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Why Does My Other Breast Leak While Breastfeeding?

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It’s very common for breasts to leak milk in the weeks following childbirth.

But you might find leaking breasts to be uncomfortable, and maybe even a little embarrassing.

So in this blog we’ll explain why your breasts might leak, and explore some things you can do to manage the situation.

What Causes Leaking Breasts?

Leaking breasts is a natural body mechanism, and a number of things can trigger it. Just thinking about your baby can cause your breasts to leak, as can hearing your baby cry, or hearing another baby cry. Delaying or skipping meals can also cause your breasts to overfill, in which case leaking is just your body’s way of getting rid of excess milk.

Why Does My Other Breast Leak While Breastfeeding?

Sometimes when you’re breastfeeding, your other breast may leak – the one that your baby isn’t currently feeding from. This is due to a process called let-down reflex – the natural process by which your baby gets milk from sucking. When at your breast, your baby triggers nerves in your nipple, which causes hormones to be released into your protein.

One of these hormones is prolactin, which plays a part in milk production. The other is oxytocin, which causes your breast to push out – or “let-down” – the milk. Oxytocin also widens the milk ducts, helping the milk flow better.

So when your baby feeds at one breast, the release of prolactin and oxytocin hormones will promote the let-down reflex in both of your breasts.

Can I Stop My Breasts From Leaking?

Unfortunately you cannot, as it’s a natural bodily function. However, once your baby’s developed a regular feeding schedule, your brain and body will know how much milk to produce. By this point, the leaking will happen less often, or it might even stop completely.

How to Manage Leaking?

Until then, there are a few things you can try to help manage leaky breasts:

  • Breastfeed often. This will prevent your breasts from becoming too full, which can make leaks less likely. It will also help your baby and body adjust to the breastfeeding process, which as we’ve seen, can help prevent leaks in the long-term.
  • Use a pump. If you’re not around your baby and are unable to breastfeed, you can instead relieve your full breasts with a breast pump. You can then store the milk so that your baby can drink it later.
  • Many women want to reduce breast leaking because it can leave unsightly marks on your clothing. If you’re worried about marks or stains, wear dark or patterned clothing that’ll hide the leak. You could also use a jacket or a jumper to cover up.
  • Use breast pads. Breast pads can absorb any kind of breast leak during your first few weeks of post-partum and breastfeeding, and beyond. So while they won’t stop the leaking itself, they can at least contain it, helping to keep you and your clothes clean and dry.
Comfortable, Absorbent and Eco-Friendly Reusable Breast Pads from The Conscious Parent

We make our breast pads larger than average to ensure there’s no movement while you’re wearing them.

We also make them with three layers: A bamboo terry layer feels soft and comfortable against your sore skin. A microfibre layer makes things extra absorbent, and a final layer features beautiful colours and patterns to help make your day that little bit brighter.

They’re good for you and they’re good for the environment too: They’re made from natural, sustainable materials and they’re reusable too. So buy a set and you can use them for as long as you need them.

Take a look at our range of comfortable, absorbent and eco-friendly reusable breast pads.

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