Ah, the joys of pregnancy. Morning sickness, backaches and for most mommies-to-be, inevitable and miserable breast pain. As you enter your third trimester, the final stretch of time before you finally get to meet your beautiful baby, your breast ailments may reach an all time high. By understanding what's happening to your body, you can take steps to avoid as many breast woes as possible.
Proper Bra Support
To prepare themselves for your upcoming arrival, your breasts grow throughout pregnancy, but most notice the change during the third trimester. By this time, you are likely to have gone up a full cup size or two--a thrill for some women and annoying for others. Either way, you can adjust to your new bust by making sure your bra fits you correctly. Maternity bras are not necessary but are surely the most comfortable for an expecting mom. Some women buy a bra that has a little extra room in case of more unexpected growth. The support of a proper bra can make a world of difference.
Another symptom you may experience in your third trimester is nipple discharge and leakage. Colostrum is the thick, yellowy substance that you may first notice in the second trimester, but by the third trimester it has usually evolved to a light, almost-clear fluid. Colostrum is a sort of pre-milk that your body has prepared for the baby and can be released if your breasts are touched or stimulated in any way. An easy way to avoid embarrassing shirt stains is to get a pair of nursing pads to absorb any excess fluid that your breasts release.
Sore nipples, one of the most common third trimester pregnancy symptoms, are caused by fluctuating hormones and can be very irritating. To minimize the pain, make sure you have a well-padded bra to prevent rubbing and a good moisturizer to keep your nipples from getting dry and cracked. If you are planning on breastfeeding, it can also help to get into a breastfeeding class to learn how to help your baby to latch on correctly. Incorrect latching will make your nipple pain much worse. Also, avoid any sort of scrubbing or use of soap on your nipples while you bathe, since this will only irritate them more.
Stretch marks can appear at any time during your pregnancy, including the third trimester. While there is no sure way to completely avoid them, rubbing a deep moisturizer or oil over your breasts after a warm shower can help your skin accommodate the ever-growing size. If you get stretch marks(and you most likely will), don't worry. While they may appear dark now, they will eventually fade to a light white color and become almost undetectable.
Excessive Breast Tenderness
Usually, heavy tenderness of your breasts will peak during the first trimester and wear off by the third. However, if you are experiencing painful tenderness late in your pregnancy, there is a chance that you are not wearing a proper bra or simply have sensitive breasts. If you are sore at night, wear a cotton sleeping bra. Make sure your breasts are correctly supported when you exercise, and take extra care when changing your clothes or walking through a crowd to avoid bumping. To relieve the aching, try to relax in a hot shower or warm bath.