leaking breastmilk postpartum
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Leaking Breastmilk Postpartum? Here’s what you can do!

By Teddyy 8 May 2023
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You’re in a cab, in a meeting, or just sitting with your family for movie time after a long day of work—and it starts again… that now familiar feeling of wetness oozing through your nursing bar. You’re tired and embarrassed. What if someone sees the wet patches? How is this happening despite the feeding and pumping?

We understand. Breastmilk leaking after delivery can be very frustrating, and yet, it is one of the most common occurrences as your body adjusts to the phenomenon of lactation and adapts to produce the quantity that your baby needs.

What causes leaky breasts and how to fix it? Read along with us.

What causes breastmilk leaking?

Your breasts overflowing isn’t actually a bad thing! It’s your body’s way of protecting you from common issues caused by excess supply such as breast engorgement, plugged milk ducts, and mastitis.

Or, it may also be a reflex action! You see, when you hear your baby crying, or think about your baby, smell your baby, or even just sit in the same chair that you usually use to nurse, your body may assume you’re ready to feed, and thus trigger what are called “letdown reflexes” a system through which your body prepares to release breastmilk.

Letdown reflexes, are triggered by the production of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone may also be produced when engaging in sexual activity. This is the reason why you may experience the leaking or ‘spraying’ of breastmilk during restful activities (as mentioned earlier) or during intimate moments.

Tips for dealing with leaking breastmilk

Here are some ways to deal with leaking breasts:

Apply pressure

If you feel letdown happening at an awkward moment, cross your arms over your breasts and apply pressure to your nipples. If it happens when you’re sitting at a table, cup your chins in your hands and press your forearms onto your breasts.

Breastfeed often

Breastfeeding often can prevent your breasts from becoming too full, which can help decrease the amount of leaking in return.

Wear breastfeeding nursing pads

Tuck nursing pads inside your nursing bra to absorb leaks and protect your clothing and save you from embarrassing moments. Like diapers and sanitary pads, these should be changed whenever they’re wet to prevent irritation and fungal infections.

Dress smart

When you’re out and about, layer your tops and go for darker colors and tops with patterns to help disguise accidental leak marks.

Try ice

Heat encourages milk flow, so the opposite is also true: applying ice or cold water to the nipple can stop the milk flow for a short period of time.

Avoid pumping too much

Pumping breastmilk to prevent leaking only tells the body to make even more milk, which means more leaks! Instead, hand express a small amount of breastmilk until you’re comfortable.

Be patient

Some mothers continue to leak breastmilk as long as they nurse, but many find that the problem goes away once the baby falls into a nice schedule. Once the milk production is synced to your baby’s hunger cycles, which typically happens within the first 6 to 10 weeks, your breasts shouldn’t leak as often.

It’s even normal to keep leaking for up to three weeks after weaning. However, if you keep leaking breastmilk for more than three months after you’ve fully weaned your baby, it’s time to see your doctor.

We know that apart from everything else you’re dealing with a damp shirt front can be really annoying—not to mention sticky and embarrassing. But take a moment, and just remember that your body is just trying to do its best to provide this little human you have made with the best nutrition possible. Plus, it’s temporary. Stock up on nursing pads and Teddyy Diapers, one of the best diapers for newborns, and trust! Things will get fine again at the soonest.

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FAQS

How long can you leak breast milk after birth?

You may leak breastmilk for anywhere between a few weeks to several months. While leakage is common, the duration of leakage can vary from person to person. Not leaking is absolutely fine too!

Does leaking breasts mean good milk supply?

Leaking breast milk has no relation to milk supply! Some women may not leak but still have a healthy milk supply. On the other hand, some women may leak excessively but have a low milk supply. As long as your child is happy and well fed, you should be too. 😊

How long does your breast leak after birth if not breastfeeding?

If you are not breastfeeding, your milk production will gradually decrease, and your breast milk leakage will eventually stop. The length of time it takes for breast milk to dry up completely can vary, but it usually takes a few weeks to a few months.

How do you stop your breast from leaking when not breastfeeding?

Try wearing breast pads to absorb the milk, avoid tight-fitting clothing, and use a cold compress on your breasts to reduce the milk supply. This should help stop the leakage.

When I squeeze my breast my nipples leak?

Squeezing your breasts can stimulate milk production, which may cause your nipples to leak. It’s a normal response, and you shouldn’t be concerned unless you are experiencing other symptoms such as breast pain, fever, or redness, which could be a sign of a breast infection.

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