Breastfeeding 101

Why are my breasts sore and/or leaking during pregnancy?

Your body is going through an amazing transformation while pregnant. Along with growing a little one, your body is preparing for the things that happen immediately after giving birth! Your breasts are just one of the things drastically changing in preparation for your baby. These changes can include sore or leaky breasts - but don’t freak out! It’s absolutely normal - in fact, some women notice pain in their breasts and get the urge to take that initial pregnancy test!

Interestingly, your body has had the components and ability to produce breast milk since birth. During puberty, your breast tissue grew and estrogen levels rose, and pregnancy is the cue for your milk ducts to get to work on growing, too. For some women, once those ducts get to growing, leaks start - yes, even before baby! These leaks may produce something that you weren’t expecting - a yellowy, protein-heavy substance called colostrum.

If you’re breastfeeding, colostrum is the first thing your baby will nurse from you after giving birth. Your body produces it in preparation before giving birth, so it’s ready to go. Many moms ask “when will my real milk come in?” but it’s important to note the magic of colostrum - it provides the rich proteins your baby needs as they learn to suckle. As for those leaks and pain, they’re completely normal! The pain is most likely you feeling your milk ducts spreading and growing - so awesome to be that in tune with your body, right? (Tell yourself that on repeat instead of cursing the pain! 😉) As for leaks, they don’t happen for everyone, but they are normal. Some women find they happen more often while in the shower or during sex, so be aware when you’re in those spaces that your body might react with a leak. We think we’ve got you covered on leaks - check our Nursing Pads and get a little practice in before your little one arrives!

For many women, breast sensitivity caused by these variety of changes can be one of the first signs of pregnancy! The soreness you feel is from the breast growing and creating the pathways for breast milk (lactiferous ducts). As for the leaking, your body is practicing making colostrum-baby’s first food. Colostrum can leak at any time but it is common for leaking to be more prevalent in the shower or during sex, so be aware during these activities that this may happen.




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