Leaking breasts are a sign that you’re making enough milk to feed your baby. It’s also a way of getting rid of extra milk to prevent engorgement and the risk of mastitis. It’s normal to leak a little at times and it can happen in many positions. Leaks are more likely to happen during the early weeks when your breastfeeding rhythm is establishing itself and you’re building up your milk supply. But it can continue to happen throughout breastfeeding.
You can try to control leaking by applying pressure to your nipples with the palms of your hands or by crossing your arms tightly across your chest (like a hug) to stop the leaking. It can also help to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Many new mothers find that leaking stops or reduces once their breastfeeding schedule becomes more consistent, but this may take 6 to 12 weeks or longer.
In the meantime, you can use breast pads (also called nipple protectors) to absorb any overflow from your breasts in between feedings. They come in both disposable and reusable versions. Look for ones that don’t have plastic liners, which can trap wetness against the skin and cause sore nipples.
If you’re still leaking a lot after the first few weeks, it might be helpful to try ‘block feeding’ for a while. That’s when you nurse one breast for a block of time, such as three hours, then alternate. This can help to empty your breasts and slow down the ‘let-down’ reflex. breastfeeding leaking