|

Breast Problems in Pregnancy

Breast tenderness

For many women, breast tenderness and an increase in the size of their breasts are the first signs of pregnancy. Sometimes breasts are so painful that you can't bear them to be touched, and they may also throb and feel hot. Breast tenderness usually subsides by the end of the first trimester.

Causes

Tenderness is a sign that the breasts are preparing for their role of feeding your baby after the birth: the milk ducts are starting to enlarge and blood flow increases.

What to do

Wearing a properly fitting bra will help support your breasts and reduce discomfort. An ill-fitting or tight bra will be uncomfortable and may put pressure on the milk ducts. You may also find it helpful to wear a soft sleep bra at night. If your breasts feel hot, applying a cool washcloth to them may bring relief.

If you have a painful or red patch on a breast, you should report this to your doctor because it could be a sign of mastitis.

Nipple problems

Each woman has breasts and nipples individual to her. Women who have flat nipples that do not protrude or whose nipples are inverted (concave) may worry that they may not be able to breast-feed. However, all healthy women can breast-feed because babies feed by taking in a mouthful of breast, not just the nipple.

Causes

Inverted or flat nipples are thought to be due to shorter ligaments in the underlying breast tissue that pull the nipples inward.

What to do

If you have any concerns about the suitability of your nipples for breast-feeding, talk to your doctor who can refer you to a lactation consultant. There are also products available that will draw out nipples in preparation for breast-feeding. However, these are by no means essential because when babies latch on to the breast they are able to draw out even a flat or inverted nipple (although you may eventually need help by a lactation consultant to show you the best way to help your baby do this).

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

stay connected

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.

© 2000-2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.