How to Stop Leaking Breasts Fast!
Sometimes, women experience leaking breasts either before giving birth or after having a baby. This can be totally normal. But, there are times where this becomes an issue and you may find yourself wondering to stop leaking breasts.
I want to share some super quick basics about leaking breasts and then some solutions to manage your leaky breasts.
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Is it normal for my breasts to leak breast milk?
Some women experience leaking breasts while others never do. It is normal for a woman’s breasts to leak if she has been pregnant, or had a baby. Lactation can naturally occur in both scenarios. If you never chose to breastfeed, or if you quit breastfeeding longer than 3 months ago, you should reach out to your doctor for advice on how to stop leaking breasts.
When do leaking breasts occur?
Leaking breasts can honestly occur at any time when you’re breastfeeding or exclusively pumping. There are multiple factors that can make you leak breast milk, and we are going to discuss those situations, as well as some simple solutions for leaking breasts.
You are more likely to leak breast milk in these circumstances:
You’re nursing or pumping on the other side
When you’re pumping breast milk or breastfeeding your baby on one side, it’s not uncommon for the other breast to leak breast milk. If this is happening to you and you’re losing breast milk, or it’s making a mess, I highly recommend that you try milkies breast milk cups. They’re designed to catch any leaking breast milk. It sits inside your bra so it can be used hands-free.
You hear your baby crying, you see a picture or video of your baby, or you think about your baby
This one is totally bizarre to me how the body works, but yes, you can leak breast milk when you hear your baby crying, see a picture or video of your baby, or even if you’re thinking about your baby. It’s amazing how the body works. And although this can be great when you’re trying to get a milk letdown while pumping, it’s not so great when you’re at the office trying to work and you look over to see a picture of your baby and suddenly start leaking milk.
Your breasts become too full, potentially oversupply
It is super important to make sure that you’re either breastfeeding or pumping when your breasts start to get full. If your breasts become too full, they will leak breast milk. Think of it like a glass of water. If you keep putting water in the cup, eventually the water is going to start pouring out all over.
You’re at the end of your pregnancy
As your body prepares to feed your newborn, you may start to leak breast milk at the end of your pregnancy. This can be totally normal and it’s nothing to worry about. If it’s a lot of breast milk, you should consider breast milk collection cups and then store and freeze the breast milk. If it isn’t much milk, you can always use reusable nursing pads.
Before or during a shower
The warm water or even the thought of warm water can cause your breasts to leak milk. If this happens, there’s nothing to worry about. As your body relaxes, you can begin to leak breast milk.
- During sex
As your body releases the oxytocin hormone, your body can begin to release breast milk. Unfortunately, this is just one effect of having a baby. You can talk to your spouse about this and make them aware of the situation. You should try breastfeeding or pumping before engaging your significant other or wear a bra with nursing pads.
Sometimes breasts leak for no reason whatsoever
And then there are random times that your boobs just leak breast milk for no reason at all. Although this can be really annoying, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
You’re nursing on a regimented schedule
If you are breastfeeding on a strict schedule or pumping on a strict schedule, you may find that your breasts leak breast milk if you aren’t staying on that schedule. Your breasts produce milk according to need, and if they’re used to making a certain amount of breast milk, even if you’re not feeding or collecting it, they’re still going to make that same amount of breastmilk.
How do leaking breasts occur?
Leak on just one side
Sometimes, you may experience just one leaky breast. This doesn’t mean anything is wrong. Chances are, you’re either nursing or breastfeeding on one side when the other side begins leaking.
Leak on both sides
You may also leak breast milk from both breasts. This most often occurs when you look at a photo or video of your baby, hear your baby cry, or think of your baby.
Sometimes, when your breasts become too full while you’re sleeping, you can begin to leak breast milk. This is very common and simply means you either need to pump or feed your baby because your breasts need to be emptied.
In the morning
Similar to overnight breast leaking, you may experience leaking breasts in the morning. For a lot of women, the morning is when they produce the most volume of breast milk. This can lead to leaking breasts for some women.
How to deal with leaking breasts
Establishing a breastfeeding routine will be helpful in maintaining the needed amount of breast milk and avoiding oversupply. By breastfeeding your baby often, you can sometimes avoid leaking breasts. If you’re exclusively pumping, make sure you’re pumping equally as often as you would be breastfeeding your baby.
Wear nursing pads in your bra
If you still find that you’re leaking breast milk, you can wear nursing pads or milk cups to collect the breast milk.
Apply pressure to your nipples using the palm of your hand to stop milk flow
If you suddenly start leaking breast milk, you can stop the milk flow by applying pressure to the nipple area. You simply put your palm over your nipple and slowly begin to apply pressure. Be cautious to not apply too much pressure as this can cause other problems for you, such as mastitis or clogged milk ducts.
Wear clothes that you can easily hide leaking breasts like a light color or a print
If you find that you’re leaking breast milk often, you will be better off wearing clothes that can easily hide the wet spots. You can wear lighter colors, as they tend to show the spots less, or something with a print that doesn’t stand out quite as much like a solid color shirt.
Put a towel on your bed in case your breasts leak while you’re sleeping
A simple way to solve your problem of your breasts leaking at nighttime is to put a towel on your side of the bed. This will protect your mattress from access wetness, and make cleanup easy when necessary.
Bring spare clothes
For women who experience leaking breasts often, you may find it helpful to leave an extra set of clothes at the office, and in the car. This way you can easily change your shirt if necessary.
Wear a looser fitting bra
Another simple solution for leaking breasts is to wear a loose-fitting bra. Sometimes the bra you’re wearing can be a part of your leaking breast problem. Consider a larger bra that allows for your breasts to have a little more wiggle room. If you need help finding a different nursing bra, I will share my 4 favorite nursing bras with you and I’m certain one of them will work for you!
Frequently Asked Questions About Leaking Breasts
What is a letdown and what causes it?
Oxytocin is the hormone that causes your body to release breast milk, also known as a milk letdown. Prolactin is the hormone that tells your breasts to make more milk.
How long will leaking breasts last?
Some women experience leaky breasts all during breastfeeding, and even for a bit after weaning.
Many women stop leaking breast milk around the 3 month mark because they’re milk has become consistent to only meet the feeding needs of their baby.
If you stopped breastfeeding more than 3 months ago, you should talk to your doctor.
How to avoid clogged milk ducts and mastitis?
One important thing to note when using the compression method to stop your breasts from leaking breast milk is to not apply too much pressure and not to use this method very often. If you’re applying too much pressure, either with your hand or maybe even with a bra that is too tight-fitting, you can cause a clogged milk duct or mastitis.
My breasts never leak, does that mean my baby isn’t getting enough breast milk?
Some women never experience leaking breasts. If your baby is gaining weight, having wet and dirty diapers, and maintains regular check-ups with their pediatrician, you’re likely making plenty of milk. You can always reach out to your doctor if you’re concerned. But no, just because your breasts don’t leak milk doesn’t mean you aren’t making enough breast milk for your baby.
You are a champion for providing breast milk for your baby! Don’t let your leaking breasts stop you from continuing to provide that amazing nutrition for your baby! You’ve got this momma!
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