How to Cope With Tender Breasts During Pregnancy

By Amy Davidson
Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

While experiencing the blessing of pregnancy, a common but not-so-sweet side effect is sore and tender breasts. Fortunately, tender breasts are a good thing, as this is your body’s way of preparing for life after birth, whether you chose to breastfeed or not. Learning to cope with and ease breast tenderness can help increase your comfort level during this precious time.

Step 1

Get fitted for the proper bra toward the end of your first and second trimester, and halfway through your third trimester. Have a professional at your local lingerie or maternity store measure you to ensure the right fit. During pregnancy, breasts go through many changes and thus require different levels of support as your breasts grow.

Step 2

Avoid bras that have underwire. This can pinch, press and cause more discomfort. Also look for no-frills bras that have soft, seamless material such as cotton or satin. You don’t need to add to discomfort with poor-quality, itchy materials.

Step 3

Apply a cold wash cloth atop your breasts to help ease pain and swelling. Other helpful items can be a bag of frozen veggies or gel ice packs. Lay down and apply when possible for pain or discomfort.

Step 4

Wear a breathable, well-fitted cotton bra to bed. As you move around in bed, you don’t want breast discomfort to wake you. A cotton bra will keep your breasts in place. For added pain relief, stick your bra in the freezer for five minutes prior to bed, and use it as a cool compress to fall asleep in.

Step 5

Clean your breasts with warm water and no soap. Soap contains irritants and drying chemicals that can cause itching and redness in the tender skin of the breast area. As the skin in this area stretches during your pregnancy, it should be treated with care.

Step 6

Rub cocoa butter or lanolin cream on your breasts after bathing. This will keep the sensitive skin on your breasts moisturized while they grow, and can also combat stretch marks. Use this cream daily on your growing stomach to fight stretch marks, too.

About the Author