Tender Breasts

Tender or sore breasts are a common symptom of pregnancy.  The changes in the breasts have been described as tender, sore, tingly, heavier, or fuller.  Collectively, the changes in your breasts create a generalized discomfort.

What causes tender breasts during pregnancy?

Breast tenderness, soreness or tingling is caused by changes in the breast which are triggered by your pregnancy related hormones.  The mammary ducts and alveolar system are responding to these hormones and changing to prepare for nursing your baby.

When do tender breasts occur during pregnancy?

Some women report breast tenderness even before they have missed their period.  Most breast tenderness begins around the 4th to 6th week.  Additionally, the areola usually begins to enlarge around the 6th to 8th week of pregnancy.  There is a significant increase of blood flow into your breasts and the enlarging mammary glands which may begin in the first trimester.

The changes in your breasts will probably become more noticeable in the second trimester.  By the end of your pregnancy, your breasts will account for 1 to 3 pounds of your weight gain.  The majority of that being attributed to the enlarged milk producing glands and increased blood circulation, much of this is experienced throughout your pregnancy.

How frequently do tender breasts occur?

Every woman will experience breast changes during the first pregnancy.  Most women report at least some level of tenderness, so it is safe for you to expect to notice something.  It is possible that subsequent pregnancies may be less noticeable.

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