Breastfeeding leaking is not only normal, but it’s also a great sign that your body is making plenty of milk to feed baby. The leaking is usually colostrum, the first milk that your body makes in preparation for breastfeeding.
Leaks are most common during the first few weeks of breastfeeding, when your supply is still adjusting and your baby’s feeding schedule is changing frequently. Some new mothers will continue to leak for the duration of their nursing experience. But most find that it gradually stops as they and their baby become more synced to each other’s rhythms.
The reason your breasts leak is because of a hormonal trigger, called the Milk Ejection Reflex (MER). This causes the release of a hormone that stimulates your nipples to pump or eject milk from the ducts. It’s why you might feel a tingling or spraying sensation in your nipple area when you’re about to nurse, and it’s why you might notice wet spots on your shirt afterward.
There are some things you can do to help minimize leaking during breastfeeding, like using a cloth or cotton fabric as a cover for the nipple area when your baby is not nearby. You can also wear patterned or layered clothing to camouflage milk stains, and be sure to carry a stash of disposable or reusable nursing pads with you while out and about. If you tend to leak during the night, consider sleeping on a bigger nursing pad or a towel rather than your usual pillow and mattress, so you don’t have to worry about washing your sheets every time you wake up with wet smears on them. breastfeeding leaking