Chest pain during pregnancy


Breast pain during pregnancy is common because the hormonal balance changes during pregnancy, the glandular tissue in the breast increases and milk production starts towards the end of pregnancy.

It is not uncommon for chest pain to be an early sign of pregnancy. The symptoms are usually most pronounced in the first few months of pregnancy.
Read more about this at: Signs of pregnancy

The pain can be very uncomfortable for affected women, but is usually harmless and caused by the circumstances of the pregnancy.


Most of the time breast pain is caused by the pregnancy hormonal change conditionally. In pregnancy, the female increases Sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in the blood. The hormone too Prolactin becomes in the course of pregnancy more poured out. This promotes that Structure of the mammary gland tissue and takes care of the Milk penetration.

The breasts are through the hormonal influences consequently greater and the Tissue swells quickly. This strong increase in tissue in a relatively short time leads to typical tensioning and pulling in the chest. In addition, the Blood circulation the chest reinforced.

In theory, chest pain can also express one Breast tissue disease However, this is particularly important in the context of pregnancy only very rare the case.

Especially one-sided Any pain should therefore be taken as a precaution medically clarified be there also potentially a malignant disease or one inflammation the mammary gland could be a question.

Read more about the topic here Breast Changes During Pregnancy


Women with breast pain during pregnancy usually perceive it as uncomfortable pulling in the breast or stabbing in different areas within the breasts. If pain is caused by hormones, it usually occurs in both breasts.

Read more on the subject at: Pulling in the chest during pregnancy

In addition, the painful breasts and nipples are very sensitive to touch and pressure. In general, there are also changes in the nipples during pregnancy.
Often the breasts are plump and tense. In very pronounced cases, even light touches to the chest, for example with a T-shirt, are already very uncomfortable for the woman. In addition to the pain, a throbbing or tingling sensation in the chest area may also be felt. In addition, breast growth and darker discoloration of the nipple (Mamille) determine. Milky fluid can leak from the nipples from around the second trimester of pregnancy. This is the so-called pre-milk, which indicates that the breast glands have started producing milk, which will soon be a prerequisite for breastfeeding the child.

However, if other symptoms occur in addition to the pain, such as significant reddening, overheating and swelling of the breast, it could be an inflammation of the breastmastitis) act. In this case a doctor should be consulted. The same applies if, in addition to chest pain, a feeling of illness, fever, vomiting or diarrhea occurs.

Please also read our article on this Swelling of the chest.

When do they occur?

Chest pain occur during pregnancy often at the very beginning pregnancy. Not infrequently they are even that first signs for one existing pregnancy. Through the hormonal influences (rising levels of estrogens, progesterone and prolactin) it comes to one significant growth of the mammary glands and later also for milk production. Until that Breast tissue adjusted for pregnancy it can therefore be too uncomfortable pain come. Usually The pain subsides from the second trimester of pregnancy. In the Lactation it can again to Chest pain come through breastfeeding. The chest is that Stress from the suckling child not used to that Nipples can hurt and the Chest sensitive. However, even these complaints usually resolve themselves over time

Diagnosing Chest Pain During Pregnancy

To the diagnosis Breast pain caused by pregnancy, too to back up, are no separate diagnostic measures required. The treating Gynecologist knows the phenomenon very well and can get through it Palpation of the breasts pregnancy-related Record states of tension and increased tissue.
At persistent or suspicious complaints, the Clues for one other cause of pain can deliver Ultrasound examination the chest. It will Breast tissue traversed with a transducer, leaving the doctor on a screen Detect tissue changes can. Depending on the findings, you can then possibly further measures initiated become.
In exceptional cases, a breast MRI can be discussed. An MRI is a radiation-free examination method that, under strict restrictions, can also be carried out during pregnancy.

Read more about the topics:

  • MRI in pregnancy
  • MRI of the chest


As the breasts can be very tender for a few months of pregnancy, it is important to wear a suitable bra. The cup size can change significantly during pregnancy, so well-fitting bras should be purchased in good time. Maternity wear shops also offer particularly supportive, soft bras that can help relieve sore breasts. Thin bras that are comfortable to wear at night can also reduce severe sensitivity to touch. When exercising, it is particularly important that a bra that is adequately supported is worn. Due to the strong growth of the breast, it becomes heavier and needs more support, since vibrations, as in sports, can otherwise intensify the symptoms. Every pregnant woman must try out further measures for herself that can relieve breast pain. Some women benefit from cooling the chest with cool compresses, others prefer warmth, for example in the form of a warm bath. A light massage of the breasts can often be pleasant. For example, pregnancy oils can be used, which can improve the feeling of tension.

