September 16, Getty Images The milkman or in this case, the milkwoman cometh. What causes leaking breasts postpartum and what you can do about it.
Leaking Breasts Postpartum — What They Are Breasts that leak, drip, or even spray milk in the weeks after delivery are common and normal, if not downright messy, symptom of breastfeeding. Leaking Breasts Postpartum — What Causes It When you're breastfeeding, it's just your body getting used to both making milk and the feeding schedule you and your baby are trying to perfect right now.
Breasts leak because of the letdown reflex — a powerful and normal part of the breastfeeding process. And until your breasts perfect the art of releasing milk from the ducts at precisely the right time i. Leaking Breasts Postpartum — What You Need to Know Leaking breasts have both physical and emotional triggers, which is why you might find yourself suddenly soggy even though your baby is miles away. Your baby's cry or even just a glance at his or her photo might trigger a squirt.
You might spring a leak in the shower or in your sleep. You can drip from one breast or both. There's just no telling when, where, or how, so keep that in mind as you plan your day and your outfit. Not the best choice for a while. Like diapers, they should be changed whenever they're wet in order to avoid irritation. You can opt for disposables or washable cotton pads, but skip ones with a plastic or waterproof liner — they'll just trap moisture which gets gross very quickly.
Save your sheets by sleeping on a large towel or a nursing pad. You've got enough diapers to change now without dealing with your bed linens, too. Pumping breast milk won't prevent leaks, so don't go there. In fact, you'll just make the situation worse by stimulating your breasts to make even more milk.
Once your milk production is well established and your feeding schedule is in full swing, you can try to plug the dam by pressing on your nipples when they leak or crossing your arms tightly against your breasts. Don't do this in the first few weeks after delivery, since it may inhibit let-down or cause plugged milk ducts , which you definitely don't want.