Pregnancy takes you through a myriad of emotional and physical changes that help your body prepare for the delivery. Leaking breasts is one of them. This is a normal phenomenon and you need not worry about it. It happens when your body starts to produce milk to breastfeed your baby. Your breast gets filled with milk and leak occasionally. Let’s find more about its causes, safety concerns, and ways to prevent this discomfort in detail.
What Leads To Leaking Breast In Pregnancy?
After the birth of baby, a yellowish liquid starts to come out from the breasts. It is called colostrum. It is believed to be the first nourishment to the baby. Leaking breasts is one of the ways by which your breasts produce this ‘baby-food’.
According to health experts, it is due to an imbalance in the levels of pregnancy hormones. At this time, an important pregnancy hormone,” prolactin” is secreted that helps in the production of milk. This increase in prolactin levels, fills your breasts with yellow colored creamy fluid “colostrum”. It is very important for the baby as it contains a lot of protein, and antibodies that safeguards your baby against infection.
Is Leaking Breast Normal During Pregnancy?
Yes. Leaking breasts is normal and does not harm the health of a person in any way. In fact, it is good sign that indicates you that your body is making timely progress and preparing high-protein food for the baby.
Colostrum is very nutritious fluid for the baby and aids in early digestion. Loaded with protein, it has low amount of sugar, and fats in it. This fluid also has good amounts of antibodies that safeguards your baby from getting sick.
When does a woman’s breast begins to leak in Pregnancy?
Noticing a few drops of liquid leaking from breasts is normal. Ideally, a pregnant woman would start to see this effect when she reaches fourteenth week of her pregnancy. Every expecting mother can have a different experience. There are a few women who may go through their pregnancy without any leakage. Some women do not experience leaking right after their delivery. In others, it might happen during their third trimester in pregnancy that is around 26 to 30 weeks of pregnancy. With the nearing of the due date, some women may see an increase in the leakage.
Sometimes, brisk walk, or any activity can also lead to breast leakage. Whatever the situation is, breast leakage is not an indicator of your ability to breastfeed your baby. If the problem bothers you, then you should discuss your queries with your doctor.
Is Breast Leakage An Indication Of Labor?
In cases when leaking breasts occur in the last trimester of pregnancy, it is viewed as a sign of approaching labor. This phenomenon is accompanied with contractions in uterus, but that does not imply preterm labor.
Ways To Deal With Leaking Breast In Pregnancy
Breast Leakage can bring you a lot of embarrassment and irritation. However, this is a normal and obvious procedure that can’t be stopped. There are some ways by which you can reduce the discomfort caused due to it.
- Do not fret. Take it as a part of pregnancy experience. Be patient.
- Regularly feed your baby as it will give you some relief from leaking breasts. If you continue to notice enough secretion of milk, then let it out. If you don’t, it can cause blockage.
- Wear disposable or reusable breasts pads when you go out in public. Change them at regular intervals of time and maintain hygiene.
- Wearing cotton maternity bras can make your sleep comfortable.
- Always carry extra pair of dress, and bra with you to save yourself from embarrassment.
- Nursing pads can be worn inside the bra to prevent spots on the shirt.
When should you worry and see a doctor?
Leaking of breast milk is a very common phenomenon in pregnancy. But there are certain situations when you need to seek immediate assistance from the doctor. If you find that the discharged milk isn’t creamy, and thick, then it can be worrisome. If you notice that the milk is foul-smelling, or bloody, then it can be due to any bacterial infection. In rare cases, it can be an indication of breast cancer. Considering the severity of this condition, it is best to talk to your doctor at the earliest.
Leaking breast can be irritating but do not cause any negative effect on you and your baby. The amount of leakage can differ from one mother to another. Second time mothers may start leaking earlier than estimated time and in more amounts. Just like the other not-so-good experiences in pregnancy, take it also a pregnancy experience that will subside on its own.