What is it? What are the symptoms? What are the treatments?

What is leaking?

Breastfeeding is a totally normal process, but some new mums feel self-conscious. Nearly all new mums will experience leaking at some point.

What are the symptoms of Leaking?

Some mums to be notice that their breasts start leaking before their baby is born. It may only be a few drops, but it’s the body’s way of getting ready to start breastfeeding. 
Once the baby is born, the powerful let-down reflex may take mums by surprise. 
Leaking can occur most during the early stages of breastfeeding when the breasts are adjusting to how much milk to produce. 
The sound of the baby crying can trigger let down and leaking if the baby isn’t put to the breast. Also when breastfeeding on one side, the other breast may leak milk.

What are the treatments and remedies of Leaking?

The easiest way to prevent leaks showing is to wear breast pads inside a bra. These can either be disposable or washable. Change them regularly to ensure breasts are not exposed to prolonged periods of wetness. 
Leaking should settle down as breastfeeding gets established, but this will vary from mum to mum.

This guide 

The information in this Bounty A-Z of Family Health is not a substitute for an examination, diagnosis or treatment by a doctor, midwife, health visitor or any other qualified health professional. If in doubt, always speak to a doctor.

Bounty will not be held responsible or liable for any injury, loss, damage, or illness, however this occurs or appears, after using the information given on this website and in particular the A-Z of Family Health.

Further help

For health advice and information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the NHS offers call and web services. You can also visit NHS websites for services, health information and health news at nhs.uk 

  • England – call 111 from any landline or mobile phone free of charge, or visit nhs.uk 
  • Scotland – call 111 from any landline or mobile phone free of charge, or visit nhs24.com 
  • Wales – call 0845 4647 , or visit nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk 
  • Northern Ireland – visit hscni.net