woman covering breastsSome of the most drastic changes that occur in early pregnancy are changes in your boobs. Many expecting mamas go up a bra size or two overnight—a pregnancy symptom that can be either troubling or enthralling, depending on how you feel about your breasts.

The hormones behind the sudden increase in breast size and weight are also responsible for the other changes in your breasts. Your growing breasts are simply getting ready for breastfeeding after the baby is born. Fat builds up in the breasts, making them larger.

The alveoli, or the milk production part of your breasts, are preparing to allow milk to flow to your nipples, which may become enlarged and erect, while the areolas (areas around the nipple). can broaden and darken. Another common pregnancy symptom is raised bumps on your areolas which can sometimes produce an oil that keeps your nipples moist and smooth. Additionally, the increase in blood flow through your body causes the veins in your breasts to become more visible.

Many expecting women also experience breast discomfort during the early stages of pregnancy. The swelling, tingling, throbbing and aching you may be feeling are signs that your body is prepping for milk-production. Breast tenderness is another one of the pregnancy symptoms that is common in the first trimester and beyond.

What can you do to make your breasts feel better? One of the easiest and surest things is to wear a well-supporting maternity bra in your new, larger size. It’s worth it to get some help from an expert in bra sizing to make sure you wear the right maternity bra. You may even want to wear it to bed so you can rest more easily.