Leaking of breasts generally occurs when the nursing mother’s letdown reflex kicks in. In the first few weeks of breastfeeding, a mother’s letdown reflex adjusts itself to the sensations that indicate nursing of the baby. Until the reflex is fully conditioned to that stimulation, various sensations, even thinking about the baby can trigger leaking of breasts.
The above mentioned external stimuli instruct the body to release oxytocin. Oxytocin makes the milk making lobes of the breasts contract, thus forcing the milk to eject out of the nipples. Even if the baby is not nursing at a particular time, the milk might leak or spray. Since oxytocin is also responsible for the contractions felt during sexual intercourse, milk might leak during that time too.
Methods to Stop Breast Leaking
To avoid awkwardness or embarrassment in public places caused due to sudden breast leaks, nursing mothers can take help of the following methods:
Pumping your breasts: If your breasts are full, but it isn’t the time for your baby to eat, “pump to comfort” might be helpful. This means pumping the breasts just enough to make your breasts comfortable, but not so much that your milk supply is enhanced. Breastmilk storage bags are available online or in shops which can be used to store the mother’s milk.
Apply pressure: If you feel a letdown reflex happening at an awkward moment, press firmly by crossing your arms over your breasts. If you’re sitting at a table, cup your chin with the palm of your hands, while pressing your forearms into your breasts.
Use Milk Cups: You can even collect your leaking breast milk for later use in special silicone breast cups. Various breast pumps and breast cups are available in the market for this purpose.
Use nursing pads: Insert nursing pads inside your bra to absorb breast leaks. Disposable milk storage bag or cloth pads are available online or in shops. You can also make your cloth pads by cutting cloth diapers. Change the pads in regular intervals or when they get damp so that bacteria and fungi won’t grow on your nipples and cause thrush.
What are Nursing Pads (Breast Pads)?
Nursing pads, better known as breast pads, are an extremely handy accessory for any lactating mother. Generally placed inside a nursing bra, they prevent leaking of milk by absorbing it. Not only do these nursing pads prevent the formation of stains, but they also help nursing mothers to avoid embarrassment in public places.
Types of Nursing Pads or Breast Pads
- Reusable Nursing Pads: Reusable nursing pads are very cost effective since you can wear them, wash them, and reuse them again. They are environment-friendly as you’re not creating pollution by throwing away pads each day. But you will have to keep a few extra pairs handy since you will need to change them often while others are in the laundry.
- Silicone Pads: Silicone nursing pads are not for absorbing breast milk. Instead, they put gentle pressure on the breast to stop breast leaks. Designed using soft silicone, these pads have a sticky surface that attaches to your breast, and hence can be worn with or without a bra. They’re often worn with fancy clothing or for swimming.
- Homemade Nursing Pads: Nursing pads can be made from a variety of materials. Cut up disposable diapers or sanitary napkins, handkerchiefs or any other piece of cotton material can be used by folding it and placing it over your breasts. It is advisable to avoid artificial materials when making your pads. 100% cotton fabric, which is better at soaking up leaks and soft to your skin, is best for use.
- Hydrogel Pads: Hydrogel pads are not used to prevent leaking. Instead, they are used to soothe and heal sore nipples, as they can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer so they can provide cool relief.
- Disposable Nursing Pads: Disposable nursing pads are made in such a way that they are worn once and discarded. They are available in a great variety of shapes and thicknesses. There are many brands manufacturing nursing pads. Disposable nursing pads are also ideal for going out or travelling since you don’t have to worry about washing them. However, over time, disposable nursing pads can be expensive, as you have to buy new ones continuously.
Know More About Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads are considered to be one of the best in the market. They have a quilted honeycomb layer with an added waterproof lining that aims to provide comfortable and leak-proof protection. The contoured shape of these nursing pads ensures a comfortable and discreet fit even when they become wet. A unique one-way moisture technology ensures that the clothing stays dry. Each Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pad is individually wrapped and has two adhesive strips to keep the pad in place.
If you’d prefer not to wash and dry your nursing pads, a disposable brand like Lansinoh Nursing Pads is probably the best. Disposable pads are equally comfortable as the regular ones and Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads make comfort a priority.