When pregnancy occurs, a cascade of changes in all organs and systems is observed in the woman's body. The uterus occupies a leading place in terms of changes. The next position in terms of importance in perestroika is occupied by the mammary glands. It is they who are responsible for feeding the baby, who is yet to be born.
- Anatomy of the breasts
- Breasts in early pregnancy
- Breast in later stages of pregnancy
- Breast after pregnancy
- Breast after the period of feeding
- Useful recommendations for maintaining a beautiful breast
- Breast in pregnancy: video
Anatomy of the breasts
In order to completeTo understand what happens to the breast during pregnancy, it is necessary to go deeper into anatomical features.
- The mammary gland is a paired organ that is intended for feeding a baby with milk, which is produced under the influence of various hormones.
- Breast is not a strictly symmetrical organ. The difference between the right and left mammary gland can be up to 2 sizes, which is within the normal range. More often the left breast is bigger than the right one.
- The internal structure is represented by:
- glandular tissue, or parenchyma, which is divided into individual glands and forms lobules( 30 to 80).The irons consist of small branch-like tubules, terminating in tiny bubbles - the alveoli, in which the milk is formed;
- connective tissue, which originates from the skin covering the chest and divides the gland into 15-20 lobes;
- adipose tissue filling the space between the lobes, and located at the point of attachment of the mammary gland to the chest. The volume and shape of the breast depend on it.
- The amount of adipose tissue that fills the mammary gland individually. In some women, the breast is almost completely filled with fat tissue, and therefore, with weight fluctuations, its volume significantly changes. Others have a large mass of glandular tissue, and therefore, despite changes in body weight, the breast retains the previous volume.
- Some women have additional lobes that reach the armpits, and therefore tenderness and swelling during pregnancy can be observed in this area.
- The branch-shaped ducts( milky ducts) merge into larger( milky sinuses) and open on the nipple with lacteal pores.
- The nipple is surrounded by a nipple circle, called an areola, 3-5 cm in diameter. These structures have a large number of nerve receptors, which, when touched to the nipple and areola, stimulate the release of milk during lactation. Changing and pigmentation of the nipple and areola: in nulliparous women, it is pink or reddish, with women giving birth - dark brown.
- The shape of the nipple is capable of changes: from the cone in nulliparous to the cylinder in women giving birth. A small percentage of women have flat and retracted nipples, but this is not an obstacle to breastfeeding.
- In the chest itself there are no muscles, so its shape is not affected by strength exercises. You can change the amount of large pectoral muscle to which the breast is attached. This will lead to an increase in the torso, but not in the chest itself.
- Near the mammary glands are located lymph nodes that perform a protective function against the entry of microorganisms. They are in the armpit, above the collarbone and under it.
Breast in early pregnancy
It often happens that a woman still does not know about the new life that has arisen in her, but subjectively can feel soreness in the chest and her swelling. It is not mandatory - someone like these will appear later in pregnancy.
If nevertheless there are painful sensations and increased sensitivity of the nipples, this is due to the change in the hormonal background of the woman. As pregnancy develops, the concentration of hormones of progesterone, prolactin and chorionic gonadotropin increases, which stimulate the growth of glandular tissue, namely the number of alveoli, and accordingly, the lobules.
The nature of these pains is individual, but still, more often it is described as bursting from the inside and covering the entire chest area. Other pregnant women mark the stitching nature of the pain, which can give to the armpit and even the whole arm. Given that every woman has a pain threshold, the description of the intensity of chest pain is ambiguous - from "terrible pain" to "little discomfort".
Interestingly the fact that some women guessed about their pregnancy just by the absence of pain, which always accompanied the onset of menstruation.
Many women already by the 2nd month of pregnancy notice a change in the color of the okolososkovyh circles - they begin to acquire a darker color. This is due to the increased activity of the cells that produce the melanin-melanocyte pigment. Their role in the process of pregnancy is not fully understood. Some scientists suggest that the darkening of the nipples and areola in the future will serve as a visual signal for the child.
All these manifestations of pregnancy may be absent in maternity females. And on the curious questions of the yet-nulliparous girlfriends "Does the chest hurt during pregnancy?", They, having forgotten their feelings at the first pregnancy, confidently answer: "No, this was not."
Breast in late pregnancy
If the expectant mother noted chest pains in the early stages of pregnancy, and already had time to get used to them as something inevitable, then she might be greatly concerned about the disappearance of these pain sensations. Most often, this phenomenon occurs at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. This may be one of the signs of a stagnant pregnancy, and the sudden disappearance of chest pain should be reported immediately to your doctor. But most often the soreness and sensation of a swollen chest will soon return. This is due to the fact that the most intensive changes in the breast occur in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and closer to childbirth.
