Leaking breast milk is a common problem that comes with breastfeeding. It becomes embarrassing when you are outside or at work. After the first few weeks of breastfeeding, breast milk may leak or spay out of your breast. Some mew moms consider it a slight inconvenience while others don’t consider it a problem. Leaking breast milk may even stop once the breast milk comes in, and its supply adjusts to the baby's needs. New moms who have hyperactive let-down reflex and excessive milk supply may find it lasts longer than normal. For these women, leaking breast milk can be frustrating, messy, distressing, especially for working moms. Today, we will discuss how to stop your breast from leaking.
What is causing this problem?
Almost all moms leak breast milk, especially in the first few months of breastfeeding, as the body adjusts to provide the right amount of milk for your baby. Leaking breast milk can stain your clothes and be annoying.
What you can do:
Expressing breastfeed between two feedings can help, but there are times when these leaks cannot be avoided. Use the best wearable breast pump for expressing milk.
When Are Women More Likely to Leak Breast Milk?
- Women are likely to leak milk from the breast:
- In the third trimester or end of pregnancy.
- When the breast has too much milk supply, it will relieve pressure and can prevent you from the other breastfeeding problems like mastitis, plugged milk ducts, and engorgement. When your baby latches one breast every time while breastfeeding, the other breast will leak. So try to feed your baby from both breasts.
- Breast milk may leak when you hear your baby is crying or see the photos of him and think about him. Even if another baby cries, your breast milk may leak.
- When you are making love with your husband.
- When you take a hot shower because flowing warm water over your breast can stimulate leaking.
- Sometimes, for no reason at all.
How to Stop Your Breasts from Leaking?
Not all mothers have milk leaks, but it can happen in the first months of breastfeeding when milk production has yet to be regularized. Some women have discharge from one breast when the baby suckles the other. In this case, breastfeeding by holding a handkerchief or small towel over your dripping breasts can help. To avoid milk loss between feedings, special disposable or cotton pads are available that are worn under the bra. It is better not to use cups with a plastic-coated back because they prevent perspiration and irritate the nipples; if necessary, the cups can be changed more frequently.
Losses can be minimized by avoiding skipping feedings and by not extending the time intervals between them too much. If you feel the milk ejection reflex in action (called "drop"), but you cannot attach the baby, or you do not have it with you, you can stop the ejection by exerting light pressure directly on the breast, for example, by crossing your arms over the chest and pressing lightly. You will not see the visible stains by wearing shirts and dresses made of patterned fabrics, as happens with plain colored fabrics. Over time, losses will decrease or stop altogether. This does not mean that the milk is running out, but that your body has learned to regulate its production.
Dealing with leaky breasts
When people outside surround you, it is embarrassing to suddenly feel a rush of milk and see your milk spilling onto your blouse; but you can learn to handle this situation.
Wear breast pads inside your nursing bra:
They are sold as washable or disposable pads, and they can absorb the milk that starts leaking from your nipples. However, change them frequently to avoid any risk of infection. The breastfeeding pads will protect your clothes. You can choose between washable, disposable, and biodegradable models. You can also collect the flowing milk using the milk collector shells.
Avoid wearing solid, tight-fitting t-shirts:
They will make milk leakage more noticeable than looser, patterned tops.
Use Nursing Shells:
These are plastic shells that you can sterilize and use to catch any milk that leaks from one breast when your baby sucks from the other.
Get your baby used to drink from both breasts:
Milk sometimes leaks from one breast between feedings if you have not emptied it during breastfeeding; therefore, make a habit of encouraging your baby to drink from both breasts.
Press down on your nipple with your arm to slow the flow:
Some moms say that pressing their arm across their chest, when they feel the tingling sensation of breastfeeding, can prevent the milk from flowing. For instance, if you are a working mom and want to prevent leaks in the middle of a meeting, then use this little tip. As soon as it starts to tingle, press hard on your breasts while crossing your arms. Moreover, you can use pads to avoid halos on your blouse.
If you are at home all the time and with your baby, breastfeed more often. This way, your breast will not become too full and help you decrease breast milk leakage.
Express your breast milk or pump often:
If you are at work or away from your baby, pump often, or express your breast milk to avoid breast leakage. You can use a wearable breast pump to prevent breast leakage and relieve full breasts. You can store your expressed milk in the freezer for later use.
Wear clothing that can help hide accidental breast leaks:
Choose dresses, nursing clothes, blouses, and shirts with patterns that can hide the accidental breast leaks. Moreover, sweaters, vests, and jackets are also great options to cover up the leakage.
The breast leaking will continue for new moms during the breastfeeding period and even during weaning. It is normal to keep leaking breast milk for almost 3 weeks after your baby stopped breastfeeding. But if a woman continues to breast leaks three months after she has fully weaned her child, she should consult to her doctor.
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