You can expect to have some pains and pains as your belly grows, and you can expect to have some uncomfortable feet.
Other pregnancy experiences may surprise you. Did you know that you can leak breast milk during your pregnancies?
“It’s a normal part of pregnancy, but leaking milk or finding breast milk on your nipples is a strange experience. Your breasts begin to produce a milk product as you prepare to nurse.”
Colostrum is a form of milk that is more rich in vitamins and minerals. It has a variety of antibodies, including one called IgA. IgA helps protect baby from infections.
Some of the colostrum may leak out of the nipples at the end of the pregnancy.
Here is what you need to know about leaking breast milk during pregnancy, when it happens, and what to do if it happens to you.
Leaking breast milk during pregnancy isn’t something that’s talked about often. You usually think of milk leaking as an event that happens after your baby is born.
But the changes that your breasts go through during pregnancy mean that your body starts making milk even before baby arrives. Starting at the mid-point in pregnancy, your body produces colostrum, according to
Colostrum is the first milk your baby will get, and it is important that you give it to your baby as soon as possible. It makes sense to plan ahead.
Milk can and does leak during pregnancies. Not every expectant parent leaks milk.
This doesn’t mean that milk leaks all over the place and is plentiful at this point. But many people will find little whitish or yellowish drops of colostrum on their nipples, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) explains. Often, this milk is dried and crusted on your nipples or the inside of your bra or shirt.
You may notice changes in your breasts after you get a positive pregnancy test result. Breast changes are the first sign that you are pregnant.
Usually, by the 5th or 6th week of pregnancy, your breasts begin to feel heavy, sore, and tender to the touch. Your nipples may darken and you may notice tiny little bumps on your areolas, called Montgomery’s glands.
The changes are due to the fact that your breasts are getting ready to make milk.
Changes inside your breasts are caused by hormones. Milk ducts start to form.
During pregnancy, your body is doing everything it can to prepare for the upcoming birth of your baby. As your second trimester ends and your third trimester begins, your breasts are ready to feed your baby in case they arrive earlier than expected.
“As soon as your baby is born, your body will start producing the milk. It may leak even before baby’s appearance.”
“It is not clear why some people leak more than others. You may leak colostrum but not notice it until you see stains on your nipples or see dried up specks of colostrum. There isn’t a lot of liquid.”
It’s important to note that leaking colostrum during pregnancy doesn’t mean that you will have too much milk once your baby is born. And not leaking milk during pregnancy doesn’t mean you will have less milk when baby arrives.
Some people seem to leak more milk than others during pregnancies and after.
If you find yourself leaking milk during your pregnancies, you are seeing Colostrum. The first milk that your baby will drink is a sticky substance and will be ready as soon as they are born. Colostrum is a small amount but full of nutrition and immune- boosting goodness.
“Colostrum has some special features that make it different from mature milk that baby will receive a few days after birth. For example, the baby’s first meal.”
- It is lower in fat and calories than mature milk.
- Increased amounts of secretory IgA protect your baby from infections.
- protects your baby’s gut and helps establish a healthy microbiome
When you are giving birth to a baby, your breasts will not be as full as they should be. That is typical. If you nurse frequently, your baby will get all they need.
About 3 to 5 days after giving birth, you will notice that your breasts feel fuller. This means your body is transitioning to more mature milk, which will be whiter in color and much more abundant.
“Don’t be alarmed if you notice leaking milk during your pregnancies. It may be a surprise to you, but it is a common phenomenon in pregnancy and happens frequently.”
“You may have concerns about what is happening. You may be concerned that you don’t have enough leaking milk. The amount of milk you will have after your baby is born does not correlate to the amount you leak. Every person has a different approach to leaking milk during pregnancy.”
If you have any questions or concerns about what is happening, contact your OB-GYN, midwife, or a lactation consultant.
Breast milk may be yellow, orange, or whitish. This milk can leak on its own or when you squeeze it.
“You may find stains on your clothing. You may also find small particles on your nipples. All of that is normal during a pregnant woman’s life.”
However, you should speak to your healthcare professional about certain breast changes. If you notice
- Warm, reddening, and dimpled skin.
- blistering of the breast skin (ulcers)
- The nipple skin is being crusted or scaling, not to be confused with milk which can be cleaned off.
- Changes in nipple shape.
Changes in the breast are not a cause for alarm, even though they are expected during pregnancy.
Finding breast milk on your nipples or on your bra or clothes during pregnancy can certainly come as a surprise. You may worry that something is wrong with your pregnancy or with your body.
Milk leaking during pregnancy is a common concern. It is a good sign that your body is ready to produce breast milk for a baby.
If you have any further questions about leaking milk during pregnancy or any other changes your body is going through to prepare for birth and breastfeeding or chestfeeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or midwife.