As your body gears up to support your growing baby, you produce more of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
A similar hormone surge happens to you before a period, so this tenderness is probably an exaggerated version of how your breasts feel then.
Your breasts may become so tender that your usual bra becomes really uncomfortable. You may not like having your breasts touched.
You may have noticed this tenderness from about three weeks or four weeks of your pregnancy, before you even did a pregnancy test.
Along with the effects of a hormone surge, your breasts are likely to be getting bigger. The fat layer in your breasts thickens, you grow more milk glands, and blood flow increases to them. These changes are preparing your breasts for feeding your baby.
Every woman's experience is different. Your breasts may grow quickly in early pregnancy, or they may grow gradually as your pregnancy progresses. You may not even notice much difference in the size of your breasts until the end of your pregnancy.
When it does happen, though, the change in size can be quite dramatic, particularly if this is your first pregnancy. You will probably go up a couple of cup sizes by the time you have your baby. Don’t worry if this hasn’t happened by the end of pregnancy. Your breasts are likely to expand more once your newborn has arrived.
You may notice other changes, too. During sex you may feel a throbbing or tingling sensation in your breasts, as the blood rushes to them.
Are sore breasts in pregnancy common?
Yes, it is common to have sore breasts in pregnancy. Sensitive, tender and tingling breasts are among the earliest signs that you’re pregnant.
Having sore breasts is one of the top three things women complain about in early pregnancy, along with nausea and tiredness.
The soreness is likely to lessen after your first trimester. Once you’re in your second trimester, your surging hormone levels will settle down.
This won’t necessarily spell the end of painful breasts altogether, though. Breast pain and tenderness still affects almost half of women in the third trimester.
What can I do to ease the soreness in my breasts?
A supportive bra with wide shoulder straps will help to ease the soreness. Underwired bras are less comfortable for your changing breasts, so choose softer bras.
Have your bra fitted by a specialist in-store fitter. If this isn’t possible, measure under your breasts for size, and around the fullest part of your breast for the cup. Bear in mind that sizes vary according to style and brand.
Try to get fitted more than once during your pregnancy. You may need to change cup sizes as your breasts grow.
Wear a well-fitting bra while you exercise, to support your heavy breasts.
A maternity cotton sleep bra may help to ease soreness while you sleep.
Some women find it helps to run warm water over their breasts to ease soreness. Gently pat your breasts dry afterwards.
Learn how to cope with these other common pregnancy complaints:
nausea and vomiting
Bleeding during pregnancy is relatively common. However, bleeding from the vagina at any time in pregnancy can be a dangerous sign, and you should always contact your midwife or doctor immediately if it happens to you.
Bleeding is not often caused by something serious, but it’s very important to make sure and to find out the cause straight away.
Contact your doctor or midwife if you notice bleeding from your vagina at any time during your pregnancy.
In early pregnancy you might get some light bleeding, called ‘spotting’, when the fetus plants itself in the wall of your womb. This is also known as ‘implantation bleeding’ and often happens around the time that your first period after conception would have been due.
Causes of bleeding
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, vaginal bleeding can be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (when the fetus implants outside the womb, often in the fallopian tube). However, many women who bleed at this stage of pregnancy go on to have normal and successful pregnancies.
In the later stages of pregnancy, vaginal bleeding can have many different causes. Some of the most common are outlined below.
Changes in the cervix
The cells on the cervix often change in pregnancy and make it more likely to bleed, particularly after sex. These cell changes are harmless, and are called ‘cervical ectropion’. Vaginal infections can also cause a small amount of vaginal bleeding.
The most common sort of bleeding in late pregnancy is the small amount of blood mixed with mucus that is known as a ‘show’. This occurs when the plug of mucus that has sealed the cervix during pregnancy comes away. This is a sign that the cervix is changing and becoming ready for the first stage of labor to start. It may happen a few days before contractions start or during labor itself.
This is a serious condition in which the placenta starts to come away from the inside of the womb wall. Placental abruption usually causes stomach pain, even if there is no bleeding. If it happens close to the baby’s due date, your baby may be delivered early.
Placenta praevia, sometimes called a ‘low-lying placenta’, is when the placenta is attached in the lower part of the womb, near to or covering the cervix. This can block your baby’s path out of your body. The position of your placenta is recorded at your morphology scan.
