Breast Changes in Pregnancy: What to Expect

What to expect when you are pregnant with twins or triplets

In the first few weeks after conception, the uterus expands rapidly. Your body will experience a sudden rise in blood flow to your growing baby. During these early days, your milk supply may not grow as quickly as it would if you were carrying one baby at a time.

You might have some pain while nursing but most women don’t need any special preparation before they start breastfeeding their babies.

You’ll probably feel tired right away, but your energy levels will return to normal within a day or two. Some women report feeling tiredness for several days afterward. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try taking naps in the afternoon or evening instead of bedtime.

If you want to continue breastfeeding after the birth of your second child, you’ll need to take extra care. You might need to pump up to four times per day, every single day. Pumping up to eight ounces (250 milliliters) of milk each time is best because you’ll get the most out of your pumping sessions.

Don’t forget that you’ll still need to feed your newborn every few hours throughout the night.

During the first month or so after conception, your milk production increases gradually until it reaches its peak around six months postpartum.

Breast Changes During Early Pregnancy

Because of hormonal changes during early pregnancy, many women experience tenderness, swelling and even tingling in their nipples. Many other women don’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Some report feeling “aversion” to their partner’s touch near their chest.

Some may also feel their baby move for the first time. This is known as “quickening.” This usually happens in the fifth month of pregnancy.

Breast Changes During The First Trimester

During the first trimester, many women experience a decrease in their milk supply.

Changes In Your Breasts During Each Month Of Pregnancy

You may be wondering how your body will change during each month of your pregnancy. Most of the changes will occur in your abdomen, but you may also notice some differences in your chest area.

The below information describes what you can expect to experience during each month of your pregnancy:

Month 1 of Pregnancy

During the first month after your conception, it’s common to experience some light bleeding. You may have a slightly heavy period or a very light one.

As your body grows accustomed to the changes, you may not experience any bleeding at all during this month. Don’t worry if this happens to you.

Month 2 of Pregnancy

During the second month after your conception, you may experience a few light bleeding episodes. Some women don’t bleed at all during this month.

Other women notice a little pink or clear mucus discharge from their nipples. If this happens to you, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s perfectly normal.

Month 3 of Pregnancy

During the third month after your conception, you’ll probably experience several light bleeding episodes. If you’ve had unprotected sexual activity in the previous seven days, it’s possible that you could experience a miscarriage during this month.

If this does happen to you, try not to worry. The vast majority of women who have miscarriages continue to have successful pregnancies after the first three months.

Month 4 of Pregnancy

During the fourth month after your conception, you should have had your period by now if you’re not going to continue your pregnancy. Some women do experience a little spotting during this month, but this is normal and nothing to worry about.

Other than the possibility of spotting during the fourth month, you shouldn’t be experiencing any unusual symptoms at this point in your pregnancy.

Month 5 of Pregnancy

The “quickening” is when most pregnant women feel their baby for the first time.

Male and female parents-to-be can experience this phenomenon anywhere from the fifth to seventh month of the pregnancy. It’s best to consult your doctor if you haven’t felt your baby move by the seventh month, though.

As for changes in your chest, you may notice that your areolae (the circular area around your nipples) darken. This is completely normal.

Month 6 of Pregnancy

During the sixth month after your conception, you may begin to feel a little “swelling” in your lower abdomen. This is caused by the increasing size of your uterus. If you haven’t felt your baby move by now, make an appointment with your doctor or midwife.

You may also notice a darkening of the areolae around your nipples and an increase in size of your nipples themselves. Some women also experience something called Montgomery’s tubercles. This causes little pea-sized lumps to appear behind your areolae.

Month 7 of Pregnancy

During the seventh month after your conception, you may begin to feel quick, fluttery movements in your lower abdomen. This is caused by the increase in the size of your baby’s muscles. The fluttery feelings may be felt anywhere from the lower right side of your abdomen to the upper left side.

You may also notice that your areolae and nipples have darkened even more than last month. If you’ve been having morning sickness, you may begin to see signs of it going away during this time.

Month 8 of Pregnancy

During the eighth month after your conception, you’ll probably begin to start preparing your home for the birth of your child. This is a great time to go shopping for baby clothes and other necessities.

You may also notice a decrease in the size of your nipples and areolae at this point. Some women are also able to notice movement from their babies at this point, too. If you’re having trouble feeling these movements, don’t worry.

You should start feeling them more as you get closer to your due date.

You may also begin to feel shortness of breath at this time. This is caused by the increasing size of your uterus compressing your lungs. You can help relieve this feeling by taking frequent breaks and doing breathing exercises.

If the shortness of breath is accompanied by pain or a fever, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Month 9 of Pregnancy

During the ninth month after your conception, you’ll probably notice a slowing down in your baby’s activity. This is because nighttime is the baby’s resting time, and daytime is when the baby will be most active. Don’t worry if you don’t feel your baby move as much at night.

You may also begin to feel bouts of queasiness and vomiting during this month. It’s a good idea to keep Pepto-Bismol on hand during this time, just in case.

You may begin having Braxton-Hicks contractions during this time. These are “practice contractions” that your body puts you through in preparation for the real thing. They can be very painful and sometimes last up to an hour.

They can also come and go and don’t always happen at a set time. If you experience any contractions, don’t panic. You aren’t going into labor yet!

Month 10 of Pregnancy

During the tenth month after your conception, your baby is continuing to grow and putting on a lot of weight. This is a good thing since it will help him or her become healthier once it is born.

You may begin to get very tired during this month. This is because your body is working extra hard in preparation for giving birth. Keep up with your exercise and you should continue to feel energetic and strong.

If not, get some rest!

You may feel the urge to organize your home or office. If you feel the need to start cleaning things up, now is a good time to do it. If you aren’t one to keep a clean home or office anyway, don’t worry about it.

You will have enough on your mind once the baby is born!

You may begin to feel the urge to push towards your due date. If you feel this happening, don’t fight your body’s desires. If you feel the need to go into labor, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or midwife and let them know what is going on.

You may also want to prepare the home for your new arrival. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to set up the crib and lay out a few blankets and towels.

If you’ve been having regular contractions for two weeks or more, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or midwife. They will want to examine you and see if you are in active labor or not.

You may also want to call a cleaning service to come in and clean your home while you’re in the hospital. This will save you the trouble of doing it later and will give you one less thing to worry about when you get back home.

You will most likely be spending a few days in the hospital so make sure that you have someone lined up to take care of your other children or pets. It is also a good idea to have your partner or a friend pick up a few things for you on the way to the hospital, this will save you the trouble of having to do it once you get home.

It’s also a good idea to keep a bag packed next to your bed in case you go into labor unexpectedly. You will want to make sure you have your own clothes, personal items, and toiletries in the bag. You will also want to keep this bag in a place where you can easily reach it on your way out the door.

Your body is doing a lot of changing and adapting right now in preparation for giving birth. You may be feeling a wide range of emotions, and you may be feeling quite lonely since you can’t do the things you used to do.

Sources & references used in this article:

The eye and visual system in pregnancy, what to expect? An in-depth review by KA Samra – Oman journal of ophthalmology, 2013 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Subclinical hypothyroidism during pregnancy—should you expect this when you are expecting?: A teachable moment by S Maraka, DT O’Keeffe, VM Montori – JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015 – jamanetwork.com

What to expect when you’re expecting by H Murkoff – 2016 – books.google.com