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Search Health Information    Help for Milk Leaking From the Breasts

Help for Milk Leaking From the Breasts

Let-down is the flow of milk to the breasts that occurs when they are stimulated by feeding or pumping. It can also happen when you hear a baby cry or think about your baby, and it often causes milk to leak from your breasts.

  • Wear breast pads to prevent leaking breasts from soaking your clothing. They can be purchased or you can make your own pads using soft and absorbent material, such as a handkerchief or pieces of a cloth diaper. Change the pads often. Moisture that collects in them may cause irritation or infection.
  • If your breasts leak milk when you are not feeding or pumping, press gently but firmly on your nipples with the palms of your hands or your fists. This usually stops the milk from leaking out.
  • Do not use plastic bra liners or plastic-lined breast pads, because they hold in moisture that can cause irritation and promote infection.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Mary Robbins, RNC, IBCLC - Lactation Consultant
Last Revised April 13, 2011

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