Combating Nipple Pain While Pregnant

By mariasmith76 HERWriter Blogger
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Most women understand that they may experience pain in their nipples after giving birth because of the hormone shifts. They also can comprehend the idea that breastfeeding (or refusing to breastfeed) can also cause pain and tenderness in the nipple area and throughout the breast.

However, there are many moms-to-be who didn’t know that nipple pain can start early on during the pregnancy and can last the whole nine months. Pregnant women can experience breasts and nipples that are sore, swollen, tingly, and extremely sensitive to the touch.

The cause of nipple pain and breast tenderness during pregnancy can be blamed on the excess of the hormones estrogen and progesterone that are coursing through a woman’s body at this sensitive time.

There is also more fat (the good kind) that is building up in the breast, and there is an increased blood flow to the area as well. All these changes are perfectly normal and necessary as the woman’s body is getting ready to produce milk to feed the child growing inside her. But, while the changes are “normal” that doesn’t mean they feel that way to the woman.

In addition to the nipple pain, a pregnant woman may notice that her nipples are more erect than usual. They may also protrude from the breast more, too. Though the fuller breasts and nipples might rival some adult movie stars, they are most likely incredibly tender and feel anything but sexy to the woman.

In addition, the mom-to-be might also notice the areola, the dark area around her nipple, is darker, spotted, and/or bigger. These changes can increase throughout the pregnancy.

It is probable that the areola will also be sporting Montgomery tubercles, little bumps that are actually sweat glands, which are designed to supply lubrication to the breast area. Again, these changes are necessary and normal but along with everything else shifting in a woman’s body, they can make pregnancy uncomfortable in many ways.

To combat the breast tenderness and nipple pain during pregnancy, a woman should make sure to tell her partner what is going on with her and what is acceptable and unacceptable at that stage in the pregnancy.

Add a Comment8 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I concur this website is a joke the title says this article will teach me how to help my wife . She has intense nipple pain mainly at night time. It kills me to see her in pain. PLEASE tell me how to help her.

September 25, 2015 - 12:10am
EmpowHER Guest

My nipples feel like someone has taken a metal brush or an sos pad to them. Nothing is helping and I can't seem to find solutions anywhere. My bra is not the cause.

November 17, 2014 - 10:10pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 20wks and i experience extreme nipple pain every day for about the last 2-3 mths. Its excruciating to the point where i have to tend to it. I use warm cloths or a heating pad to cover my nipples for a few mins. Its the only method that works for me.

November 13, 2014 - 8:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

Breast and nipple pain dissappears when you STOP wearing a bra. Women's breasts are natural and perfectly formed for what they are designed to do without discomfort, they don't need to be "supported" any more than women needed corsets for support in the 19th century. Bras are all just marketing folks, not a necessity and they don't benefit anything, and infact cause more harm than they help. I was having terrible pain in my pregnancy, but once I gave up and stopped giving a shit what people think, I stopped wearing a bra and the pain immediately stopped, haven't had a problem since (and my breasts are perkier) try going braless for about a month and you'll see what I mean, doesn't matter what size you are either-- my bust is quite big.

July 21, 2014 - 8:56am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Completely agree with this post. I've been having extreme breast and nipple pain over the past week and finally just threw in the towel so to speak. For the first day, I'm actually having a little relief.

August 20, 2015 - 4:45am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This is not true for all women, my nipples and breast hurt worse without a bra supporting them! Especially at night timey only comfort has been wearing a snug fitting sports bra

July 6, 2015 - 10:09am
EmpowHER Guest

Other than wear a "good fitting bra" and the suggestion of a sports bra while sleeping, there aren't any ways of actually combatting nipple pain listed in an article titled "Combating nipple pain..." Thanks for the help.

February 13, 2012 - 10:19am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

My thoughts exactly. I came here thinking I would get some actual advice and help. Disappointing.

February 10, 2013 - 2:15pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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