Find out the common causes of leaking breasts during pregnancy and what expecting mothers can do to deal with this issue.
As you approach the last phase of your pregnancy your body changes its focus from being a baby producer to a baby deliverer. This basically means that the physiological changes that go on in your body like your cervix opening dilation and the position of your baby shifting towards the pelvis are all indicators of the process of delivery that is going to happen soon. Similarly another natural side effect of pregnancy is leaking fluid from the breast. However this is a symptom that many women are unaware of since the general concept is that the female body produces milk only after delivery. Here are some facts that you need to know about this phenomenon.
Why do the Breasts Leak?
This is just the body’s way of preparing itself for nurturing new dependant life. The physiological processes of new born are very fragile and they are not optimally capable of digesting mature breast milk that has a lot of fat content. This is why the female body produces a light yellowish thin fluid called Colostrums which is perfect for fulfilling the nutritional needs of a very young baby.
The Colostrums has a lot of protein but very less fat and very less sugar and these properties render it suitable for digestion. Newborns also require IgA antibody that is richly present in Colostrums. The fluid that leaks out of your body during the third trimester of pregnancy is most probably Colostrums and you must be prepared to feed your baby physiologically as well as psychologically.
When do the Breasts Leak?
There is no specific and rigid time frame for predicting when breasts start leaking during pregnancy. About 10% of women do not experience breast leaking at all during pregnancy until after the delivery. Others start noticing leaking breasts about 2-3 months before the due date. Still others begin to notice breast leaks about 5-6 weeks before the due date. The time and nature of the leaks will depend upon the individual physiology of the pregnant woman.
Some other women experience random leaks in their breast during various stages of their pregnancy like after having sex. If the breasts leak a thin white fluid after you have sex during pregnancy then this condition may also be accompanied by Braxton Hick’s Contractions. Do not worry as this is not a sign of premature labour or any other abnormality.
Some women also experience clear discharge from their nipples during the early stages of pregnancy and this usually stabilizes with time.
When to Worry about Nipple Discharge?
If you are really worried about your nipple discharge then your doctor will set your fears at rest. However, as a broad guideline you should know that discharge containing blood is never normal and should be immediately medically treated. Contact your doctor to know if the fluid leaking from your breasts is physiologic (normal) or pathologic (diseased). Even if there is something wrong about your nipple discharge then remember that conditions causing this symptom are not likely to be serious and will disappear after treatment.
What to Do to Combat Leaking Breasts?
Well the first thing you should do is to try getting used to the leaking breasts as this happens to fulfil the nutritional needs of your baby. This condition is naturally going to persist for a long time (till the time you are breastfeeding). However, you can help yourself control the discomfort by wearing padded bras and nursing bras. Wear loose comfortable clothes and carry body wipes and talcum powder with you at all times. These steps will hopefully help ease your discomfort a little for sure.
Some pregnant women who are aware of this phenomenon also get worried if they do not observe leaking breasts during pregnancy. But it is also completely normal to not experience any leaking of breast during pregnancy. So, women should not get concerned if they do not experience leaking of breast during their entire pregnancy period.
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- The Indiaparenting Team