Your body can change a great deal when you're
Changes in your breasts: For some women, having tender breasts is one of the first early pregnancy symptoms. Their breasts can also feel swollen and fuller, and some women can experience a tingling sensation. By the end of the first trimester, the nipple and areola can start to darken, although this can be more noticeable for those with darker hair and complexions. The nipples can also become more prominent and feel sensitive and sore. When this happens, it helps to swap to a more comfortable, supportive bra such as a sports bra. It is advisable to avoid bras with underwire as this can constrict the changing shape of the breast. All these changes are a sign that the body is getting ready to breastfeed. The milk ducts are starting to grow and there will be an increased blood supply to the breast, often making the veins more noticeable but don't worry, it is perfectly normal. Skin changes For some women, being pregnant gives them glowing skin and a wonderful healthy complexion. This is due to the increased volume of blood pumping round the body, as well as the increased secretions of oil from the glands giving the skin a waxy sheen. However, for others, pregnancy symptoms can mean an outbreak of spots or the skin becoming dry and itchy. If this is the case, avoid perfumed shower gels and bubble bath as these can be drying and moisturise daily. Some can develop a condition called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, when a butterfly-shaped mask of darker skin appears on the face. This is nothing to worry about as it can be concealed with make-up and disappears after the birth. Pregnant women are often more sensitive to the sun so it is important to use UVA protection. Stretch marks One of the most dreaded pregnancy symptoms is stretch marks where reddish lines appear, often on the breasts, stomach, breasts and thighs, when the elasticity of the skin becomes over-stretched. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent them - some women get them and some don't - but it can help not to put on too much weight, wear a supportive bra and use intensive moisturisers specially formulated to lessen stretch marks. The lines will gradually begin to fade and become a lot less noticeable after the birth.