Pregnancy breasts: a miracle or a curse? That's the big question. Everyone knows that your chest gets huge when you're pregnant and nursing. Bigger breasts sound great in theory, but you can't really prepare for how you're going to react to your new breasts until your fun bags fully inflate.
When former Entourage and Guys with Kids star Jamie-Lynn Sigler was recently on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, she confided in chatty talk show host Andy Cohen that all of the physical changes that come with pregnancy aren't a breeze. "It's hard being pregnant! Your body does change; my boobs have quadrupled in size!" Jamie-Lynn said. Sing it, sister!
Christina Aguilera reportedly went up to an E cup when she was pregnant with son Max, and Kim Kardashian has been estimated at a G (maybe by the time she gives birth she'll be a K!). Most women will go up two cup sizes during a pregnancy—and your breasts alone account for two pounds (!) of your weight gain.
I was a B cup on a good day pre-pregnancy. I was never one of those people who secretly wished they had bigger breasts, though. I'm very introspective, so I had thought a lot about this. I was happy they weren't overly bouncy, I knew I wouldn't have to worry too much about sagging later in life. I was content.
Then, within just a few weeks of being pregnant, my cup size grew and I had real cleavage no matter what sort of bra I wore (no push-up required!). By early in my second trimester I was the proud owner of D cups. And I say proud, because I admit something changed in me. I'm a little ashamed to say it, but I noticed I was walking with more confidence and feeling more feminine with my pregnancy breasts. It felt good.
Of course, it might not have been because of some inner desire to have bigger boobs. It could have just been that I no longer felt like I had to live up to some beauty expectation, and I was free to let my belly hang out without the need for Spanx or sucking it in. I was pregnant; I had an excuse! Add to that the ever-so-wonderful burst of oxytocin—the natural feel good drug your body starts producing in your first trimester that increases as your pregnancy goes on (Oxytocin is also released when you're not pregnant, and you get a hug, kiss or caress).
My husband is way too diplomatic to say whether he liked the change in my upper deck, but I soon realized that these new-found tatas were not all they were cracked up to be. They contributed to my growing back pain. They were constantly sore, sometimes throbbing. My areolae (the area around your nipples) had grown to the size of sand dollars, and they had turned into a dark mocha color. I was already sagging! I had to buy all new bras (BTW, why are they so expensive!). As I was getting closer and closer to labor day, my breasts even started leaking. I know it was my body getting ready to breastfeed, which is a beautiful thing, but at the time I was turning each shirt into a wet mess all I could think was, "Ew!" As a friend of mine put it, it was like having a gift that you couldn't fully enjoy!
So I completely understand Jamie-Lynn's frustration with her newfound pregnancy breasts. Just know that they will eventually go back down, and everything will return to normal. Though, they may be a slightly different normal!
Tell us: Are you excited to have "pregnancy breasts"? Or are they just a hassle? Share your stories in the comment section below.
Image of Jamie-Lynn Sigler courtesy of Shutterstock.