Managing sore breasts while pregnant

Mammary glands are the only glands that do not mature during puberty. Instead, they mature during pregnancy. This growth and development of the glands can (but do not always) cause the surrounding area to be sensitive to the touch, or sore. This is normal.

It is also normal for the breasts to produce a small amount of fluid, colostrum, before the baby is born, but it is also normal if your breasts do not. Producing colostrum before the baby is born is not associated with the health of your baby or your ability to breastfeed. If your breasts produce colostrum, you may sometimes have skin irritation where the colosturm dries on the skin. If you use nipple stimulation to initiate contrations, you may notice a small amount of colostrum producted.

Painful breasts do not indicate a potential problem with breastfeeding.  You also do not need to worry about causing pain to your breasts, also known as “toughening up” the nipple, to be successful with breastfeeding.

 Some Women Have Tried…

  • Stand in the shower and let the warm water massage your breasts.
  • Have the fit of your bra checked as your breasts may have grown.
    A too-small bra can interfere with proper circulation.
  • Choose a bra with broad straps to provide stability and support.
  • Avoid the breasts during intimacy, they will only be sensitive for a few weeks.
  • Try wearing a bra at night, the extra support may feel better.
  • Keep breasts dry. Nursing pads can be worn to absob any colostrum.
  • Avoid using soap on the breasts as this may dry out the skin increasing discomfort.
  • Rub a small amount of the colostrum on irritated breast skin, then allow the breasts to air dry.
  • Spending some time with the breasts uncovered can help heal irritated skin. Some women find exposing the breasts to the sun helps heal the skin faster.
  • Work the reflexology points for breasts on the top of the foot. Place three finger at the base of the three middle toes. Slowly “walk” the fingers up toward the ankle.