Pregnancy Boobs - What To Expect When You're Expecting (And After)
Tender or swollen breasts, one-sided feeding preference, duct blockage, size fluctuation - and that is just pre baby. Rarely do we ever hear the truth about what happens to our bodies later in and after pregnancy. After pregnancy, will our breasts be altered forever? Our bodies are amazing and the science behind what is actually happening internally is beyond belief!
What really is happening?
When doing research about what is anatomically happening during pregnancy, I came across this piece on Parents.com by Cari Wira Dineen. This reading truly enlightened me, giving me a glimpse of one can expect during pregnancy. For starters, our bodies double in blood volume, going from 30% to 50%, to prepare for the fetus. Another common thing that happens is the development of hips. This is largely due to the pelvic bone separating to be able to prepare the cervix for a child. The areolas also darken to prepare for the baby's arrival because the baby only see contrast in their first few days of life (Motherly). The The human body is an incredibly intuitive machine!
Along with these changes, our hormones begin to change. This hormone change may cause body hair to grow thicker but also can contribute to breast sensitivity. This sensitivity is due to lactation, increasing the breast in size. This, in turn, increases our bra size. In fact, breast tenderness is one of the first signs of pregnancy!
How are boobs changing?
It is no doubt that we may hear about breasts becoming larger during pregnancy, but did you know they can continue to grow even after pregnancy? This growth can be for hormonal reasons, or even the inevitable weight gain that comes with pregnancy. The average breast size is 150-200g. However, during lactation, this number more doubles which means your breasts gain about a pound during lactation! Regardless, continued growth is quite a common phenomenon after giving birth.
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What can we do?
The lopsided nature of our breasts, that is reality for many of us, may be enhanced by this growth. This lopsidedness may often be accompanied by sagging, especially during and after breast feeding. Some helpful adivce? "The only way to counter the sagginess in breasts is to make use of a bra that can make them look great, as well as maintain a controlled diet...", according to First Cry Parenting.
Finding a great bra that helps you retain your shape, feel comfortable and make you look and feel good is key in this process. It is important to lift your girls and not squish them. We want them to look good but we don't want the discomfort of underwire. Wearing a bra with hardwire is not recommended but wearing one overall is recommended to help control them is. A supportive sports bra that helps your breasts look as well seems only best because you kill two birds with one stone! You gain the support you need and it motivates you to continue working your body into the shape it was in pre-pregnancy. We all need a little motivation sometimes!