Breast Changes During Pregnancy

Enlargement

For good or bad, your breasts are going to get bigger -- and they're going to do it quickly. Throughout the first three months of pregnancy, fat builds up in the breasts and the milk glands increase in size, says Alana Bibeau, Ph.D, a doula and a member of the Rhode Island Birth Network Board of Trustees. By just six weeks into pregnancy, many women's breasts have grown a full cup size or more. And by nine months, the average woman has gained two pounds just in her breasts, according to the March of Dimes.

If you've never conducted a serious search for the perfect bra, now's the time. A proper bra is crucial to relieving the new weight and supporting your back. Look for one with a thick band (no underwire!) beneath the cups, wide shoulder straps, and an adjustable closure. Opt for cotton bras over synthetic ones; they're more comfortable because they allow the skin to breathe, suggests the March of Dimes. A supportive cotton sports bra, maternity bra or a pregnancy sleep bra may give your breasts added support and make you more comfortable while you sleep. Remember that one bra run is not enough. Your breasts will keep changing throughout your pregnancy -- and so should your bras!

But your bra isn't the only thing that has to stretch to accommodate your larger breasts -- your skin does, too. Relieve itching and prevent stretch marks by applying moisture-rich creams and cocoa butter.

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