Breasts and pregnancy: we take stock

Breasts and pregnancy: we take stock

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During pregnancy, your breasts will inevitably blossom. How to live their evolution and the role they will play? Answers to your questions with our specialists.

"Why are my breasts getting bigger?"

  • Pregnancy hormones are the biggest contributors to breast enlargement since you became pregnant. From the very first day of pregnancy, the breasts begin to prepare for breastfeeding. An inflation of estrogen and progesterone allows the canals and glands, for the production and circulation of milk - previously undeveloped - to expand. All this takes up space and fills the breasts, "describes Dr. Anne de Kervasdoué, a gynecologist.
  • "Always because of hormones, there is a phenomenon of water retention particularly visible in the breasts, resulting in edema," says Dr. Marie Thirion, pediatrician, specialist in breastfeeding. In some moms, the increase in breast size is quite spectacular, in others it is more reasonable. Often, small breasts grow a lot, but this is not systematic. This variability between women - and even between two pregnancies - is probably due to the hormone level: the higher it is, the more the breasts swell.

"Why do they have that funny look?"

  • Real world maps! As they grow, the skin that covers them becomes distended and becomes translucent. It then reveals all the veins and arteries. To build in record time all the structures that will be needed for breastfeeding, many elements are essential. These are brought on the spot by the blood circulation: the venous network then becomes much denser and important. The lymphatic network follows the same expansion: the lymph serves in particular to fight against infections and will be very useful also for breasts after birth to make nearly a liter of milk a day.
  • Another element that changes the appearance of your chest: the areolas. They widen and take a darker color, covering themselves with small swellings more and more apparent, the tubercles of Montgomery. These small glands will produce a fat and protective substance during breastfeeding that will emit an attractive odor for the baby.

"If they hurt me so much, how to soothe the pain?"

  • Throughout the first trimester, it is indeed not uncommon for the breasts to be painful. What happens to them is very brutal! They are suddenly dilated, distended, victims of edema ... After the first trimester, they adapt to this metamorphosis and become less sensitive. Especially from the second trimester, the hormonal climate is radically different from that of the first three months. Other hormones such as progesterone and estrogen enter the scene: this has the effect of relieving the breast.
  • If they make you suffer, apply an ice pack for its decongestant effect. You can possibly take a stamp of Doliprane, but in a very punctual way. "A Danish study showed an increase in congenital malformations in little boys whose mothers had used Doliprane during pregnancy for fifteen days in a row, so be careful ..." warns Dr. Anne de Kervasdoué.
  • And small massages, right? "Absolutely avoid: the breast is a gland and we do not massage a gland Nobody would have thought of massing the thyroid or the pancreas A gland is a fragile structure, composed of a single layer of fine cells that we must be careful not to attack by pressing too hard on it, "says Dr. Marie Thirion.

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