Yes, Your Breasts May Leak During Pregnancyby Elizabeth MacDonald
Your breast may have been one of the first signs that you were pregnant, as swelling and tenderness is common early in pregnancy. Did you know though that they may leak while you are still growing your baby?
That’s right mamas, you may awaken with your pajamas plastered to your chest, a sports bra soaked with something other than sweat, or experience a waterfall from your breasts in a hot shower. This is all completely normal – as is NOT leaking while pregnant.
Every mother, baby, and pregnancy is different, so this milestone is not a milestone that means anything other than your body is starting to produce milk. It does not mean that you will have an oversupply; it does not mean that labor is soon, and it does not mean that you will have an easier time breastfeeding than a mother who does not leak while pregnant. It simply means that your breasts are leaking milk.
The breastmilk you are leaking is not mature breastmilk, but instead it is called colostrum. This is the thick, yellowish, sticky milk that is produced before the white, thin milk that occurs after the baby is born. It is often referred to as the “Liquid Gold” because it is so beneficial to the baby.
There is no need to pump if you are leaking. Actually, pumping can trigger contractions and cause labor to begin prematurely. You can use the milk savers bags to collect the colostrum if you feel as though it is just being wasted on your bed sheets every night.
Leaking while pregnant can occur in any trimester. It is most common in the third trimester, but many women claim to have letdowns (the release of milk from the breast) as early as 14 weeks gestation!
The colostrum will dry as a thick and crusty substance but can be cleaned from the nipple with warm water.
Cotton, washable nursing pads can save you from embarrassing moments.
Your midwife or doctor should be made aware of your leakage if for no other reason than to add it to your chart.
- Just wait until your mature milk starts flowing after birth! Mama, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Stories from the boobs that leak:
“I started leaking colostrum with baby #1 at 17 weeks pregnant - before I was even showing! I would wake up with my night shirt glued to my breasts and would have to peel it off. I found nursing pads at about 20 weeks and wore them until I stopped nursing him. My milk came in with a vengeance during labor. My hospital gown was soaked with milk by the time labor was over. My firstborn never even got colostrum. It all went to my pajamas and nursing pads….. I did not happen with my next two!” -Summer
“I started leaking at 16 weeks with my first pregnancy and I was DISGUSTED. Like dry heave disgusted. There was MILK coming out of my BODY. Ha ha those feelings instantly disappeared during delivery.” -Hollie
“One night I dreamt that I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. I recall seeing his beautiful little face, making eye contact, and nursing for the very first time. It was one of those blissful dreams where you don't want to wake up. When I did, the entire front of my tank top was soaked. At first I thought it was sweat but no, it was colostrum. I was about 32 weeks along.” -Nicole