How will my breasts change during pregnancy?
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!
One of the first signs of pregnancy is fuller breasts. Your breasts may start to grow as early as week six, and this growth will continue through the pregnancy. During your pregnancy, rapidly increasing levels of both estrogen and progesterone are released causing breast tenderness, and your nipples and areolas may become swollen and change in color as well.
As early as week 16, your breasts may be able to produce milk and occasionally leak a straw colored fluid, known as colostrum. Colostrum is full of antibodies and helps your baby's immune system immediately after the birth, this is produced until your milk comes in a few days after the birth. If you notice that you are leaking colostrum, wearing breast pads may help to prevent it from soaking through to your clothes. A few days after birth, your milk will "come in" and your breast become engorged. Engorgement is the point when your breasts are the largest, at this time you want to make sure you are wearing a properly fitted nursing bra. If your bra is too tight it may restrict the flow and amount of milk produced. During these changes, it is important to remeasure yourself often and wear quality maternity bras and nursing bras during and post-pregnancy.