During pregnancy, the female breast changes dramatically. The purpose of the changes is to prepare the breast for lactation. Often, changes in the breast are the first and most obvious signs of pregnancy, which appear several days before the delay, and even more so before the second test strip appears. Changes in the breast should not scare a woman, as they are physiological.
The breast undergoes the greatest changes at the beginning and at the end of pregnancy. Almost all pregnant women have breast enlargement from the first weeks. How much the breast enlarges depends on the percentage of glandular and adipose tissue. On average, the breast increases by 600-700 g. Each gland contains from 15 to 20 lobules. Under the influence of hormones, the ducts begin to expand, and the cells responsible for lactation begin to increase in volume. Sometimes the vessels that feed the gland become more noticeable - after all, in a short period of time, the breast increases by almost 2 sizes, which requires increased blood supply.
Due to their rapid growth, women often experience a feeling of bloating, heat, itching, and even pain. It was at the beginning of pregnancy that there was a risk of getting stretch marks in the chest area. It is required to choose comfortable underwear for pregnant women and use a special cream for breast care.
The sensitivity of the breast itself and the nipple increases sharply, up to unbearable pain when the ambient temperature drops. To avoid this, you can use a cotton pad, put it in your bra. The soft disc will protect the nipple from friction, the sensations will become less painful.
The color and size of the halo can also change. Most often, the halo becomes darker and increases in diameter. In some women, this change disappears without a trace after childbirth, while in others the halo remains quite large and dark.
Towards the middle of pregnancy, colostrum begins to form in the breast, it is the colostrum that the baby feeds on in the first few days. It has a yellowish tint, thick consistency and milky smell. If you decide to taste it, then it will look like condensed milk, as it is quite sweet. Colostrum is not secreted by everyone, it all depends on how much the ducts can hold it and how actively it is produced. But by pressing on the nipple, you can almost always see drops of colostrum. If it is secreted too actively, special pads for the bra should be used, they are also used during lactation so that milk droplets do not stain clothes.
Special underwear for pregnant women should be purchased. It is soft and elastic, while providing reliable support to prevent sagging breasts. Even after feeding several babies, you can maintain a decent breast shape using special underwear. In some women with large breasts, asymmetry is observed, which becomes even more pronounced after feeding. More frequent applications to the smaller gland smooth out the difference. Sleeping during pregnancy and nursing is also recommended in underwear, for example, sports bras that have a top or tank cut.
A daily shower or wiping on the breast is enough to keep it clean, and cold water hardening has no practical sense and in no way prevents nipple cracks, but it can bring discomfort and provoke mastitis. Special nipple creams are much more effective in preventing cracking, as they contain panthenol and other moisturizing ingredients.