Having sore boobs is – figuratively and literally – pain. For women hoping to get pregnant, this might be a sign. Missing a period is often a cue to take a test. Many moms-to-be begin suspecting pregnancy upon experiencing breast tenderness and pain, which can be as early as a week or two after conceiving.
What Kind of Pain Do You Feel During the First Trimester?
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Some women do not feel breast pain soon after conceiving – and that is not to say there is a problem. As for most, the variety of ways pain comes is perplexing. It could be on one or both breasts, persistent or comes and goes. The soreness and tenderness can be on the entire breast or limited to a specific part. You may even feel the pain shooting towards your armpit.
Your breasts may feel swollen, weighty, and sensitive to the touch during the early weeks of pregnancy. The pain tends to be dull and achy. It is almost a certainty that physical activities can be uncomfortable or painful. Even sleep can be disrupted if you lie on your stomach. You do have to let your partner or husband know, so he could avoid touching your boobs during intimate moments. Be glad, though, that it’s not a sharp breast pain that you feel as if someone is stabbing your boobs with a knife. No kidding. That can happen, but it is incredibly rare.
Your nipples are also likely to be super sensitive and tender. A slight touch can be painful – even if it is drying off after taking a shower or putting on a bra. If it’s not the pain, then it is also quite possible that you feel a tingling sensation in the nipples and areolas. You’d just have to endure it for a few more weeks until it’s gone.
So, what can you do to lessen the misery?
Wearing a nice sports bra should help alleviate some of the woes. Or you could go braless.
What Is It that Causes Your Breast to Hurt During Early Pregnancy?
As mentioned, you are likely to feel your breast swelling and tender 1 to 2 weeks after conception. During this time, your body has started preparing for childbirth and subsequent care months down the road.
Blame hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. As their level goes up, it triggers several physiological changes. For example, they help prepare a lining for implanting the fetus and protecting it from coming loose within the womb.
Your breasts swell due to increased blood flow, fat buildup, and enlarging milk ducts in preparation for lactation. By the way, the swelling stretches the areas around your breast, making your nipples more protruded. Your areolas grow darker and larger in size, and “tiny bumps” become more noticeable. These are sweat glands called Montgomery tubercles that provide lubrication during breastfeeding. Some of the veins also become noticeable. This vast complex of blue veins is necessary as that is where the essential fluids and nutrients for your baby is transported.
Swollen boobs look great for cleavage. But looks aside, the physical changes in preparation for breastfeeding are why you feel sore and tender.
Some moms-to-be report that consuming certain foods such as soy products and estrogen can exacerbate the soreness. Others feel worst while having sex or after an orgasm. In the same manner that the symptoms vary from woman to woman, the same can also be said of things that worsen breast pain.
How to Relieve Pregnancy Breast Pain?
Although you may not entirely mitigate the pain, you sure can lessen the soreness and tenderness, especially during the first trimester. Throughout your pregnancy, your boobs are continually changing in size and shape. This process comes to an end once you begin producing your baby’s first meal – colostrum.
The breast pain subsides significantly during the second trimester but could return in the last trimester. Again, let your partner or husband know so that he could exercise restraint, avoid touching you where it hurts. Explain how your boobs and nipples hurt even with the slightest touch, such as hugging.
Other things you can do includes:
Most especially if you are a stomach sleeper, the pain can be unbearable, making sleep impossible. You really do not have much choice but to lie on your back. Forget underwire bras because they can actually be more uncomfortable to wear. Instead, wear a maternity or sports bra, which allows your breasts to breathe. For the perfect fitting, visit a store that has a specialist who can guide you.
Be prepared to re-visit the store to buy more bras. Remember, throughout the pregnancy, the size and shape of your boobs changes. By the time you give birth, you may be wearing bras that are two cups more massive than before you got pregnant.
Try natural home remedies:
Seeing how a new life is forming in the womb, it is only natural to look for safe methods of alleviating breast pain. One of the best ways to do that is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins from the body, and hormones responsible for the soreness and tenderness. While at it, you could try adding lemon or garlic, any of which can help reduce discomfort.
When you ask around, some mothers may already have told you about the benefits of flaxseeds. Mix a tablespoon of flaxseeds – finely grounded – with water, yogurt, or fruit juice should reduce some of the pain.
Sodium is also something you can think about. Reducing its intake can help mitigate breast and nipple soreness. You have to be careful and avoid excessive reduction as it is also needed by your body. Keep in mind, your body needs sodium to make blood. Generally, you need to have adequate vitamins and minerals in your body – much more so during this time – as your body prepares to bring a new life to the world.
For quick relief, you can also try over-the-counter medicines:
Sometimes, the pain is unbearable. You may want to look into acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Some of the most popular non-prescription drugs are ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen.
Breast Pain and How You Deal with It
For many, being a mom is the pinnacle of womanhood. But for that to happen, you will have to carry pretty much all the burden. Hopefully, you have the full support of your partner or spouse. As if carrying a child in the womb is not enough, you also have to deal with breast pain. If you are one of the few women who do not have to go through a great deal of discomfort, then consider yourself blessed.
Soreness of the breast and nipples can, for some, be a debilitating experience. Even the mild spray of water in the shower, for example, can hurt – as drying is, too. Yes, you need to persevere. But that does not mean you do not have to seek relief. From drinking plenty of water to wearing maternity bras and clothes, you can also opt for medication.
Whichever means you try to alleviate the soreness and tenderness of your breasts and nipples, remember to consult with your OB. You want to stay on the safe side.