MAY 3, 2023

The Stages Of Breasts Change from Maternity to Nursing

When you become pregnant, your body undergoes numerous changes, and one of the most significant is the transformation of your breasts. It is common for women to experience discomfort and tightness in their bras as their pregnancy progresses. This article will discuss why and how breasts change during pregnancy and the stages from early pregnancy to nursing.

Why Breasts Change In Size During Pregnancy

The hormonal fluctuations in your body during pregnancy cause your breasts to change size. When you are preparing to breastfeed, the production of hormones like progesterone and estrogen increases. This increase leads to the development of milk-producing cells and fatty tissues in your breasts, causing them to swell and increase in size.

The First Trimester

Breast changes can begin during the early stages of pregnancy, and one of the earliest signs of pregnancy is swollen and tender breasts. This is partially due to the increased production of cortisol, a stress hormone. As the levels of cortisol increase, it causes swelling and weight gain, leading to tender and inflamed breast tissue.

As your pregnancy progresses, these breast changes become more pronounced. The veins near your breasts become more visible, and your nipples become larger, darker, and more sensitive. If your bras are becoming uncomfortable at this point, it is advisable to get a refit for a bra that leaves you with room to grow.

The Second Trimester

In the second trimester, the milk-producing cells in your breasts begin to develop, and you may need another bra fitting. It is important to ensure that an bra fits properly as ill-fitting bras could restrict your milk ducts and cause breast pain. Many women prefer a non-wire bra at this stage for comfort and ease of fit with changing breasts.

The increased production of progesterone and estrogen during this trimester results in the development of more fatty tissues near your breasts. You may also notice more pronounced changes like the darkening of the areolas and veins, stretch marks, and small bumps near the nipples, called Montgomery’s tubercles.

The Third Trimester

As you approach delivery, your body prepares to produce colostrum, one of the first forms of breastmilk. This milk contains immune-boosting nutrients that protect your newborn against harmful germs. Your breasts may start to leak fluid that stains your bras, and nursing pads can be used to prevent leakage. Wearing a comfort nursing bra while you sleep may become more comfortable as your breasts become heavier. 


After giving birth, breastfeeding continues to cause changes in your breasts. A few days after giving birth, your breasts will produce breast milk instead of colostrum. The size and shape of your breasts will increase as your milk supply increases, and the milk ducts in your breasts will fully develop by this point. You may notice your breasts feel uncomfortably full, try breastfeeding more often or using a milk pump. A nursing bra makes breastfeeding more convenient for new moms. It normally has drop-down nursing clasps and/or front button for easy access and a wireless construction for comfort and support.

Taking Care of Your Breasts

Given how rapidly your breasts change during pregnancy, it is essential to take care of them. Wearing a well-fitting comfort nursing bra is crucial for preventing breast pain and discomfort. It is also essential to avoid wearing bras that are too tight and constrict your milk ducts, leading to blocked ducts and infection.

Gently massaging your breasts with warm water during showers can help to prevent blocked ducts and relieve discomfort. You can also use a cold compress to relieve engorgement or discomfort.

In conclusion, pregnancy and nursing bring about significant changes to a woman's breasts, as they prepare for the demands of breastfeeding. From the first trimester to nursing, breasts undergo a series of changes in size, shape, and sensitivity, which can be uncomfortable and challenging to manage. However, with the right bra and nursing wear, women can feel comfortable and supported throughout these stages. It is essential to prioritize the comfort and health of your breasts during this time, by choosing bras that fit well and provide ample support, as well as practicing good hygiene and care. By understanding and preparing for these changes, women can approach pregnancy and nursing with confidence and ease.

By Christina Cheak

Christina is a committed translator and copywriter who now based in Melaka, Malaysia. She enjoys the best about fashion and style of lingerie. She is also a busy mum yet loves to keep herself positive and motivated with healthy lifestyles. 

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