Q: I'm pregnant with my first baby and have painful breasts. Is this normal?
A: This is perfectly normal. Breast tenderness is caused by the increased volume of blood and other fluids, as well as the heightened hormone production, of pregnancy. While it may be uncomfortable, this sensitivity is considered one of the most reliable signs that your pregnancy is progressing well.The amount of tenderness experienced can vary greatly among women; while your breasts may be more painful than others, the discomfort will subside significantly by the end of your first trimester. In the meantime, wearing a supportive, well-fitted bra, even at night, may keep you more comfortable.You also are likely to see visual changes in your breasts during pregnancy. The areola, or the dark area surrounding the nipple, may become darker; the tiny bumps on the areola (called Montgomerys tubercles) typically become more pronounced; and blood vessels in the breasts may become bluish and more prominent. If you notice any discoloration beyond the deepening of pigment mentioned above, or dimpling of the breasts surface, let your doctor know.