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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.

The Unstoppable Breast: Leaking Milk

When it comes to breastfeeding, your breasts do some crazy things until a solid routine is established. Some women find themselves beginning to leak before their baby is born. Others simply have complaints months after their little one makes an appearance.

As with most things related to child rearing, everyone is different. A breast leaking milk does not always have to mean anything other than your body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to.

The Unstoppable Breast! Leaking milk does NOT have to mean anything other than this: your body is doing its job! Learn more about leaking milk.

Leaky Breasts Help Prevent Engorgement

Engorgement is a terrible, horrible place to be. It’s a problem that’s quickly solved by getting rid of the stored up milk reserves. If you’re unable to nurse or pump, your breasts will leak a little (or a lot) of milk in order to relieve some of the pressure.

This happens to nearly all women as their milk supply is building up and adjusting to baby’s demands.

Not All Women Leak Breast Milk

Some mothers will only leak a few times, while others may struggle to clean their nursing tanks fast enough. If you happen to be on the end with an abundance of dirty nursing bras you must remember that wet, soiled clothing is a breeding ground for thrush.

Should you find yourself struggling with engorged, leaky breasts put someone on laundry duty. I found it best to keep a stock of one nursing tank for each day.

If you don’t ever leak that’s okay, too. Leaking breast milk is not a sign of an overabundance of milk. Every woman is different and our bodies react to changes in different ways.

When Does the Leaking Stop?

Once breastfeeding is established, breasts generally stop leaking. For most women, this happens around 4 months into a healthy breastfeeding relationship.

Here are some tips to get you by until then:

  • When your breasts/nipples tingle that is called a letdown reflex. You should be able to feel it just as milk starts to flow from your breast. You can stop the flow and prevent any more leaking by applying firm pressure. I simply pressed on my nipples with my hand, but some women prefer to cross their arms for a more subtle approach.
  • Don’t wear white and stick to flattering prints in public. Should an accident occur, people are less likely to notice breast milk stains in the midst of a paisley print or heart-themed camouflage.
  • Breastfeed often. Frequent, unrestricted access to the breast prevents a back-up of breast milk. This also helps to establish the necessary supply sooner.
  • Avoid disposable pads. They keep the nipple moist and add to nipple soreness and thrush issues. Instead try some washable, breathable pads or reusable pads specially designed to prevent leaking.

Whether you’re pregnant or nursing, leaky breasts is a normal part of this journey into motherhood. The struggle is real, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not as bad as it seems. Simply make small adjustments to your day-to-day life and you’ll be a professional in no time!

Shary Lopez is a late-twenties, nerdy gal living in Tampa Bay. Her family consists of a bearded husband and two children: one eight-year-old daughter and one very adventurous toddler boy. As a childbirth junkie and breastfeeding advocate, Shary tries to lean her family towards natural living while still grasping onto convenience and frugality. You can find more of her writings on Shary's personal blog, Atta Mama. Shary is also on social networking sites such as FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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