Ah, pregnancy. There are so many wonderful things that come along with it. Like when you first learn you’re going to welcome a new addition, the feeling you get the first time you notice your baby move inside you, or the first time you hear their little heartbeat. Pregnancy can be so amazing, sometimes I even miss it. But what I don’t miss is all that other stuff. The fall-on-your-face fatigue, the constant nausea, and yes, the sore boobs. Breast tenderness can be excruciating — trust me, I know — but is breast pain constant in early pregnancy? I did the research on this and drew from my own personal experience to answer the question. Every woman is different and their body will react differently to pregnancy, but most women will experience breast tenderness at some point during their pregnancy, especially in the early stages.
Almost all of the moms I spoke to about this say that the first trimester is the toughest one. I remember being so tired I could hardly bring myself to go to work in the morning, and by the middle of the afternoon, I absolutely needed a nap. Like, desperately. I was constantly nauseous and the only thing that would help my tummy settle down was to eat food, so I got a head start on that pregnancy weight gain — awesome. By the way, “morning sickness” doesn’t just happen in the morning.
And what about the sore boobs? Honestly, there were times when I thought they were legit going to rip off of my body and I’m not even kidding. Ouch. The pain when I even just took off my bra was excruciating. Gravity was so unforgiving and oh, forget about running. But why does this happen and how long does it last?
So, thanks to the dynamic duo hormone combo estrogen and progesterone, pregnancy symptoms are very similar to PMS symptoms, noted Parents. Except in pregnancy, it feels like your PMS symptoms are exaggerated, and instead of finding relief when they go away, they just don’t — yay hormones. In fact, it feels like they just keep getting worse. According to What To Expect, breast tenderness can begin at around four to seven weeks of pregnancy and last throughout the first trimester. Yup, sorry ladies. That’s three months of sore boobs. I remember the breast tenderness getting better in my second trimester, but then you have to deal with the changing in size and all that other fun stuff.
Some things you can do that helped me during this very sensitive time include wearing sports bras or maternity/nursing bras. I recommend getting fitted for one because I guarantee you will be surprised at how much (and how fast) your boobs grow. You need something that fits properly, is breathable, and provides good support.
You should also try to stay away from underwire if possible — I found that it just digs into your skin and is increasingly uncomfortable as you grow. And invest in a good body pillow. While this won’t ease the pain of sore boobs, it will provide some comfort and help you sleep better at night. If you’re a runner and it’s too uncomfortable to run or do any kind of jumping exercises, try taking an indoor cycling class. I taught spin classes on the bike until I was nine and a half months pregnant and it was one of the only things I could do that actually gave me a decent workout. As a fitness professional, I just have to say, make sure you get clearance from your doctor before you begin any new exercise routine. Listen to your body, rest, and recover when you need to.
While it’s definitely not always fun dealing with all the “extras” that come along with pregnancy, it’s actually exactly what your body is supposed to be doing. Your body is preparing itself to produce milk so you can feed your baby. Your milk is the very first thing your newborn will eat (if you choose to breastfeed), and how cool is that? I know it’s uncomfortable and sometimes it just downright stinks, but take some comfort in knowing that what your body is doing is actually pretty freaking amazing.