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I get wet patches on my clothes and find breastfeeding so messy. Do you have any advice?

This can be an annoying consequence of feeding. Leaking breasts are natural. Some women never leak milk, while others leak a little from one breast during almost every feed. But for many women, the mornings - when your milk supply is at its fullest - tend to be leaky throughout breastfeeding. Leaking breasts don't relate to the amount of milk you have – many women with lots of milk never leak. Your breasts leak when they become so full of milk that they overflow or when your letdown reflex kicks in, for instance, when another baby in the room starts to cry or when you are feeding from the other breast. To avoid this try breastfeeding or expressing before your breasts become too full.

Always wear breastpads in side your bra, there are both disposable and washable ones available. If one breast always leaks when your baby is feeding on the other, put a plastic, washable breast shells inside your bra before you start to feed. These are available in chemists and baby care shops. If the shells are sterilised, you can save the milk that collects in the other breast and freeze it. It can either be given to your baby at a later date or donated to the milk bank at your local hospital, if you have one.

When you're out, carry a change of clothes, bra and breast pads in your changing bag. If you feel a letdown, try to cross your arms and hug yourself, pressing gently against your breasts. This may stop the unexpected flow. You will probably leak the most, during the first few weeks of breastfeeding, while you are establishing the right milk supply for your baby. Many women find that the problem disappears almost completely after the first six weeks.



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