My breasts are ‘leaking’ all the time. Should this be happening before my baby’s been born?
During pregnancy your body prepares for breastfeeding, as early as 16 weeks some women find they begin to leak colostrum. Some women find their breasts leak large amounts of colostrum, some leak small amounts and some leak none at all. The amount of colostrum produced in pregnancy has no bearing on the amount of breast milk produced after birth or ability to breast feed.
Wear breast pads to protect your clothing and improve your comfort. You may also notice that you leak a little more when you are sexually aroused as oxytocin one of the hormones responsible for the ‘let down’ reflex in the breasts is also higher at this time.
Breastfeeding has benefits for you and baby some of these are:
Breast fed babies are:
- Less likely to get ear infections, chest infection and gastroenteritis (stomach infections)
- Less likely to have asthma or eczema
- More likely to have a higher IQ 1
Mothers who breast feed
Use 500 calories a day breastfeeding
Have a reduced risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer
Have a reduced risk of osteoporosis in later life.
1Caspi A et al, Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism. PNAS.2007; 0: 0704292104v1-0