Leaking breasts, yes, it is actually exactly what you think it is. During and after pregnancy, it is common for breasts to leak breast milk. From the moment you are pregnant, the body prepares to feed your baby. As a result, milk production is already underway. We can imagine that it can be annoying, but it's actually good news. It means your milk let-down reflex is working. Want to know more about leaky breasts and how to deal with them? Then read on quickly.
What are leaking breasts?
With leaky breasts, breast milk comes out of the breasts at times when it is not needed. And by not needed, we mean that no baby is attached to the breast. Leaky breasts are annoying, but unfortunately they cannot be prevented. It is completely harmless and it indicates that your milk release reflex is working well. This is of course good news! Leaky breasts can occur during pregnancy and when you start giving breastfeeding after delivery (Anababa, s.d.).
Leaking breasts during childbirth
From the time you are pregnant, the body prepares to breastfeed. Therefore, it sometimes happens that the mom loses concentrated breast milk before delivery - also known as colostrum. How much breast milk you lose or when this occurs is different for each woman. Don't worry, being prematurely delicious does not affect the amount of breast milk you produce once your baby is born (Lansinoh, 2021)!
Tips for leaking breasts
Colostrum is a thick and yellowish liquid. Leaking can happen at any time of the day, but it is more common when the woman is sexually aroused. It also varies from woman to woman how much you leak. We have a few tips to get as comfortable as possible with your leaking breasts and so the milk doesn't get on your clothes.
- Suckling compresses - You can compare it to panty liners, but you put them inside your bra. It is important that you replace them in time to prevent infections.
- Silicone nursing pads - These pads press the nipple inward. In this way, the milk cannot come out.
- Leaking bowls or breast shells - these are round plastic collection trays that can be placed inside the bra. These trays catch the milk.
Leaky breasts after childbirth
Breast leakage persists even after childbirth, again, it varies from woman to woman. Especially if you are breastfeeding, the chances of leaking are higher. You may notice that you also leak while feeding. For example, when you have positioned your baby on your right breast, the left breast often wants to join in. This is because the milk release reflex affects both breasts at the same time. You can also leak between feeds or when you are lying comfortably in bed (Anababa, s.d.).
Dangerous? No. Annoying? Maybe it is. We can imagine that leaking breasts can get in your way, especially since the leaking takes on a life of its own. But don't let it ruin your day, that would be a real shame. Try out nursing pads for perhaps a nicer and fresher feeling. Try to find a way that works for you!
Anababa. (s.d.). Leaking breasts - Anababa. Anababa. Accessed November 19, 2021, from https://www.anababa.nl/gezondheid/eten-drinken/baby/melkvoeding/borstvoeding/problemen/lekkende-borsten
Lansinoh. (2021, January 6). Body changes during pregnancy. Consulted on November 19, 2021, from https://www.lansinoh.be/lichaamsveranderingen-tijdens-de-zwangerschap/