suffer from painful breasts during your pregnancy, wear breathable clothes and comfortable bras with breast pads inserted. It would help ease the pain and keep you comfortable. In case of any suspicions, immediately consult the doctor.