If the placenta is near the cervix or covering it, the baby cannot get past it to be born vaginally, and a caesarean will be recommended.
Vasa praevia is a rare condition, occurring in about 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 6,000 births. It occurs when the blood vessels of the umbilical cord run through the membranes covering the cervix. Normally the blood vessels would be protected within the umbilical cord. When the membranes rupture and your waters break, these vessels may be torn and this can cause vaginal bleeding. The baby can lose a life-threatening amount of blood and die.
It is very difficult to diagnose vasa praevia, but it may occasionally be spotted before birth by an ultrasound scan. Vasa praevia should be suspected if there is bleeding and the baby’s heart rate changes suddenly after the rupture of the membranes. It is linked with placenta praevia.
Back pain in pregnancy
It is very common to get backache or back pain during pregnancy, especially in the early stages.
During pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
Avoiding and easing back pain in pregnancy
Try these tips:
bend your knees and keep your back straight when you lift or pick something up from the floor
avoid lifting heavy objects
move your feet when you turn to avoid twisting your spine
wear flat shoes to evenly distribute your weight
try to balance the weight between 2 bags when carrying shopping
keep your back straight and well supported when sitting at work and at home – look for maternity support pillows
get enough rest, particularly later in pregnancy
a massage or warm bath may help
use a mattress that supports you properly – you can put a piece of hardboard under a soft mattress to make it firmer, if necessary
go to a group or individual back care class
You can take paracetamol to ease back pain while you are pregnant, unless your GP or midwife says not to. Always follow the instructions on the packet.
Exercises to ease back pain in pregnancy
This gentle exercise helps to strengthen stomach (abdominal) muscles, which can ease back pain in pregnancy:
start on all fours (a box position) with knees under hips, hands under shoulders, fingers facing forwards and stomach muscles lifted to keep your back straight
pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, letting your head and bum relax downwards gently – don't let your elbows lock
hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the box position
take care not to hollow your back – it should always return to a straight, neutral position
do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times, making your muscles work hard and moving your back carefully
only move your back as far as you comfortably can
Doing prenatal yoga or aquanatal classes (gentle exercise classes in water) with a qualified instructor can also help build your muscles to better support your back. Ask at your local leisure centre.
When to get help for back pain in pregnancy
If your backache is very painful, talk to your GP or midwife. They may be able to refer you to an obstetric physiotherapist at your hospital, who can give you advice and may suggest some helpful exercises.
Contact your GP or midwife as soon as possible if you have back pain and you:
are in your second or third trimester – this could be a sign of early labor
also have a fever, bleeding from your vagina or pain when you pee
lose feeling in one or both of your legs, your bum, or your genitals
have pain in one or more of your sides (under your ribs)
Abdominal pain during pregnancy can be a normal part of the process as your body changes to accommodate your growing baby. While there are many harmless causes of abdominal pain in pregnancy, some may be more serious. As an expectant mother, it is important to educate yourself on all potential causes so you are able to recognize symptoms that may cause concern.
Common Causes of Abdominal Pain during Pregnancy
Mother with serious abdominal pain during her pregnancy dome abdominal aches and pains during pregnancy are quite common and generally pose no threat to you and your baby. These include:
Round Ligament Pain: This can be characterized by a sharp stabbing pain when you change positions, or it can also be an achy, dull, lingering pain. Round ligament pain is caused by the two large ligaments that run from your uterus to your groin. As the uterus grows, these ligaments are stretched and create discomfort. This pain is generally reported in the second trimester, and considered to be harmless. Read another article on full Round Ligament Pain.
Gas and Constipation: Gas during pregnancy is caused by increased levels of progesterone. As more of this hormone is released, your gastrointestinal tract slows down, which makes food travel more slowly. Drinking plenty of water, eating fiber rich foods, exercising, and using stool softeners are excellent ways to combat excessive gas and constipation. Read another article on Constipation during Pregnancy.
