Monday, June 2, 2014

3 Unexpected Boob Side Effects of Pregnancy

Once the wonderful news had sunk in that I was pregnant I thought how lucky I was that I had unlimited access to bras to see me through the changes I would experience during pregnancy. At over 8 months pregnant I still didn't have any volume increase, unbelievable! I thought it was a given that my boobs would get bigger and when they didn't I was really surprised. To add to my naivety there were three more changes that I didn't expect:

1) Bras and Breathing
Pregnancy triggered my asthma which has been very manageable, almost dormant, for years. Within weeks of getting pregnant the additional demand on my blood supply meant that my lungs were compromised and I needed to get new medication to get my asthma under control. I was very quickly aware that my band size was bothering me. Pre-pregnancy I wore a very firm band and I expected to be able to stay in the same band size for a few months at least. Within a month I had switched from a 32GG to a 34G and at 3 months I had switched to a 36FF so that I could breathe! I am carrying the baby quite high which exacerbates my breathing so by 4 months I had moved to a wire free bra (Sophie has been a godsend!) to relieve the pressure around my lungs even further.
I was in a wire free bra by 4 months to alleviate the pressure on my lungs. Sophie Nursing.

2) Attack of the Itch!
At three months pregnant it was Christmas and I was having a lovely evening with family when all of a sudden, literally out of the blue, my breasts started itching. Not a little discreet itch but a full on tearing at my boobs itching! I went to take off my bra and I had broken the skin on my chest and caused lots of blood blisters - my poor boobs! This maddening itching lasted for about 8 weeks and I found a couple of things to ease the irritation.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. My breasts didn't feel particularly dry but applying almond oil morning and night kept the itching at bay. The only drawback of having oiled up boobs is that the oil soaks through your bras (and if you're unlucky through to your clothing). I have an Elomi Eva that is forever oil stained but it was so worth it just to keep the itching at bay.
  • No hot showers. Again this is because it dries out the skin so I avoided hot water directly on my breasts for a couple of months.
3) Feeling the Heat
I expected my breasts to feel more tender (although they haven't been particularly sore) but I didn't expect them to feel so hot! Most of my pregnancy has taken place during winter and yet my breasts seem to have heated up faster than any other part of me. I had to be careful to wear breathable layers (and breathable bras) so that I could regulate my upper body more easily.

Did something happen to your breasts or bra size that you weren't expecting during pregnancy? Share your stories in the comments section below and help someone else understand their bonkers baby boobs! xx


  1. I knew heading into my pregnancy that your breasts are usually the first things to grow. what I didn't expect was how quickly. in the 9 months I went from a 34E to a 36H and once I started breastfeeding they were even bigger. at one point I couldn't see my baby belly because my breasts were blocking my view! . I didn't get the itchy breasts but I got the worst itchy engorged nipples my whole pregnancy I looked like my breasts were constantly cold. ah pregnancy boobs and the joys they bring.


    1. That is an extraordinary change to manage in size. You obviously kept on top of your changing bra size which is a huge credit to you because it supports good breast health both in pregnancy and post birth if you choose to breastfeed. Your nipples have my every sympathy if that makes sense!! xx

    2. Itchy nipples can be a sign of yeast or bacterial infection, Calendula creme, can help with this. I don't know if doctors pay attention to this symptom, I did manage to get a doctor to prescribe an antibiotic when the itch went deep into my breast, thankfully that sorted it out and I didn't have any further problems. I was fortunate to have a hundred percent cotton nursing bra my first pregnancy, and had to make do on subsequent pregancies. So much more choice for new moms these days!

    3. This is an excellent comment. My doctor did tell me to keep an eye out for any redness or swelling because it's a sign of infection. Thank you for highlighting that the itch can be more than just an itch and need treatment. xx

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