In addition to the painful sensations in the chest, a pregnant woman can notice on the surface of the skin a crimson band of bluish color. This is due to increased blood circulation in the mammary glands.
Since the second trimester of pregnancy, some women have noted a yellowish viscous consistency of discharge from the nipples. It stands out colostrum - the first-born milk. Initially, it manifests itself a few drops, and starting from the 30th week of pregnancy the amount of colostrum increases and its color becomes more saturated. It is allocated under the influence of the hormone oxytocin, and speaks about the activation of the lobules of the mammary glands.
In young, nulliparous women, the weight of the gland itself averages 150-200 g, by the end of pregnancy the mass of each breast reaches 300-900 g.
Due to the rapid increase in the size of the breast of a pregnant woman, stretch marks are observed on the skin. The connective tissue elastic layers of the skin do not have time to adapt to such intensive growth and are torn. In the place of such ruptures, stretch marks or striae are formed. At the initial stage of appearance, they have a reddish hue, and later pale, but the skin in these places is thinner than on the rest of the breast surface.
Some women are wary of the appearance of so-called "pimples" on the sucking mug. These small elevations in the areola are also present in non-pregnant women, but are much less noticeable. These are the rudimentary glands of Montgomery, named after the name of the Irish obstetrician, who first described them. Scientists have not yet come to a common opinion, the rudiments of which glands are these tubercles - sebaceous or dairy. Many converge in one, that they have no practical significance. However, there is also such a view that in these elevations there is a certain substance that is captured by the receptors of the newborn. Thus, perceiving this unknown substance, the sucking reflex of the child is stimulated.
So do not be afraid of these "pimples", unless they are accompanied by pain and redness. But the redness indicates the onset of the inflammatory process - in this case it is necessary to see a doctor.
Breast after Pregnancy
In the first day after childbirth, mammary glands produce colostrum. It can be called concentrated breast milk, tk. The protein content in it is 3 times higher than in the mature milk. And in essence the protein of colostrum is very different - it is easily digested and does not require excessive functioning of the still immature digestive system of the baby. However, the most important feature of the colostrum is the presence of protective immunoglobulin A. It covers not only the mucous membrane of the mouth, but also the gastrointestinal tract, thereby preventing the penetration of newborn disease-causing bacteria into the body.
In addition, colostrum contains twice the amount of ascorbic acid, vitamins A, B12 and E. This is why it is very important to first put the baby to the mother's breast.
Breast glands begin to produce transitional milk 2-3 days after delivery and for the next 2 weeks. Initially, it has the same yellowish coloration as colostrum, but gradually fades: the concentration of protein, immunoglobulin A and salts decreases. This increases the nutritional value, as indicated by the increase in transient milk amounts of fats, carbohydrates and B vitamins. The volume of milk also increases at times.
Glandular tissue after childbirth continues its development, and therefore it is important to apply to the baby's chest as often as possible. This is due to the fact that breast sucking just stimulates the formation of the alveoli of the gland. And this means that in the future will be produced the necessary amount of milk for the child.
From 2-3 weeks postpartum period breast milk is called mature. It is not only very different in its composition from colostrum and transitional milk, but it can be different from milk in another mammary gland of the same woman. Moreover, its composition varies during one feeding. Conditionally, female milk is divided into front and back. That milk, which is released at the beginning of feeding( front), has a bluish color, is liquid and contains a lot of protein. At the end of feeding( rear milk) contains more fat, it is richly white and energetically much more valuable. Thus, women who resort to decanting milk may not be able to give their baby the energy-intensive substances necessary to him, contained in the back portion of milk.
Subjectively in the postpartum period, a woman observes breast engorgement: the breast becomes more dense and painful. These manifestations may be accompanied by an increase in the total body temperature within 1-2 days by a few tenths of a degree.
If the overall body temperature rises to 38-39 degrees, and is accompanied by general weakness, chills, pain in the mammary gland, then it is more likely that lactational mastitis has developed. The main role in its occurrence is played by Staphylococcus aureus, which penetrates the gland through nipple cracks or dairy ducts. Staphylococcus aids not only the development of mastitis, but also the stagnation of milk and the deterioration of the immune system of a nursing woman.
Pain in the thoracic gland is accompanied by condensation( infiltration) and redness above it. In the treatment of lactational mastitis, antibiotics can not be avoided. And in more severe cases, when an abscess forms at the site of the infiltrate, surgical intervention can not be avoided.
To avoid the development of mastitis, special attention should be paid to personal hygiene and nipple care. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the technique of feeding the baby - cracks in the nipples often develop when the baby sucks only the nipple, without capturing the areola.
