Leaking breasts is a natural process by which your body relieves the excess milk produced. However, it can add to the stress of new moms if not handled in the right way. Here’s everything you need to know about leaky breasts.
You have brought your little one home for the first time, and s/he is already keeping you on your toes. In between all the feeding, bathing, cleaning, and changing the baby, you may notice that your breasts are leaking milk. It may even feel awkward, especially when there are guests in the house, but understand that it is completely normal. In fact, it is your body getting used to the breastfeeding routine and how to release milk from the ducts at the right time. Until then, your breasts will leak milk at random hours in the day, without any warning.
What Causes Leaky Breasts?
When you are about to breastfeed your baby, the nerves in your nipples send a message to the brain. Based on this signal, the brain releases two hormones, prolactin (responsible for milk production) and oxytocin (responsible for milk release). This is known as a let-down-reflux.
Some new moms experience let-down where the milk sprays randomly from their breasts or spotting on their clothes even when it’s not the time for breastfeeding. This happens because, just like you are trying to figure out a feeding schedule with your baby, your body is trying to learn that schedule as well.
Leaky breasts can start as early as the last few weeks of pregnancy and last until your baby is 6-12 weeks old. By then, your body will have figured how much milk to produce and when to start releasing the milk.
Another interesting fact about leaky breasts is that it can happen even when you are away from your baby, when you hear any baby cry, when you are in the shower, when you are running late to feed your little one or even when you are having sex.
How to Deal With Leaky Breasts?
Although leaky breasts aren’t painful, they can be embarrassing and messy, especially if you return to the office after delivery. However, there some simple ways in which you can handle this sticky situation.
Use Nursing/Breast Pads
Nursing pads or breast pads are a handy solution if you are a working mom. Place them inside your bra to absorb the leaking milk and replace them when they get damp or soggy. You can easily buy these pads online or at your local pharmacy. There are also reusable breast pads available these days, or you can make one at home by cutting up unused sanitary pads or cloth diapers.
Make sure to breastfeed your baby at regular intervals so that there is no milk buildup. This will prevent excess milk from leaking from your breasts.
Express Your Breastmilk
If you are a working mom, it may get difficult for you to breastfeed often. This will cause the breast to become full and leak. Expressing milk using a breast pump will relieve your full breasts, and you can store the milk in the freezer for feeding your baby later.
Press Down on Your Nipple
Applying pressure on your breasts with your palm or your forearms or by crossing your arms tightly around your breasts can help stop the leak.
Cover Up With Clothing
Be smart about how you dress for work or when stepping out. Wear a jacket or wrap a shawl just in case your breasts start leaking when you are with other people.
Pack Extra Clothes
Always carry a change of clothes like an extra pair of t-shirts and a bra when you are going out. So that even if you are caught off-guard and your shirt is stained, you can quickly change into a fresh pair of clothes.
We hope this information helps you tackle leaky breasts without much hassle.
Prapti Chauhan is a freelance content writer by her profession and has over 6 years of experience in blogging and article writing. Over the years, she has gained popularity as a content creator who specializes in topics such as parenting, pregnancy, and new-born childcare. However, her forte is on writing articles on stem cell banking, umbilical cord stem cells, stem cell therapy, and research.