10 Common causes of breast pain in mums
Breast pain isn't always something that mums should be worried about. It can be quite uncomfortable, but in most situations, it's generally harmless.
A lot of things can cause mums to have breast pain. While some mums worry that it might be something bad, breast pain can usually be chalked up to any of the following common reasons:
Breast pain is common among women who are about to have their periods, due to the surges of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This type of pain is more ache-y, rather than a sharp pain. The pain usually lasts anywhere from a week up to 10 days, and women usually don't need pain medicine for it. However, it is possible that some women might find it very painful or uncomfortable, so they might need some over-the-counter pain medicine.
Just like periods, breast pain in pregnancy is caused by the surge of hormones in your body. This is most common during the first trimester since your body is producing hormones that are needed to get the body ready for pregnancy.
These changes include an enlargement of the breasts, filling of the milk ducts, and sensitive nipples. The pain usually lasts for only the 1st trimester, and gradually goes away by the 2nd or 3rd trimester.
Breastfeeding can also result in breast pain, especially since some women find breastfeeding very painful or uncomfortable. This can be due to a number of reasons, including an improper latch by the child.
Sometimes breast pain can also be caused by dry nipples, and in some cases it's due to swollen milk ducts which is caused by a blockage.
4. Certain types of medication
Medication can also cause breast pain in some situations. This is especially the case for birth control pills, or medicine for hormone therapy or infertility treatments as these cause surges of hormones in your body.
If your breasts are really painful as a result of medicine, you can try to talk to your doctor about any alternative treatments that won't cause you any breast pain.
Cysts might sound scary, but they're a pretty common occurrence for mums who are 35 years old and over. Cysts are usually caused by a blocked breast gland which then causes fluid to accumulate.
For the most part, cysts are harmless, but they can be very painful in some cases. If you have a cyst in your breast, then it would be best to consult a doctor to find the best form of treatment for it.
Shingles are a manifestation of the chickenpox virus that usually happens later in life. If you've had chickenpox before, then it's possible that you can have shingles later in life.
Shingles can be painful if the rashes start to turn up on your breasts. It causes very itchy blisters that can also burst. It can also cause fever, headaches, and light sensitivity.
Currently, there's no cure for shingles, but there is a vaccine. Shingles usually last for 2-6 weeks at most.
7. Strained muscles
If you engage in regular exercise, then it's possible that the pain in your breast is caused by a strained pectoral muscles.
Your pectoral muscles are the muscles that are on your chest, and it can sometimes be very painful. For the most part, over-the-counter pain relievers and rest should help with this type of pain.
8. Your breasts are big
Yup, big breasts can sometimes be painful. Having large breasts can cause strain and stretch the breast ligaments and tissues, which can also cause pain on your neck, back, and shoulders.
Wearing a supportive bra can really help women with larger breasts cope with breast pain, and in more extreme cases, breast reduction surgery is an option.
9. You're wearing the wrong bra
Did you know that you could be possible wearing the wrong bra all this time? Wearing the wrong bra can cause breast pain since the fit isn't right for your breasts.
Sometimes, even having the right sized bra can cause breast pain if you're wearing your bra incorrectly!
In order to make sure that you're wearing your bras the right way, follow these steps:
- Wear your bra on the lowest hook.
- Place your breasts into each of the cups.
- Tighten the straps every other month.
10. You're nearing menopause
For older mums, breast pain can be a result of menopause. This is because duct eustasia, or a very painful widening of the milk ducts happens during menopause. It can cause a buildup of fluids and debris inside the breast, and can cause pain around the nipples or areolas.
Warm compresses help with duct eustasia, and the condition usually goes away after a while.