Breast Milk leaking is an embarrassing problem

breast milk leaking is an embarrassing issue

It is just the way of the world that breast milk for  some women that are nursing will leak out between feedings.  It does not mean there is anything wrong.  It is a natural reflex called letting down.  It happens for many reasons:

You rub up against a bed sheet, you dry off with a towel after a shower, or your nipples rub on your clothing, the one that surprises most new mothers is that their milk will let down when they hear a baby cry.  It does not even have to be their own baby, any baby crying will release the let down reflex.

Normally this happens during the first 2-4 weeks after you have given birth but some women can take up to 20 weeks to settle into a good routine.  Your body will take time and slowly adjust to the new demand on it and will start to produce the right amount of milk.  You will learn the clues that tell you when your baby is hungry and be able to feed before they begin to leak.  It just takes time and patience.  If you go too long without nursing or at least pumping the milk from your breasts then you will have a greater tendency to leak milk.

Never expect perfection and for mishaps to happen, they are called accidents for a reason.  If you do happen to leak through your clothes, then simply change your place.

There are some things you can do to help manage breast milk leakage

Whatever you do, don’t panic. It is not life ending.  If you wear a blouse that is printed or striped then it will be hard to tell that there is leakage anyway and unlike formula, breast milk will not stain your clothes.

When you feel the let down reflex happening, quickly fold your arms tightly across your chest, putting direct pressure on your breasts, or if you are in a place that you can do more, take your finger and thumb and pinch your nipple until the flow and the feeling stops.  This will help but it usually takes until the baby is about three weeks old.

Use breast pads, they have disposable ones and cotton inserts, make sure you do not use a plastic liner and change the pads often if they are wet as you don’t want bacteria to grow and the rubbing of your nipples to the wetness will cause soreness.

Some women think that if they pump more often they will leak less.  This is wrong.  Your body will simply produce more milk and thus the results will be more leaking.

When I was breastfeeding I would get this sharp let down reflex and if i went into the bathroom quickly and pumped just the excess out, then it would stop leaking.

There are some great resources out there for breast feeding moms here are a few:

La Leche League International– They have a 24-hour Breastfeeding Helpline: 877-4-LALECHE

Breast feeding. Com

Womanshealth.gov

Filed under: Women's Issues

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