When your body is making room to grow another human, it makes sense that things might get shifted around and change during the process. You're certainly familiar with the obvious changes, but what about some of the lesser talked-about symptoms, like the millions of ways your boobs can look and feel different?
According to the Mayo Clinic, in your first trimester, you might have breast tenderness, and in your second trimester, you might notice more changes like general breast enlargement. Not to mention color changes and fluid discharge. Bodies: They're wild! This can be caused by hormone changes your body is making to prepare for breastfeeding.
Just like everything with pregnancy, no symptoms are universal. Here, nine new mothers (and some who are pregnant right now) share all the details about how their breasts evolved throughout their pregnancy:
- "During pregnancy, the first thing I noticed—before even taking the test—was how sore my boobs were. As I got more and more pregnant, my boobs got huge and heavy. As a formerly small-breasted lady, I had always wanted bigger boobs, but I found myself really not enjoying it. I hated taking my bra off because my boobs would hit my stomach and it just felt awkward and weird." —Jacqueline, 31
- "During my first pregnancy, my breasts immediately became more full and my nipples were super sensitive and felt very sexual. During breastfeeding, whenever my nipples were touched by anything, (even shower water!) they elicited an unwarranted sexual response and sexual urge, kind of like the feeling right when you hit 'air-time' when going down a roller coaster, except in my pants. They increased by two cup sizes even before I gained [a lot of] weight—by the second trimester!" —Jen, 35
- "I actually thought I was pregnant at first because of the way my breasts and underarms felt. I had soreness for about a week, and I kept thinking 'Did I work out too hard or something?' Since we had been trying to get pregnant for a year, I thought I should take a pregnancy test. It was positive! My breasts grew during the whole pregnancy and my husband made sure to let me know as well." —Jennifer, 36
- "Throughout my pregnancy, my breasts have gone through a wave of evolution. While my belly has grown from the size of an orange to a watermelon, my breasts have transformed from hard little apples to big, juicy, easily bruised mangoes. The first trimester they felt sore and tight all the time, with a constant prickly pain that was amplified three times by even the slightest touch, brush, or jab. The second trimester they felt itchy, tender, and squished—I had to upgrade to a bigger bra to make room. Now, near the end in my third trimester, they are just big and in the way—they feel like they could spill out at any moment."—Krystal, 35
- "When I got pregnant for the first time, I was a small B cup. My breasts grew to a C cup and breasts felt full and heavy—like they do when you get your period. An extremely noticeable difference in my breasts during pregnancy was when they started to leak colostrum! I would have yellow fluid, (sometimes called "liquid gold" by lactation consultants) leaking from my nipples and making crusty marks in my bras. It was a very strange sensation to be able to expel fluid from my nipples before my breastmilk was anywhere near being produced. I also HATED wearing any underwire during this time so I opted for camisoles with built-in shelf bras for maximum comfort but minimal support. My rib cage expanded a lot to make room for the baby, so I ended up going from a 32B to a 36C during my pregnancy. After pregnancy, my breasts have definitely changed physically, but my relationship with my breasts is what changed the most. They went from being a part of my sexual identity to my children's food source and then a very long road back to being sexual again."—Kenna, 30
- "One of the first things I noticed during my pregnancy was my breasts starting to feel larger and heavier. More there than before. As someone who barely fit into a B cup before, it's kind of shocking to all of a sudden have such a boob presence. They're also much more noticeable because they're so sensitive. I've even had to back off on great big hugs because it can kind of hurt. I'm glad I used to always wear bras that were a little too big—now they fit perfectly." —Laura, 28
- "While pregnant with my first, my breasts were ginormous. They were seriously bigger then my belly until about seven months. They were the focal point of my whole body… They were heavy and sore and then heavy again. While they didn't change color, they were just so big I had to buy several new bras. After having the baby, they ballooned to a size H—I did not know that even existed. But [they] gradually shrunk as I breastfed."—Monica, 39
- "My breasts are very sensitive to the touch and need to be gently massaged before sexual activity so that they don't cause pain. Throughout my past pregnancies, I noticed that my areola became bigger and darker. One tip as you get bigger is to put powder between your breasts and under them, so that they don't get irritated and sweaty rubbing together and sitting on your belly." —Kelly, 32
- "My breasts were extremely sore and very, well... bloated. They felt like they were going to explode! If I was able to view them from the inside out, I would swear they were bruised. They were very, very painful to the touch. Post-pregnancy wasn't any better as breast feeding is also painful at first, but there was some relief once I was able to discharge milk." —Gela, 45
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.