The last thing a pregnant woman expects is leaking breasts during her pregnancy. The thick, sticky, yellowish/orange fluid that is leaked out is actually not milk but colostrum. Colostrum is a fluid rich in nutrients for the baby. It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep baby healthy. It is low in volume but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn.
Should I be worried about my leaking breasts?
No you should not be worried about leaking colostrum when pregnant. Leaking breasts is a relatively common symptom of pregnancy. Some women may experience leaking breasts as early as 14 weeks into their pregnancy, others may experience it much later or may not experience it at all. Sometimes, one of your breasts may leak and at other times, both your breasts may leak. At the same time some women may experience a lot of discharge and some may experience very little of it. Either way, it is simply your body’s way of preparing itself for breastfeeding the newborn.
That said, don’t worry if your breasts do not leak at any time during pregnancy. This too is normal and does not affect whether you are able to breastfeed after your baby’s birth.
What can I do about my leaking breasts?
If you are experiencing very heavy discharge, you can consider using disposable breast pads or nursing pads in your bra which are designed especially to absorb the colostrum and prevent unwanted and uncomfortable leaks. Breast pads are available in some pharmacies and Mothercare outlets.
Need Help? Don’t fret!
When in doubt, please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby’s situation.