Now that you are pregnant, you may have noticed that your breasts are feeling a little tender to the touch. It may hurt for you to walk up the stairs, jump around at the gym, or even sleep on your stomach. While this breast tenderness is annoying, and sometimes quite painful, it is a normal part of pregnancy.
What is Breast Tenderness During Pregnancy?
Breast tenderness during pregnancy is a very common thing. In fact, it is often one of the very first signs that you are pregnant. Breast tenderness simply refers to the soreness, swelling, and sensitivity that you feel in your breasts during pregnancy. Typically, this tenderness begins between the fourth and sixth week of pregnancy, and continues through the first trimester. Most women will find that their breast tenderness disappears in the second and third trimesters, although you may notice that your breasts do feel sore from time to time throughout your pregnancy.
What Causes Breast Tenderness During Pregnancy?
Breast tenderness and sensitivity occurs during pregnancy as a result of all the changes that your body is going through. Your breasts must prepare to feed your baby, and therefore they need to grow and develop, which often causes swelling and soreness. Specifically, breast tenderness is caused by the increase in hormone levels that happens during pregnancy. To prepare for baby, your body increases its levels of estrogen and progesterone. This increase in hormones causes blood to rush to your breasts, making them sensitive to the touch.
You breast tissue will also begin to change. Milk ducts and milk-producing cells will begin to form, causing your breasts to grow and change shape. More layers of fat beneath will begin to develop under your breasts, which will likely cause your breasts to increase in size. All of these factors contribute to the tenderness, soreness, and swelling that you are experiencing.