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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Leaking Breast Milk: What to Expect and How to Stop It

Leaking Breast Milk: What to Expect and How to Stop It #breastfeeding #breastmilkIs leaking breast milk normal? Yes! Leaking breast milk is normal and healthy! It is a sign that breastfeeding is going well! Yet leakage can also be an unpredictable and, maybe, inconvenient part of breastfeeding!

When will my breasts start leaking? How long will this last?

Similar to many other aspects of women’s bodies it is very individual and different from person to person. Some women start leaking colostrum while they are still pregnant. Most mothers only leak breast milk for the first few months while they are establishing a supply that will soon be regulated by their babies. Yet some mothers leak the whole time they nurse and even after their baby weans.

Important Breast Milk Leakage Facts

  • If you do not leak, or you suddenly stop leaking, this does not necessarily mean that your supply is too low or that you aren’t making enough milk for your baby. Our bodies are meant to regulate to produce the supply of milk our baby needs. Most women stop leaking breast milk when their baby is a few months old. At this time the milk supply has been established.
  • Whether your breasts will leak or not depends on the sphincter muscles in your nipples. During a surge of oxytocin (often called the love hormone) you will experience let down. You may experience let down and leak while your baby is nursing on the other breast, while being intimate with your partner, or when hearing a baby cry in public (even one that doesn’t belong to you!).
  • Leaking breast milk is a reminder to return to your baby and nurse if you’ve been apart for an unusually long length of time. Leaking relieves engorgement, preventing mastitis and painful clogged ducts.

How to Deal with Leaking Breast Milk

  • The most effective way to stop leaking breast milk is to fold your arms across your chest and apply firm, but gentle, pressure.
  • Most women stop leaking breast milk when their milk supply regulates to their baby’s needs.
  • Invest in breast pads: you may have to experiment with several different types to find your favorite. Some mothers like disposable nursing pads while some prefer washable and reusable cloth breast pads. You can even make your own!
  • Discreet breast milk collectors can be slipped into your bra to collect breast milk leakage to build up your freezer stash!

Did you experience your breast milk leaking? How did you handle this?

Devany LeDrew is a former kindergarten teacher turned write-at-home-mom. She's the mother of three, grieving the loss of one. She is passionate about gentle parenting, literacy education, grief outreach, and breastfeeding, of course! She writes at Still Playing School, as well as at a blog specifically about grief The Beauty of the Bereaved. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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