Breast pain during pregnancy is commonly seen but is also an early sign of your menstrual cycle, due to hormonal imbalance.
Up to 70% of women experience breast pain known as mastalgia, at some point in their lives (a common women’s issue)
Not only breast pain but other breast-related issues seen in pregnancy, which leads to pain including:
- increase breast shape and size
- nipple discomfort
Women between the ages of 15 to 45 years old are more likely to experience it due to hormonal and breast tissue changes.
Most women often tell its location on the upper outer part of the breast, and on the arm of the same side of the breast (2)
Breast Pain In Multiple Pregnancy and Miscarriage?
(BP) in pregnancy is common, however, it is also common in multiple pregnancies, due to several reasons (3) including:
- Increased level of hormones
- breast tissue becomes more sensitive and painful
- as the uterus expands increases breast weight and pressure on the breast
Some individuals also believe that severe (BP) during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage, which is false.
However, the chance of miscarriage is greater during the first trimester due to irregularities in the DNA of the fetus (1)
But some medical conditions can increase the risk of miscarriage, and breast pain including:
- Hormonal imbalance
- chromosomal disability
- an medical issues like thyroid, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, weak immunity, etc
- unhealthy lifestyle
There are other several causes of both miscarriage and breast pain, which is different from each other.
Causes of Breast Pain During Pregnancy
As we read our previous post on breast pain reasons, So here are some common reasons for (BP) during pregnancy (9) are:
estrogen and progesterone hormones play a vital role in breast pain and other signs that are related to pregnancy, and period.
Due to breast changes
During pregnancy, the breast prepares for breastfeeding, where hormones promote the growth of the milk-production gland.
Increase blood flow
Pregnancy increased blood levels in the overall body, which leads to breast enlargement, that responsible for breast pain.
It is a common sign of pregnancy, where the body prepares for lactation, resulting in larger, filler, and sensitive breasts (10)
Breast-related medical issues
Mastitis, fibrocystic breasts, and costochondritis are some common breast medical issues, that lead to BP in pregnancy.
Wear a supportive bra, that will help the breast to reduce tenderness and discomfort (7).
Breast pain mostly occurs due to physical and hormonal changes in the body for pregnancy and lactation.
Here are other reasons that contribute to breast pain during pregnancy include:
- Breast injury
- tiny bumps on the areola
- medication side effects
- pigmented areas around your nipples
- nipple discharge
- previous breast surgery
- bloody nipple discharge, but also a sign of a blocked milk duct
- excessive alcohol and smoking
- caffeine intake
- cancer might be a reason
- other medical issues that increase the chance of breast pain
If you experience frequent and severe breast pain, then you should consult your doctor, it may be a sign of health issues.
When Does Breast Pain Occur During Pregnancy?
It is a common sign of pregnancy, which occurs at different times throughout the pregnancy and different in individuals.
Breast pain during pregnancy starts as early as the 1st week of pregnancy, 2nd trimester begins to continue, and 3rd BP occurs more significantly.
In most women, breast pain occurs temporarily, which may last for a few weeks to several months like in pregnancy (9)
Pain may be mild to severe, if you experience more severe pain, and other physical discomforts, then talk to your doctor.
Is Breast Pain a Sign of Early Pregnancy?
Yes, breast pain is a common sign of pregnancy, and it is typically considered a normal aspect of the pregnancy experience.
Due to hormonal changes like an increase in estrogen and progesterone causing large, heavy, and more sensitive breast pain.
There are other signs of pregnancy include:
- Missing periods
- nausea and vomiting
- mood swings
- breast changes
- frequent urination
- more hunger
Common Signs of Breast Pain Occur During Pregnancy?
It is the most common sign of pregnancy, however, there are some other common signs that are also seen in pregnancy, apart from breast pain.
- breast sensitive
- swelling and redness
- red nerve lines
- nipple discharge varies on white, brown, yellow, and green
Noted that if women face other signs that are not related to pregnancy, or do not feel well in pregnancy, then talk to their doctor.
Relieve Breast Pain During Pregnancy
There are several ways to relieve breast pain during pregnancy, but it is vital to go with home remedies or prescribed medicines.
Here are some home remedies, medication, and alternative ways for breast pain relief are:
Massage: Gentle massage on the breast can improve circulation, which relieves breast pain, make sure to use light hands.
Hot and cold compresses: Hot water compresses increase blood circulation, which reduces pain, and sensitivity (11)
Cold compresses suppress the swelling of breast tissue, which reduces one problem of breast pain is inflammation.
Wear a supportive bra: It is also vital, where by wearing a fitted bra, the filled and larger breast are lifted up thereby reducing the pain.
Use Pillow: During pregnancy, pillows support breasts and pregnancy comfort while sleeping.
Multiple pillows should be placed between the knees feet and thighs, and it is considered to sleep on your left side.
Gentle exercise: Exercise also increase circulation, and reduces tissue stress, here are some gentle exercises such as:
Medication: Most doctors consider OTC medicines, however, during pregnancy, it may increase the complication of pregnancy.
So make sure to consult your doctor, they will describe your prescribed medicine according to your overall condition.
We do not recommend any medicine or herbal ways, because every individual has a different body condition.
Do relaxation techniques: There are several relaxation techniques that are excellent during pregnancy and breast pain such as:
Other relief techniques: There are other alternative therapies for breast pain relief such as:
Acupuncture is an ancient technique where practitioners insert the needle into specific points on the skin.
Talk to your doctor, before applying any therapy or technique because it’s not only breast pain that matters but pregnancy also.
How To Prevent Breast Pain During Pregnancy?
There are various ways to prevent (BP) during pregnancy that are really effective such as:
- Wear a supportive bra, and avoid underwire bras, which puts pressure on the breast (13)
- use hot and cold water compresses or you can use a hot and cold towel
- keep you hydrated, which is essential during pregnancy, and prevent the mother from dehydration
- follow a healthy diet plan, which is essential for both mother’s and baby’s health, lack of nutrients during pregnancy, leads to low birth weight, etc
- avoid liquids like – excessive alcohol, caffeine, and smoking
- do light exercise like – yoga, walking, swimming, stationary cycling, etc.
Pregnancy is more than just breast pain, and breast-related issues, if you face any discomfort, then immediately talk to your doctor (14)
Make sure, to look at what you doing, eat, avoid lifting heavy weights, maintain a healthy weight, and practice yoga, and meditation.
When To Seek Medical Help?
BP during pregnancy increases the chance of pregnancy complications, so make sure to talk to your doctor, about your current condition.
- If you experience severe pain suddenly, it may be some other issue.
- sudden and swollen breast and nipple changes may occur due to infection or an insect bit
- discharge in the nipple, like dark yellow, green, and other colours
- severe pain
- lumps in breasts for lumps location is changing.
- if the pain is uncontrollable and may interfere with your daily routine
- changes in symptoms like vaginal bleeding, severe vomiting, and stomach pain
- if the baby is not scrolling
If any injury, infection, and some common reason are found by a doctor, then treatment is done according to your condition.
It is a common concern if you experience severe pain or other issues related to pregnancy and breasts, then talk to your doctor.
There are several techniques to relieve breast pain during pregnancy are – use pillows, wearing a supportive bra, hot bath, etc
Breast pain is a common sign of pregnancy, and BP is common in premenstrual and in pregnancy due to hormonal changes.