Pregnancy will have your body, including hormones, going through some significant changes. The changes typically start early in the pregnancy, with your breasts likely being one of the first areas you notice the shift.
One of the reasons there is a noticeable change in the breasts is that your body's preparing to make the milk supply you'll use to feed your baby. Tenderness, soreness, and sensitivity of the breasts are something many women experience throughout their entire pregnancy. Other women might only experience tender and sore breasts at the beginning of pregnancy or right before labor and birth.
Aside from the physical sensations to the breast area, a few other changes take place.
Montgomery Tubercles: These painless, tiny bumps will develop on the areolas to help protect and lubricate the area. This is entirely normal; in fact, research tells us that newborns sometimes recognize the smell of the secretions of the tubercles. The recognition is said to help them locate the nipple and latch successfully only hours and days after they're born.
Larger & Prominent Veins: The significantly increased blood volume throughout the entire body causes the veins in your breasts to become more prominent and more visible underneath the skin. The high blood volume is normal and necessary for supporting you and the increasing needs of your growing little one.
Nipple Changes: A bit later on in the prenatal journey, you will notice your nipples starting to change. They might get more extensive and more prominent. Some women's nipples may even change shape. These changes are to prepare for nursing and feeding your baby.
Changes in Areolas: Our areolas are made up of sensitive skin. Over the course of pregnancy or during the second or third trimester, you might notice the areolas getting darker. Pregnancy hormones can cause the skin to produce more pigment, which explains why your areolas might seem a few shades darker.
Skin Changes: Stretch marks, skin sensitivity, and itchiness affecting your breasts might become common they grow larger. The skin's elasticity is getting stretched and most likely extended beyond the usual max. These changes are typical signs that your breasts are growing and expanding.
A lot of what your body is experiencing is natural. Our body automatically knows what's happening, and the preparations start long before we even know we're carrying a child! Sure, there could be differences and complications, but many changes are expected. Our breasts don't know if we're going to choose to breastfeed or pump. Either way, they're going through a phase to allow space for the creation of nutritional resources for your newborn.
Your body is going to change in numerous ways and on various levels. If you're experiencing anything concerning, please, reach out to your doctor or OBGYN and talk to them about it. It's always better to be safe than sorry concerning changes to the body, especially when it is in the process of physically supporting the growth of another life!