Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy – both outside as well as inside. One of these transformations is the development of spider veins on your breasts.
They are usually more clearly visible if you’re fair-skinned, and show up less prominently if you have a darker complexion. Either way, they are completely normal and are in fact, a common sign of early pregnancy.
But why do spider veins appear on your breasts and do you need to worry if they become more prominent? We tell you all about them; from their causes, to diagnosis, to treatment, and how they impact your breastfeeding journey.
Spider Veins On Breast During Pregnancy: Why Do They Appear?
Image courtesy: Pixabay
During pregnancy, the veins in your breasts typically become more visible. This happens mainly because the blood volume increases from 20 to 40 per cent during this period, adding more pressure on your veins.
These veins are responsible for transporting oxygen, blood and nutrients to your developing foetus. So as a result of the increased blood flow, these veins are more visible under the skin.
They can appear in the first trimester of your pregnancy and spread all over your body, especially on your abdomen and breasts. However, note that spider veins do not cause the veins to bulge out of the skin like varicose veins.
Other Major Causes For Spider Veins On Breasts During Pregnancy
Image courtesy: iStock
If you’re also breastfeeding, chances are your veins would become more visible because your breasts are engorged with milk. The good news is that they will become less visible when your baby shifts to solids.
However, if the veins are accompanied by redness, fever and/or any other discomfort, you could be suffering from mastitis. It is an infection of the breast tissue that is caused by bacteria entering the milk duct through a break or crack in the nipple. It can also occur if the plugged or blocked milk duct isn’t treated accordingly.
At this time, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately so they can treat it easily with oral antibiotics.
Remember that it is normal to spot spider veins on breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding, if it’s not accompanied by pain. But at the same time, keep an eye on any new veins that you may spot developing. Contact your doctor if you also feel a lump on your breasts along with the additional veins.
Now, in addition to the aforementioned, there are other reasons why you may have developed spired veins on your breasts. These could be the following:
- Family history: Genetics also plays a huge role in the formulation of structures and even changes of your body, including spider veins on your breasts.
- Mondor’s disease: This benign (noncancerous) condition caused due to inflammation also leads to developing spider veins in the breasts. It can occur in both women and men, but it’s more commonly found in women. It may be caused by hard exercise, a tight-fitting bra, or surgery. But be extra careful if you spot any spidery veins as it can be an early sign of cancer.
- Large breasts: Larger breasts usually have more visible veins. They might also appear when you suddenly gain more weight too.
- Breast enlargement surgery: According to a 2009 study, veins can get more prominent after augmentation surgery. The study cites that many women weren’t even aware of the increased visibility and there were others who weren’t bothered by it. So if you are going for an enlargement surgery, this might be something to consider.
Here’s Why You Need Compression Socks During Pregnancy
Varicose Veins and Haemorrhoids in Pregnancy: Causes and Solutions
Best Nursing Bra Reviews: Support, Convenience, And Comfort For Breastfeeding Mums
How To Treat Spider Veins On Breast
During pregnancy, your breasts can develop bulging veins and that can be extremely uncomfortable. But this is a natural phenomenon (unless there is a pre-existing condition) and so there is not much you can do immediately. These veins will go back to their non-visible self in some time.
But if you are breastfeeding, these spider veins on your breasts will remain noticeable. As stated earlier, they will start to fade when your baby shifts to solid and is in the weaning phase.
However, if they continue to be visible and bothersome, then you must visit a cosmetic dermatologist. They may suggest the following treatments to treat this condition (note that your treatment will depend on your condition and your discussion with the doctor):
- Laser treatments: Doctors can use Endovenous laser therapy to shrink or destroy certain veins.
- Sclerotherapy: It involves injecting the veins with a chemical that shrinks them.
- Radiofrequency ablation: This can also treat small and localised breast cancer
Can You Prevent Spider Veins On Breast?
If your breasts are on the larger side and if you have a family history, spider veins are not preventable. But some women try to hide them with makeup or self-tanners.
However, this is not advisable and it is best to avoid self-tanner during your pregnancy. That’s because the long-term effects of active ingredients like dihydroxyacetone on pregnancy are still unstudied.
Some of the possible ways to prevent the appearance of spider veins on your breasts during pregnancy are the following:
- Make sure you reach your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen and elastin, two important connective tissues that help repair and maintain veins.
- Work out regularly. Maintaining a healthy weight will improve blood circulation, and lessen the pressure on your veins.
- Wear a well-fitting bra. Accept it, mum, Your bra size will change throughout pregnancy, so you shouldn’t hold on to your old bra if they already feel too tight. Make sure your breasts are always supported and have ample breathing space when wearing a bra. Tight clothes are a no-no too.
So instead of stressing about how the veins look, it is perhaps a good idea to take it in your stride.
Know that this is your body’s way of preparing for your baby’s arrival and even after the delivery when you choose to breastfeed. Once your baby starts solids, spider veins will soon bid you adieu!
Spider veins on breasts are usually not a cause for alarm, but if they become swollen, warm to the touch, are throbbing or causing you any pain or discomfort, inform your doctor right away.
Image source: Stock
Updates by Camille Eusebio
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.