Being pregnant is an awe-inspiring time in your life. You are trying new foods (pickles!) and getting new clothes (maternity wear!), but mostly you are seeing your body undergo some amazing changes, and we’re not just talking about your beautiful bump.
As your baby grows, your breasts are preparing to feed them when they arrive; so it makes sense that you’ll notice some changes in the bra department over your nine months as a mum-to-be.
To keep you abreast of developments (sorry, couldn’t resist!), here are 5 ways breasts may change during pregnancy and the bras that will support you to birth and beyond.
1. Oh so tender
Tender nipples and breasts are one of the early signs of pregnancy, and as your boobs grow they might feel heavy and sensitive. It’s common to have a tingly or sore feeling (especially in your nipples) as milk ducts develop and hormone levels rise.
Treat them with extra care and maybe try wearing a supportive bra to bed.
One of the common changes is the size of your boobs. Every mum-to-be is different, so some women’s breasts will grow a little, while others grow a lot.
Fast-forward to the last few weeks of pregnancy, and everything is bigger! Your bump, your nipples and your breasts. The milk-producing cells in your boobs are expanding, and the countdown is on to meet (and feed) your bundle of joy.
3. Your new look
As your pregnancy progresses, nipples and areola (the circle around your nipples) get darker and the little bumps on your areola get bigger (called the Montgomery glands).
Your nipples might be a bit perter than normal (hello high beams!) and the veins in your breasts will become easier to see too.
4. A little bit leaky
From about 16 weeks, your boobs can produce milk, so don’t be surprised if your nipples leak a little bit of yellowish fluid. Called colostrum (or ‘first milk’), this energy drink contains all the nutrients and antibodies your newborn needs in their first days on the planet.
It’s normal for your nipples to leak a little bit of colostrum while pregnant, and if you’re worried about wet spots, then then you can always put a breast pad inside your bra.
Some mums-to-be might leak blood from their nipples (caused by fast-growing blood vessels), and even though this can be normal, it’s best to check in with your doctor if this happens.
5. A little bit lumpy
Others may develop breast lumps while pregnant, and even though they’re usually benign, it’s best to see your doctor. Chances are, the lump will be a benign cyst or fibroadenoma (a breast gland lump), but it’s better to be safe than worried.
SHOPPING FOR CHANGING BREASTS
All these changes mean your boobs have probably gone up a bra size (or three) and those tender breasts need comfort and support (just like the rest of you).
It’s important that your maternity bra fits well – not too tight, not too loose, just right. You don’t want to be spilling out of it or have bits digging in blocking milk ducts from forming.
Depending on the woman, around 16 weeks along is a good time to get fitted for a maternity bra. Designed for pregnancy and breast-feeding, the bra should be soft, supportive, flexible and wire-free, like these ones from Mamaway, Hotmilk & Cake Lingerie.
And if you’re used to wearing an underwired bra, choose a well-fitted one with a flexible wire that will adapt to your changing breast size, like those in the Hotmilk range.
Maternity sports bra
Active mums-to-be will feel fit and comfortable with a maternity sports bra like this one from Cake Lingerie.
All in all, it’s incredible to see (and feel) your boobs preparing for motherhood. So make yourself comfortable and get ready for the magic of milk production!
FIND MORE: interesting articles for mums-to-be