Leaking breasts are the norm, not the exception. One breast may leak during feeding, when the baby is busy nursing on the other. You may leak during the early days of breastfeeding, or later, when your baby is weaned. For some, leaking can even start during pregnancy! The point being, leaky breasts are common and nothing to worry about. Breasts may leak due to two reasons. They may overflow because too much milk is being produced, or the letdown reflex is being triggered. Too much milk can be eased by nursing more frequently. If the baby isn’t hungry, you can just pump for comfort. Be careful not to pump too much also as that will just boost your milk supply. It is important to relieve the pressure of an engorged breast because otherwise it could lead to mastitis or a clogged breast duct. Letdown reflex is triggered by certain stimuli. For example, your baby’s cry, smell, or sight may trigger a release of oxytocin, which leads to leakage.
If nursing or pumping aren’t always viable options, you can apply pressure to the breasts by crossing your arms and limiting the flow. Alternatively, you can use nursing pads to absorb the leaks. When going out, dress for leaks, and pack extras like a jacket or sweater which you can easily wear if you happen to leak.