Ouch! My Breasts!
An early sign of pregnancy, during the first trimester, are swollen or sore breasts. This can begin as early as a week after conception, often before a woman ever misses her period. The breasts might become larger, tender, and ache when they are touched. But what causes this tenderness?
A woman’s breasts are made up of fat, tissue, blood, and milk glands and their sole purpose is for breastfeeding. It is just a coincidence that the men seem to like women’s breasts as much as the babies do.
When a woman gets pregnant her breasts immediately start preparing to feed that baby nine months down the road. Extra blood begins to run through them and the milk glands grow, causing the swelling and pain that a woman might feel. A woman’s breasts will continue to grow throughout pregnancy, although the tenderness should fade after the first trimester. It is normal for a woman’s breasts to be 2-3 cup sizes bigger by the time her baby comes and she begins nursing.
Swollen and sore breasts do not necessarily mean that a woman is pregnant. Many women experience some swelling and tenderness in their breasts every month right before their period comes, or even at ovulation. Sore breasts can also be caused by a hormonal imbalance or starting, stopping, or changing birth control pills midway through a cycle. When in doubt, be sure to call your doctor.
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