Pregnancy significantly alters the body of the expectant mother. One of the first areas affected is the chest. What are the effects of pregnancy on the chest? How can it be cared for during this period? Learn more in this article.
Breast: How to take care of it during pregnancy?
Pregnancy and its effects on the breasts.
During pregnancy, the breasts undergo a transformation. They can gain between 0.5 and 1.5 kg over the 9 months, and double in size. These changes can be gradual or very rapid (within a few weeks). Under the influence of increased levels ofoestrogen and progesterone, the alveolar epithelium grows and begins to synthesise some of the components that will make up the milk. The adipose tissue also expands, as do the galactophores ducts, the channels through which milk is brought to the nipples. These various elements result in the rapid stretching of the skin of the breasts. To protect it, the implementation of certain measures is necessary.
Choosing a maternity bra.
Quite quickly during pregnancy, traditional bras no longer suffice. It then becomes necessary to switch to a maternity bra, which is wire-free and features wide straps, in order to avoid compressing your chest. Ensure you take accurate measurements before this and repeat the process every two months or so, as you will likely go up a few sizes as both your chest and your baby grow. The breasts often become significantly heavier during the third trimester of pregnancy, which can cause back pain. Wearing a night-time bra can provide relief while you sleep.
Note : your breasts may start to release colostrum, a highly nutritious liquid for the baby, a little before childbirth. To prevent the appearance of moisture spots, you can wear nursing pads in your bra.
Hydrate and nourish the skin daily.
To maintain the elasticity of the chest during pregnancy, daily hydration is essential, starting from the first trimester. The application of a moisturising and nourishing body care product helps the skin to cope with the stretching it undergoes during pregnancy and helps to prevent stretch marks. These form following the rupture of the collagen fibres in the dermis and leave initially purple then white marks on the skin's surface. Whether you choose a balm, cream, gel or oil, the composition must be compatible with pregnancy. To ensure this, check whether the packaging includes the phrase "suitable for pregnant women".
In order to provide elasticity and suppleness to the bust, we recommend our gel-in-oil. This 100% natural origin care poses no risk during pregnancy and contains baobab oil (INCI: Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil) and maracuja concentrate (INCI: Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil), ingredients that are reparative and nourishing.
Maintain a straight back.
Posture plays a very important role during pregnancy. The heaviness of the chest often leads to a forward tilt of the torso. Over time, this position can cause tension in the neck and upper back muscles. To avoid injuring yourself, remember to regularly straighten up. Take a deep breath and elongate yourself by pushing the top of your head upwards, without however lifting your chin. Imagine for this a thread attached to the top of your head being pulled towards the sky.
Perform some exercises.
To tone the breasts and increase their firmness, there are a few gentle exercises, posing no risk to the mother and baby. The most common one is as follows: place your hands palm against palm then spread your elbows while applying gentle pressure. Repeat this exercise about twenty times, making sure to keep your back straight and your shoulders slightly back.
Note : The benefits attributed to this exercise have not been the subject of a scientific study, it is rather a wellness tip.
Betting on the cold.
Cold brings numerous benefits to the skin. It notably stimulates blood circulation, which allows for a better supply of nutrients to the cells, including fibroblasts. These are the cells that synthesise collagen and elastin, essential components of the extracellular matrix. Therefore, it is recommended to apply a cold compress daily to the chest during pregnancy, in order to tone and strengthen the skin in this area.
It should be noted that the various properties of cold have not been specifically demonstrated on the chests of pregnant women. Once again, this is more of a trick.
TYLER K. H. Physiological skin changes during pregnancy. Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics (2015).
MCGUIRE K. & al. Anatomy and physiology of the breast during pregnancy and lactation. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (2020).