When you’re pregnant, your body is having all sorts of dramatic changes. The most obvious of these, of course, is the growth of your baby (and the growth of your baby bump to prove it). However, another common change that will occur to your body, especially as your pregnancy progresses, is that you may have leaky breasts. This is a sign that your body is getting ready for labor and delivery, and preparing to be a food source for your baby.
When you have leaking breasts during pregnancy, it’s not yet milk that’s being excreted. It’s usually colostrum, which tends to be clear, sticky and sweet to the taste. This is actually the first “milk” that your baby will consume during those early days of life, while her body makes the transition from inside the womb to life outside of the womb.
Some women may start having leaky breasts early in pregnancy, although this isn’t particularly common. Some women have leaky breasts as early as six weeks. However, most women won’t find that they have leaky breasts during pregnancy until the later part of the first trimester, usually at about week 12 or week 14.
For others, leaky breasts during pregnancy don’t start until much later. The most common time to start having leaky breasts is actually late in the second trimester, around 26 to 30 weeks. As you get closer and closer to your delivery date, you are more and more likely to have leaking breasts. In the third trimester, some women even begin producing milk instead of just colostrum, although this is somewhat rare. If you have been leaking throughout your pregnancy, you will probably leak in greater amounts as you approach your due date. Still, many women do not experience any leaking breasts until after their baby is born.
If you’re concerned that you are leaking too much during pregnancy, talk to your doctor. She can help identify any particular problem you might be having from a medical perspective. The same holds true if you have concerns that your body isn’t starting to show signs of being able to breastfeed.