Ah, sore breasts. One of the many not-so-fun side effects of being on your period. While having super sensitive and tender boobs is totally normal during that time of the month, it certainly isn’t a pleasant experience and all the other symptoms that come along with your flow don’t help either (we’re looking at you, cramps).
The good news is that there are things you can do to show your boobs some love and ease the discomfort. From tweaking your diet to rocking a sports bra, here’s six expert-recommended tips on how to take care of your breasts while on your period.
Bad news: Your beloved morning cup of coffee might be causing you pain. Kirsten Karchmer, integrative women’s health specialist and CEO of Brazen, recommends cutting out caffeine for a month to see what difference it makes in the way your breasts feel. “Caffeine significantly increases the amount of water retention and pain premenstrually,” she says. If you notice a big improvement, it might be a good idea to ditch the caffeine habit for good.
Reduce your salt intake
Salt is another thing that you might want to cut back on if you’re breasts are feeling particularly sore during your period. “Sodium will also cause you to retain more fluids and make them more sore premenstrually,” Karchmer says. She recommends reducing your salt intake starting from halfway through your cycle (around ovulation) and until you start your period.
Wear sports bras
If your breasts feel like big hot air balloons during your flow, the right support is key and sometimes a regular bra just doesn’t cut it. The solution? Wear a Lively sports bra to keep those puppies nice and snug. Lucky for your boobs, we teamed up with our friends at Lively to provide a 10% off discount code to their website. Make sure to use code RAELXLIVELY10 at checkout.
That said, even if you’re wearing a supportive sports bra, Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, with MedAlertHelp recommends avoiding heavy cardio workouts during this time. All the rapid movement might make your boobs hurt even more. Stick to something a little more gentle like yoga.
Use evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil isn’t just good for your skin and hair. It’s also a great natural remedy to keep in your period kit. “The anti-inflammatory properties provided by the omega-6 and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) will soothe and nourish your breasts,” says Adina Mahalli, women’s health expert at Maple Holistics. “Evening Primrose also contains qualities which can help strengthen the skin barrier from within by blasting through inflammation and free radicals.”
Switch up your diet
The food you eat during your cycle can also impact the way you feel. That’s why Dr. Velikova recommends cutting out fat and sugar from your diet. “Some studies suggest that a diet without high amounts of fat, sugar, salt and carbs relieve menstrual pains,” she says. “Sugar and fat increase the inflammation and boost production of prostaglandins in women's body. Also, fats in food impact levels of sex hormones which add to the swelling and breast tenderness.” In other words, stick to lots of veggies and foods rich in vitamins.
Give yourself a breast massage
Just like a tummy rub can help with menstrual cramps, a boob massage can also help reduce pain. Karchmer suggests doing it in the shower for the best experience. “With lots of soap, use your hands to make circular motions around your breasts going from the inside out,” she says. “Do it for one to two minutes.”