At 28 weeks pregnant my colostrum came in and started to leak heavily. The first time I saw this I was scared, I wanted to cry. I always thought that I would be a women who enjoyed and relished in breastfeeding. I am now 35 weeks pregnant and my breasts are so leaky that I must wear breast pads at all times and they even have started to "spray". Is this normal? Am I normal to be feeling somewhat uncomfortable and uneasy with this change in my breasts?
Some women do experience what you're noticing before giving birth, but I'd say it's probably not the norm (but then again, I don't know that there is a "norm" in pregnancy - every woman's body is different).
Just keep wearing those pads and be sure to change them often if they get damp. This is super important because the dampness may make your nipples more sensitive and sore and that could cause a lot more pain when you start breastfeeding.
The leaky breasts and spraying are just the way your breasts are responding to the hormonal changes which are taking place in your body. Just keep a good supply of breast pads on hand, change them frequently, and keep your nipples as dry as possible.
When baby is born your milk supply will probably come in right away (sometimes this can take up to 3 days) so you'll want to be sure you're putting baby to the breast often so that you don't become engorged. You may also find that wrapping cabbage leaves around the breasts will help to keep you from becoming engorged, but they can also slow/stop your milk supply, so they need to be used under the direction of a lactation consultant so that you don't compromise your milk supply for bub.
I will ask Jane to take a look at this question to see what her thoughts are.
I just wanted to share with you that I first noticed colostrum coming from my breasts when I was around 35 weeks pregnant with my son. I found it quite weird at first - mainly because it was bright orange and I wasn't expecting this!
I agree with Kate to make sure you change your breast pads regularly so they are not damp.
I think you are making an excellent choice to already be thinking about breastfeeding at this stage in your pregnancy. There is lots of great information on breastfeeding out there and it is great to be well-informed about breastfeeding (and its immense benefits) before you have your baby.
I know this is thinking ahead a bit, but is you do have any concerns or difficulties with breastfeeding then we are here to support you on this forum and I can also thoroughly recommend gaining the help of a Lactation Consultant.
I'm sorry you are struggling with leaking milk at this stage in your pregnancy but I wish you a happy rest of pregnancy and birth.
Hi Ellesmommy - Your body is going through lots of changes and your breasts are preparing for breastfeeding. Leaking colostrum is normal in pregnancy. Certainly your experience is more than the average woman usually experiences but it is a sign that your baby will have a lot lovely nourishing colostrum when they are born. A suggestion to manage the excessive leaking it to use LilyPads as an alternative to breast pads. They stop the leaking and don't have to be changed like a breast pad.
Have you mentioned your heavy leaking (and spraying) of colostrum to your midwife or doctor? Sometimes there can be an underlying medical condition that cause an oversupply.
That is a lot of milk, though it could be a variation of normal for you. I agree that you should consult with your doctor or midwife to rule out any underlying condition.
It may just simply be frightening because of the changes and hormones, but when you mentioned feeling uneasy, even crying, it made me wonder if you could possibly have a touch of Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It is associated with a sad, negative feeling at the point of breastmilk letdown. I have it and before I knew what it was I can remember crying with every letdown. I do not know of anyone who has had it prior to having their baby, but I also do not know of a lot of women who have such a heavy letdown before the baby. You may want to read up on it, just in case.
I hope that you do not let your uneasy feelings turn you off from breastfeeding. It is such a wonderful experience and so good for both you and baby.