How to deal with leaky breasts?
Some women experience leaking from their nipples during pregnancy which is quite normal and is caused by an imbalance in pregnancy hormones. Women breasts start leaking months before she gives birth to baby and sometimes as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy. The fluid leaking from breasts during pregnancy is called 'Colostrum' which is the first milk that nourishes the baby in the initial days until the milk comes in. Leaking is completely normal and there is nothing to worry about it.
Why do breasts leak?
Leaking breasts during pregnancy is normal among lactating mothers. Estrogen made by the placenta acts to prevent the secretion of milk until the baby arrives, but sometimes the balance of prolactin and estrogen is not perfect, and breasts become fully filled with milk that it starts to overflow or oxytocin hormone triggers the muscle cells in breasts to squeeze out milk.
Leaking in breasts may occur at specific times, such as:
- When the mothee thinks about baby
- Hear baby cry
- In the warmth environment
- Feeding from one breast, the other one starts to leak milk
- In the morning time – when milk supply is at its highest
How long do breasts leak:- In some cases leaking may start during pregnancy whereas in other cases it may happen during first few weeks of breastfeeding. Many mothers find that their breasts stop leaking milk after six to ten weeks of breastfeeding. However, in some cases, leaking of breasts lasts as long as the mother breastfeed the child
How to prevent breasts leaking?
There is no specific way to stop breasts from leaking, but mother can adopt following measures:
Feed regularly - Breastfeed your child regularly to prevent breasts from becoming too full. This will help decrease the amount of leaking.
Apply the pressure- If you feel the tingling sensation in breasts, press your hands gently against nipples to help stop the milk from leaking.
Wear breast pads: Wear breast pads in bra to absorb the milk, prevent embarrassment and protect clothing. Just be sure to change bra pads when they get damp.
Avoid lactation supplements- If mother is taking lactation supplements to encourage breasts for milk production from early days, make sure to stop. This could be the part of problem.
Try lying down breastfeeding: Lying down breastfeeding can be helpful because it gives baby more control. Baby can set the pace and lift to head for breastfeeding rhythm.
Choose darker cloth- usually a breast pad and a bra are sufficient to prevent milk from getting on cloths. In case of too much leakage mother should prefer to wear dark colored clothes.
Leaking breasts do not last for long. As baby grows older, it reduces. In specific conditions, if it makes mother uncomfortable like causing pain in breasts or feeling burning sensation, she should immediately consult a doctor.