Once you discover two lines in your test kit, be ready to handle those engorged breasts which feel heavy and sensitive at your touch. Even the nipples start getting bigger, darker, dry, and pigmented.
Areola forms the area around the nipples and this turns out darker and bigger. It gets essential to take care of your breasts as later it becomes important for lactation.
What changes can be seen in your breasts when you are pregnant?
- Growth and Tenderness
- Darkening of areola
- Colostrum leakage
- Darkening of veins
- Enlargement of nipples
- Cracking of nipples
Tips for proper breast care during pregnancy
Your breast starts getting ready with milk and the hormonal changes make it tender throughout your pregnancy. Post-pregnancy you have to deal with breastfeeding, which puts more strain on your breasts so you got to take care of your breasts while pregnant.
Get a proper fitting maternity bra
Your breasts keep increasing throughout pregnancy so you need those good-sized fitting bra exclusively designed for maternity period. It makes you comfortable and those underwired bras can press on milk ducts causing blockages and discomfort so you need to opt for an extremely comfortable fabric. It will also help you from getting rid of saggy breasts.
You need to apply bio oil twice a day around your breasts to avoid developing stretch marks due to stretching and it’s increasing size. Do not apply cream or lotion that has chemical contents in it.
Keep your breasts hydrated and this is applicable also once you start to breastfeed. You need to wipe out the mild after every feeding and moisturize it to avoid dryness and stretch marks. If you are not feeling good and feeling the blues, go through the positive quotes on parenting.
Your breasts turn dry and pigmented during pregnancy and later once your breast starts getting saggy, you won’t be able to do much to bring it back to shape. Use coconut oil or olive oil and gently massage your breasts, especially your nipples before bath.
This will be helpful for blood circulation and will also firm your breasts. Always moisturize the nipple area with these chemical-free oils. It will boost your nipples to be soft and ready for breastfeeding but you need to make sure that you massage only with fingertips and do not use any pressure
Change your bra regularly
You need to wash your breasts with warm water and change your bra regularly to keep it free from sweat and leakage from the nipples. This will not pose problems for you later when you start to breastfeed. Your nipples may produce colostrum so you need to use a clean cotton cloth to wash it off.
Follow a regime of freehand upper body exercise to keep your breasts in good shape and healthy. Do not follow strict exercises, but once in a while you can bend your hands and move it clockwise and anti-lock wise for better circulation and keeping it away from sagging.
Use breast shells
This may look like a simple tip but in the last week of your pregnancy, you need to make sure that your nipples are not flat or inverted. Remember that you need to breastfeed once you have your baby.
Ask your health care provider to give you a nipple shield which is made out of plastic and can be used to help your nipples to protrude. Once it comes out, it gets easy for your baby to latch on.
Omit soap on the nipples
A pregnant woman has to be assured that a daily bath and omitting soap in the nipples would lead to a healthy pregnancy. Soap tends to dry and crack the nipples leaving them vulnerable to infective organisms. Soap also removes the natural protective antiseptic, lysozyme, in the areola surrounding the nipples. Ensure that you are following the tips for new parents as well.
Finish your shower with cold water
The hormonal change and weight gain will weaken the tissue in your breasts. You need to avoid hot showers and probably end a shower by running cold water through your chest and massaging it in a circular motion. This will continue to relax your muscles and strengthen the adjustment of your growing breasts.
It is common to develop nipple fissures during pregnancy and also while breastfeeding. Your breasts grow considerably in size when you are pregnant, the fullness of your breast will make your nipples and areola stretch, resulting in fissures.
This can lead to unwanted infections. Your skin starts getting sore, crusty, and scabs forming in the area. Apply warm water, warm compress, and peppermint oil to avoid any infection in the future. For breastfeeding mothers, the best solution is to rub your breast milk around.
Breast lump in the second and third trimester
Lumpy breasts during pregnancy are actually a sign of a clogged milk duct. You need to warm compress this part and lightly massage as you your body is preparing for nourishing. This will help you get rid of breast cancer in the future. As a husband, you should also take proper care of your wife.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Breastcare During Pregnancy
1. What week in pregnancy do you start producing milk?
It is usually between 16 to 22 weeks that you start to produce milk but if the colostrum is not leaking then you might not know about it.
2. What leads to itchy breasts while pregnant?
Your hormonal changes specifically taking a drive, your stretching skin that leaves stretch marks and eczema is responsible for the itching in your breasts.
3. What happens to your breasts after birth?
Your breasts might become heavier and uncomfortable and this is called engorgement. This will go away on its own but you need to continue breastfeeding.
Eating a balanced diet and wearing a comfortable fabric will relax the muscles and growing veins in your breasts. Your breasts ought to be healthy for your baby as breast milk is best for an infant and you need to keep it clean and moisturized for a healthy pregnancy.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.