Braxton Hicks Contractions: Sometimes labelled “practice contractions,” Braxton Hicks are more of a mild annoyance than a risk to you or your baby. Many women report that Braxton Hicks feel like a tightening of the stomach muscles so your stomach feels firm or hard. It is important to differentiate Braxton Hicks from true contractions. True contraction will be closer together, last for a longer period of time, and are painful. True contractions will take your breath away, so a general rule of thumb is that if you are able to carry on your normal activities, then it is most likely Braxton Hicks. Also, doctors report that Braxton Hick can be caused by dehydration, so drinking plenty of water can help eliminate this problem. Read another article on Braxton Hicks Contractions.
Common Discomforts: In addition to those listed above, there are several other common abdominal discomforts that can be experienced during pregnancy and are generally non-threatening. Your growing uterus, stomach viruses, kidney stones, fibroids, and food sensitivities are all valid forms of harmless abdominal pain.
When Abdominal Pain during Pregnancy is Serious
Pregnant woman with abdominal pain although many women who experience abdominal pain have healthy pregnancies, there are times when abdominal pain can pose a serious risk. If you exhibit any severe symptoms, such as those discussed below, please consult your medical care professional immediately.
Ectopic Pregnancy: Occurring in 1 out of 50 pregnancies, an ectopic pregnancy is when the egg is implanted anywhere other than the uterus. Most often, the egg is implanted in the fallopian tube. Sadly, an ectopic pregnancy cannot continue to term and requires medical treatment. In the unlikely event that you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience intense pain and bleeding between your 6th and 10th weeks of pregnancy. Women at increased risk for an ectopic pregnancy include those who have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past or have had endometriosis, a tubal ligation, or an intrauterine device (IUD) in place at the time of conception. Read another article on Ectopic Pregnancies.
Placental abruption: Placental abruption is a life-threatening condition in which the placenta separates from your uterus before the baby is born. One symptom of placental abruption is constant pain that causes your stomach to stay hard for an extended period of time without relief. Another sign is bloody fluid or premature breakage of your water. Additional symptoms include tenderness in your abdomen, back pain, or fluid discharge that includes traces of blood. You can access the complete Placental Abruption article on HelloDox.
Miscarriage: The unfortunate truth is that 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage making it the most common form of pregnancy loss. Sometimes referred to as “spontaneous abortion,” miscarriage most often occurs in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Signs of a miscarriage include mild to severe back pain, true contractions (happening every 5-20 minutes), brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps, tissue or clot-like material passing from the vagina, and a sudden decrease in other signs of pregnancy. Read another article on Miscarriage.
Urinary Tract Infection: While easily treated during pregnancy, if ignored, a urinary tract infection can cause complications. Most often recognized by pain, discomfort, and/or burning when you urinate, UTIs can also produce lower abdominal pain. Should you notice pain in your lower back, the sides of your body under your rib cage or above your pelvic bone accompanied by fever, nausea, sweats, or chills, then it is possible that the UTI has spread to your kidneys. If this is the case, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks gestation. Upper abdominal pain, usually under your ribs on the right side, can accompany other symptoms used to diagnose preeclampsia. Nausea, vomiting and increased pressure on your abdomen are additional symptoms that will affect your abdomen. Read another article on Preeclampsia.
When should you call your Doctor?
Please call your medical care professional immediately if any of the following symptoms accompany abdominal pain or discomfort:
Severe or persistent pain
Spotting or bleeding
Discomfort while urinating
Nausea and vomiting
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent metabolic conditions that is afflicting million around the world currently. Diabetes is a condition marked by abnormal metabolism of glucose, which causes blood sugar fluctuations. If the findings of a latest study are to be believed, children and youths whose mothers had diabetes during their pregnancy are also at an increased risk of the disorder.
For the study, the team assessed 73,180 mothers. The findings revealed that a child or teenager whose mother had gestational diabetes -- diabetes during pregnancy -- was nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years. The study, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother's children before age 22," said Kaberi Dasgupta, clinician-scientist from the McGill University in Canada.
"This link of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in the mother has the potential to stimulate clinicians, parents, and children and youth themselves to consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue," said Dasgupta.
While scientists around the world are working to device ways in which you can reverse diabetes, until then you must take all precautionary measures to make sure your blood sugar levels are stable at all times. As per World Health Organization, diabetes can be treated and its consequences can be avoided or delayed with the help of a healthy diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening.
Here are some foods that you can include in your diet to manage gestational diabetes.