What is breast leaking, and is it common?
The breasts may produce milk weeks before the baby is due during pregnancy. If the breasts are leaking during pregnancy, it is usually due to a substance called colostrum. Breast leaking during pregnancy is quite normal. Colostrum is the first milk prepared by the breasts that will feed the baby to be born.
Colostrum is particularly nutritious for the baby. It contains high amounts of protein and is low on fats and sugar. It protects the baby from falling sick as it is loaded with antibodies.
When does breast leaking happen?
Each woman will have a different experience with leaking breasts. Some women start leaking before and might notice breast leaking during the 2nd trimester, around 26 –30 weeks of pregnancy. In some, it may not start until the last trimester. The leaking may also increase in some women when the due date is very near, and in some, there is no leaking until post-delivery.
How does a woman notice their breasts leaking?
- The stimulation of breasts during foreplay might cause it to discharge a few drops
- The breast could also leak clear fluid when the nipples are rubbed against the clothing during physical exercise
Is Colostrum a sign of labor?
Since they usually leak during the last trimester of pregnancy, breast leaking is commonly mistaken for signs of upcoming labor. During sex, uterine contractions accompany breast leaks as well. However, breast leaking does not indicate any symptoms of preterm labor.
What are the causes of breast leaking?
The causes of breast leaking can include prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production after the baby’s birth. It starts increasing during pregnancy, usually in the third trimester. Colostrum can leak out a bit if the prolactin levels slightly surpass estrogen and progesterone levels.
Is a doctor consultation necessary?
Breast leaking during pregnancy is normal, and if the leaking of milk is much more than what they are comfortable with, they can try putting tissues or an absorbent breast pad (certain times called maternity breast pads or nursing pads) in their bra to absorb the milk. If the leakage is more than usual (more than a few drops) or if the colostrum is bloody, a doctor should be consulted immediately.