Soon after conception, women begin to notice tenderness and swelling of the breasts and a darkening of the areolas of the nipples. All of these symptoms occur as a result of increased hormones.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her breasts begin to increase in size due to the growth of the mammary glands they begin to prepare for milk production.
Because the breasts increase in size, it is normal for the veins to show more clearly through the skin.
The increase in size associated with pregnancy can cause an increase of one cup size, so it is often advisable to change the type of bra. Although there are those who believe that underwire bras should be avoided during pregnancy, as they could interfere in some way with the function of the milk ducts, there is no evidence to support this belief.
Another of the first changes that can be observed in the breasts is a darkening and a increased size of the areolas of the nipples, which can begin to change from the first or second week of gestation.
In addition to darkening, during pregnancy, what is known as Montgomery tubers, which are small bumps on the areolas. The appearance of these small lumps is completely normal, and it is due to the inflammation of the Montgomery glands that have the function of secreting a type of oil that protects and lubricates the sensitive skin around the nipples during breastfeeding.
The number of Montgomery glands around the nipple varies greatly from woman to woman. They are normally invisible to the naked eye, so their sudden appearance may alarm some women, although these small bumps around the nipple during pregnancy are completely normal.
Nipples too will increase in size and they become most prominent, and in the later stages of pregnancy they may experience the leakage of a substance called colostrum.
Another common symptom of pregnancy. Several hormones are preparing the breasts for lactation, causing the milk ducts to grow and milk production to begin. This is what makes the breasts sore, especially the nipples.