Breast after the period of feeding
After the end of the lactation period, the glandular breast tissue undergoes the reverse development - the lobules decrease in size until their original state. Because of this, and the fact that the pectoral muscles experienced increased stress during pregnancy, the chest saggers. And her sagging is directly proportional to how big the breast was during pregnancy, and what strain the muscles were experiencing at the same time.
Stroke means that the chest has dropped significantly below the level that was before pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, the breast can become flatter, "empty" because of a decrease in volume. Also, the natural asymmetry of mammary glands may increase due to certain characteristics during breastfeeding.
It is possible to change the shape of the sucking mug. Its contours can lose their clarity, and become more blurred. And the asymmetry of the mammary glands entails the location of the nipples with areoles at different levels.
It is not necessary that all these possible unpleasant changes are perceived by all women after childbirth and the end of breastfeeding. Their occurrence is facilitated by:
- excessive enlargement of the mammary glands during pregnancy;
- age is over 30 years;
- long term smoking experience( significantly affects the elasticity of tissues);
- total number of births and pregnancies.
Useful recommendations for the preservation of a beautiful breast
To avoid many undesirable changes in the breast, you need to fully meet the possible problems that lie in wait during pregnancy and after childbirth.
- If a woman plans a pregnancy in advance, then for 3-6 months before the expected onset of pregnancy, you need to improve the body and increase the elasticity of the skin.
- take a complex of vitamins and minerals to be ready for their increased consumption during pregnancy;
- get rid of extra pounds, which will significantly reduce the risk of stretch marks on the chest;
- prepare the skin for future rapid stretching due to the increase in the volume of mammary glands( contrast shower, light massage with natural oils).
- When pregnancy occurs, you must continue to actively take care of the skin of the breast. Do not forget that the diet should include an abundance of vegetables and fruits, as well as low-fat varieties of fish and meat. This set of products will provide the body with the necessary building materials for rapidly developing breast cells. An important role in maintaining the elasticity of the skin of the breast is played by the correct drinking regime - at least 1.5 liters of pure still water.
- From the second trimester, the most critical period for the occurrence of striae, actively use special cosmetic products( cream or gel) from stretch marks.
- in their composition includes active skin moisturizers( aloe, hyaluronic acid), collagen and amino acids;
- increases the elasticity of the skin;
- have drainage properties, preventing edema.
- The physical activity of a pregnant woman will have a beneficial effect on strengthening the muscles of the breast and increasing the tone of the skin.
- visit to the fitness club, where a program for expectant mothers is provided;
- visit to the swimming pool;
- long walks in the fresh air with posture control.
- To maintain the shape of the breast, you need to take care of purchasing a quality bra for pregnant women. In addition, a properly selected bra will help reduce pain in the chest during pregnancy.
- to purchase underwear preferably in a specialized store for pregnant women;
- pay attention to the elasticity of the bra( not to buy every week a new one);
- microfiber or stretch cotton remarkably absorbs perspiration and other skin discharge, which will allow the skin to breathe;
- special underwear for pregnant women provides good breast support, which prevents it from sagging later;
- seamless brassieres models will eliminate possible sources of skin irritation;
- frame bra cups consists of plastic, tk.metal "bones" can squeeze the mammary glands, and some alloys may have an allergic reaction;
- fasteners have several rows, becausethe circumference of the breast will change;
- the extension of the backrest is provided taking into account the increase in weight;
- bra should close the breast of the pregnant woman as much as possible.the skin becomes extremely sensitive.
- Pay attention to the prevention of cracks in the nipples, becausethey are the entrance gate to disease-causing bacteria.
- hardening of the skin of the breast and nipples both before and during pregnancy;
- massage the breast and nipples with a towel after water procedures;
- to hold air baths for the chest, especially it is useful in late pregnancy and in the first weeks of feeding;
- in a cup of a bra to add in addition hygienic linings which will allow to avoid the raised humidity at allocation of a colostrum or milk from nipples;They are attached with a sticky tape and do not move, and also repeat the anatomical form and are imperceptible under the brassiere;
- during breastfeeding wash the breast once a day with boiled water without soap and dry the area of the nipples with a dabbing motion, not with a hard towel;
- the correct application of the child to the chest - it should completely grasp the mouth and nipple and the nipple circle;
- about all the nuances of breastfeeding must be known in advance;
- after breast-feeding the nipple to dry for 5-10 minutes in air and lubricate with lanolin oil( it can not be washed off before the next feeding);
- effective prophylactic is its own milk, which in addition to maintaining the necessary level of moisture and nutrients, creates a nipple protective film.
- Properly weaning the baby from breastfeeding also helps preserve the shape of the breast. If this is done abruptly, literally for 1 day, it will turn out that milk continues to be secreted, and no outflow occurs. It is best for both the mother and the baby to undergo a gradual weaning at the age of 2, when the milk is getting smaller.