Written by Lisa Allen, MD
When a woman has just become pregnant, she goes through a lot of changes. Some of the most notable changes are body shape changes, appetite changes and mood changes. Some of these changes are purely hormonal, while others may be as a result of the presence of the baby in the womb.
For example, the body shape changes because of the baby in the womb. One of the most significant changes that a pregnant woman experiences are breast changes. These changes are quite pronounced that it is impossible to fail to notice them.
What causes breast changes during pregnancy? All changes that are associated with the breast during pregnancy are caused by hormonal changes. There are many hormones within the blood stream of a pregnant woman which account for the changes that will be discussed in this passage. The major hormones responsible for these hormones are progesterone and oestrogen.
The combination of the two hormones is secreted into the blood stream as soon as fertilisation of the female egg cell has been successful. Although they are present during menstrual cycles, their effect on the woman’s body and breasts changes during pregnancy.
When the concentration of these hormones increases in the blood stream, they cause the breasts to become more tender than usual. This change takes place during the first trimester. If you touch your breasts, you will realize that they have become softer than usual.
There is also an added tingling feeling which accompanies the soft and tender feeling. The soft and tender feeling is caused by a build-up of fat. Most of the fat in the body is directed to the breasts to make them larger. This explains why breasts are very large during pregnancy.
Recent research has shown than breast changes during pregnancy account for a significant amount of gained weight. Perhaps a soft and tender feeling is to enable the baby to easily grab the breasts when sucking milk.When the size of the breasts has increased, the blood vessels in the breasts will become more visible than usual. Most women are able to notice the veins in the breasts.
Apart from an increase in the size of the breast, there is also an increase in the amount of blood flowing to the breast tissues. Actually, all the changes that have been described above are due to the increase in the flow of blood to the breast tissues.
However, there are changes that are triggered by this increase in the flow of blood to the tissues of the breasts. For example, the size of the nipples increases and the nipples become darker than usual. The reason why the nipples become larger and darker is due to the increase in the size of the mammalian glands, which are milk producing glands. In addition to this, the nipples also become sore.
There are also oil producing glands within the breasts, which also assume a much larger size than usual. All these changes take place to prepare the breasts for the baby.