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Home remedies

In order to alleviate the chest pain during pregnancy a little and to reduce the feeling of tension, simple means and simple rules can provide a good remedy.
Is recommended light bras that do not constrict or tighten to wear, the most suitable are often sports bras without underwire or special pregnancy bras, so that no or less pressure is exerted on the chest.
Supportive bustiers, which can be worn in addition to bras, often also help cooling compresses (e.g. quark or lavender compresses) which relieve pain in the mammary gland tissue, have a decongestant and soothing effect. Light massages with massage oils suitable for pregnancy can also be tried.


Common homeopathic remedies for painful breasts during pregnancy include folliculinum (homeopathic estrogen), Bryonia alba (white bryony) and Hydrastis canadensis (Canadian turmeric), Arnica montana (Bergwohlverleih), Asterias rubens (common starfish), Conium maculatum ( spotted hemlock), Lac caninum (dog's milk) or Phytolacca decandra (American pokeweed).

Peculiarity of the nocturnal chest pain

Some pregnant women suffer also at night under the annoying chest pain. This is particularly uncomfortable as the sleep through the complaints often severely disturbed or even impossible can be. At strong sensitivity to touch the breasts can almost impossible be a suitable pain-free sleeping position to find. Women with very sensitive breasts benefit often like this, even if they have one at night wear a thin bra, of the sits well and does not rub against the skin. This will make the sensitive nipples before a Rubbing the nightgown or the Duvet protected. A light massage of the breasts with Pregnancy oil, the Applying cool or warm compresses as well as a warm bath before bed, can also Provide relief.
The same applies to nocturnal chest pain as it does to daytime pain that it increases usually improve from the second trimester of pregnancy, as the body then gets used to the pregnancy and the breast tissue has adapted to the new requirements.


Are pregnancy-related chest pain usually strongest in the first trimester of pregnancy pronounced. Of the body must be in this phase first still adjust to pregnancy. The Breasts get bigger, the glandular tissue multiplies, soon puts the Milk production a. As soon as the Conversion processes largely expired are, to take usually also the Pain. From the third to fourth month of pregnancy is therefore with a Improvement of the complaints can be expected.

Duration of chest pain

Whether and for how long breast pain can occur during pregnancy cannot always be said in general terms, but rather individually very different.
The fact is that the mammary gland tissue grows during the entire pregnancy due to the hormonal changes and is prepared and changed for the upcoming lactation period, so that breast pain can occur throughout the pregnancy and also during the lactation period.


To pregnancy-related chest pain to preventit is recommended buy well-fitting bras, the one sufficient supportive function, however no restrictive effect to have. The growing breast needs support and enough space. Underwire bras can for many women at this stage be uncomfortable and Cause pain. Are better suited special maternity bras, the soft but holding are. Wider straps improve also the Support force. At very sensitive breasts can soft bras preventive also at night be worn. In particular during sports should Sports bras be worn as the Tremors the breast additionally irritate and can contribute to the development of chest pain. Otherwise, chest pain is common in pregnancy through the hormonal change of the body unfortunately not always avoidable. Once the Body gets used to pregnancy Has, improve the complaints however mostly by itself again.

Chest pain as a sign of pregnancy versus PMS / period chest pain

Whether an occurring chest pain is a sign of pregnancy or occurs in the context of a premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or your period can be differentiated by whether the symptoms occur cycle-dependent or not.

If the chest pain is related to a certain cycle time - usually shortly before the start of the period or during the period - the breast complaints are usually a hormone-dependent feeling of tension in the breast tissue, which can be more or less pronounced in individual cases.

Enter the chest pain cycle independent and if the period is also completely absent, this can include a Signs of pregnancy and should be clarified by a doctor as soon as possible.
Due to the changes in the hormonal balance, the mammary gland tissue during pregnancy is prepared for the subsequent lactation period and grows, so that breast tenderness and breast pain can occur throughout the pregnancy, which can even persist into the lactation period.

Unilateral chest pain

Breast pain in pregnancycaused by the hormonal change mostly on both sides on. However, it can too unilateral chest pain come. The general rulethat unilateral chest painwho have a last a longer period of time, medically clarified should be as a other cause for which complaints cannot be excluded. Especially when the chest additionally by Overheating, redness or other signs of inflammation notices, it could be one mastitis (mastitis) act that would have to be treated. Furthermore could Changes in breast tissue exist, for example benign knots or malignant diseases of the breast tissue (Breast cancer, Breast cancer). At unilateral chest pain only it is therefore always advisable to have a carry out a medical evaluation to let so depending on the findings a appropriate therapy can be initiated.