A few days ago as I was entertaining some guests at my home, and someone informed me that I was leaking. I suspose that I was so into the conversation that I did not notice that the left side of my shirt was completely drenched with breastmilk. I had forgotten to put on breast pads. In the comfort of my home, I conveniently changed my clothes and rejoined my guests. However, for many, this embarrassing situation usually happens when outside the home. Here is a way to control leakage if you notice that you forgot your trusty nursing pads. If you feel a “let-down” (tingley feeling) or are nursing on the opposite side, apply pressure to the nipple area with your hand. If you are not breastfeeding at the time, you can conspicuously cross your arms across your chest, applying slight pressure. Do this until you feel the sensation of milk flowing go away. If you do this at the start of your let-down, your top shouldn’t get wet but if it does you might be able to re-wrap your headscarf to drape over the wet spots.
Alhamdulilah, leakage does not last forever. It is a sign that your body is regulating milk production and will go away with time (insh’Allah).
For the future, here are some ways to prevent leakage issues:
- Wear nursing pads, Lilypadz or save your milk by using Milkies Milk Savers. Always keep an extra pair in your purse.
- Wear patterned tops. If you leak, the wetness is less likely to show than on a solid colored top.
- If your baby is with you, nurse often.
- Avoid missing feedings. If you have to be away for a prolonged period, plan to pump.
- If your breasts get too full, don’t be afraid to hand express! The milk can be simply wasted or collected in a sterile container.
- Use a towel or cloth diaper to catch the milk on the leaking side.