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Sore breasts during pregnancy: Tips to deal with the pain

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When women get pregnant, their body goes through several changes. One of the things that expecting moms often complain of is sore breasts. It’s something that women can face in the early stages of pregnancy. Some even experience sore breasts throughout their pregnancy. Breasts can get so tender that even touching them might worsen the pain. Don’t worry, you can get relief from the pain. You just have to follow simple tips and then you can say goodbye to tender breasts during pregnancy.

HealthShots connected with Dr Manpreet Sodhi, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paras Health, Gurugram, to explain why women get sore breasts during pregnancy and what they can do to ease the pain.

sore breast during pregnancy
Women often have sore breasts during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Reasons why women have sore breasts during pregnancy

As a woman’s body prepares for breastfeeding, her breasts go through many changes. One of the most common pregnancy problems is sore or tender breasts. Sore breasts during pregnancy are mostly caused by hormonal changes in the body, particularly an increase in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, says Dr Sodhi. These are the hormones that cause the milk ducts and glands in the breast to get bigger, which can lead to swelling and tenderness. This tenderness can be mild or severe.

The increased blood flow to the breasts during pregnancy can also cause some discomfort or soreness. As the breasts grow and expand during pregnancy, the skin and supporting tissues can become stretched. This, in turn, can contribute to discomfort or soreness.

Sore breasts don’t last for long

You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to deal with sore or tender breasts for long. It can start as early as a few days after conception and can last throughout the first trimester and even into the second trimester for some women. This is because the hormonal changes that cause breast tenderness are most intense during the first few weeks of pregnancy, says the expert. However, every woman’s experience with pregnancy is different. In fact, some women may not experience breast tenderness at all! Some women may find that their breast tenderness improves after a few weeks, while others may continue to experience it throughout their entire pregnancy.

sore breast during pregnancy
You should wear a supportive bra when you have sore breasts. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Ways to deal with sore breasts during pregnancy

There are many ways that women can manage sore breasts during pregnancy. Here are five strategies that may be helpful –

1. Wear a supportive bra

A well-fitted, supportive bra can help reduce breast movement and alleviate some of the discomfort that is associated with sore breasts during pregnancy. Look for a bra that is made of soft and breathable fabric. It is also not the time to wear underwire bras. They may be too restrictive or uncomfortable.

2. Apply warm or cold compresses

Applying a warm compress like a warm towel or heating pad to the breasts can help reduce soreness and inflammation, says the expert. Cold compresses like ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel can also be effective in reducing breast pain.

3. Take pain relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help to deal with breast soreness during pregnancy. But don’t just buy any pain reliever from a shop. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any medications during pregnancy to make sure that they are safe for you and your baby.

4. Practice good posture

If you have poor posture, it can lead to breast pain and discomfort during pregnancy. Make sure to stand up straight and avoid slouching, especially while sitting or standing for long time.

5. Massage breasts

Be gentle while massaging your breasts with your hands, as it can help increase circulation and alleviate soreness. Try using a warm and wet washcloth or gentle massage oil to make the massage more comfortable.

Breast tenderness is just one of the many possible symptoms of pregnancy and not every woman will experience it. If you have concerns about your symptoms or are experiencing unusual or severe breast pain, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor.

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