Sensitive breasts are one of the earliest signs that you're pregnant – you may even notice the tenderness before you miss your first period. Their change is a natural part of your journey into motherhood. Here’s what to expect.


Sudden changes

Your body is preparing for the arrival of a baby it expects to feed, so the increase in milk-producing cells and blood flow causes your breasts to swell. Whether they get bigger or stay much the same size, soreness is to be expected and varies in severity from woman to woman.

The feelings of tenderness occur in the early weeks and should improve as your pregnancy progresses, but they may return in the later months.

Tender time

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That hormonal duo, oestrogen and progesterone, are working hard to transform your breats into milk-making machines, but the pressure can cause your skin to become stretched, sensitive and, in some cases, itchy.

An oil or cream specially formulated for expectant mamas will soothe irritation, while a well-fitting bra (that isn’t underwired) will ease any aches. Maternity sleep bras can help, but wear natural fabrics that are kinder to the skin, such as cotton.

Nip it in the bud

In addition to the occasional boob ache, your nipples will take on a mind of their own and start protruding more than usual. Suddenly becoming hard or tender is very common and nothing to be embarrassed by.

A gentle massage should get them to soften again, while a cool, damp flannel will offer relief from soreness. If your breasts are extremely painful, see your midwife.

Did you know?

Most women’s breasts grow by an average of two cup sizes during pregnancy.