Breast Pain during Pregnancy- Causes and Remedies

There are many causes of breast pain but when it comes to pregnancy, the case is different. Your body undergoes through a lot of changes when you are going to give birth to a life. These changes begin from the First Trimester of Pregnancy and continue to happen till the Third Trimester. The changes that are readily visible are the ones that occur in the structure of your body. It is not just your tummy that expands to accommodate your child, even your breast start to grow right from the fourth week. These changes include changes in the shape, colour and size of breast. Just like your breast become tender and painful before periods or at times you feel the breast pain during periods, similarly, you may begin to feel the tenderness throughout your pregnancy in your breast.

Causes of Breast Pain during Pregnancy:

1. Estrogen and Progesterone:

These two hormones are at the peak of their action during pregnancy. They are the hormones that are necessary to prepare the uterus for menstruation. When an egg is released, it migrates down the Fallopian tube. At this time, progesterone is released. It prepares the body for pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, the inner linings of the uterus are shed off during menstrual cycles. If a woman is pregnant, estrogen hormone is triggered. These two hormones are responsible for the increased size of your breast. They also cause tenderness as ell as pain in your breast.

2. Fat deposit:

One more reason for tenderness in your breast is the deposition of fat. These are healthy fat that are needed to prepare your breast for feeding. They begin to develop the colostrum which your baby will feed on after delivery.  The tender breast feel very painful.

Symptoms of Breast Pain during Pregnancy:

1. Your Nipples:

Acing and Tingling sensation in the breast region are common during pregnancy. You will notice that your nipples have enlarged and are protruding more than normal. They also feel agonizingly tender. They feel so sensitive that a slight stroke of your own hand may make you very reactive.

2. Areolas:

The dark region around your nipples is known as areola. This region becomes darker and now you can see it covering wider area of your breast. The region also appears spotted. This shall gradually increase as the pregnancy progresses.

3. Network of Veins:

The breast will display a network of veins which appear blue in colour. They carry nutrients from mother to child. The veins act as carriage for fluids as well.

The aches in your breast shall stop within a few months or to be precise, by the time you reach the third trimester. Your breast will assume its usual size a few months after your child is born.

Remedies for Breast Pain during Pregnancy:

There are many ways for breast pain relief. Most are change in habits or using home remedies.

1. Wear the right Bra:

After pregnancy, it is important that you wear comfortable bra. Do not try to fit your even growing breast in that tiny little padded bra or wired bras that can cause your breast to hurt. Let your breast breath. Wear what is comfortable for them.

2. Ask your Partner to be careful:

Your intimate moments need to be less harsh on your breast. You can discuss this with your partner and ensure that you avoid a tight hug or any kind of physical contact that can be harsh on your breast.

3. Nursing Bras:

Wear nursing bras especially designed for pre and post maternity duration. You will not have sagging breast later. Prefer cotton sports bra for a firm fit.

4. Warm water Massage:

Massage your nipples with warm water. The region shall relax and your soreness will decrease.

5. Cold Rub:

You can freeze a few vegetables in a zip lock bag. Then place them on your painful breast. This makes your breast feel relaxed. You could place an ice pack too.

6. Rub your nipples:

Get your fingers to do the job here. Rub your nipples. Just stand under the hot water shower and lightly rub your nipples. Massage outward in circular motion. Your nerves will relax easing out the pain.

7. Castor Oil:

Castor Oil is a tested formula for the breast. Dip a clean cloth in castor oil and place it on the sore breast. Cover it with another layer of cloth and now place a heating pad on it. Leave your breast under this heated pad for about half an hour. You could do this everyday for about a week and notice visible relief in the pain.

8. Soy- Rich Foods:

Soy rich food consumption eases of breast pain and soreness. Soy is an extremely healthy food that also reduces the risk of breast cancer. It is rich in vitamins, proteins, calcium and other such nutrients. It is low in carbohydrates. Soy is found in food items like tofu. There are also soy based milk.

9. Reduce Salt intake:

Salt intake must be reduced if you have an aching breast. Salt causes bloating and it must hence be avoided for breast pain. As much as you may tempted, you must strictly avoid salty food.

10. Avoid Soap:

Just rinse your breast and nipples with warm water. Do not rub soap on it. Using soap can make the nipples dry. Instead, you can rub the milk your child feeds on, on the nipples. It serves two purposes, one, it keeps your nipples moisturized and two it can help your child locate your nipples faster due to the scent of your milk.

11. Massage with Natural Oils:

You can use vitamin E oil, avocado oil, Castor oil to massage your breast and nipples. They moisturize your breast and keep them from hurting due to lack of moisture.

12. Wear loose fitting bras:

The role of the bra you wear is crucial when you are preparing your breast for your child to feed on. Wear loose fitted bras That will help you to breathe comfortably and prevent clogging and hurting breasts.

The remedies are sufficient for you to ease off your hurting breasts. Try what suits you best and stick to it. Pregnancy may be a difficult phase but its time you embrace the changes with a wide smile.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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