Leaking breast milk during and in between breastfeeding is normal. Most mums leak only during the early weeks of breastfeeding until breast milk production has stabilized.
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When you are breastfeeding, the let-down reflex will start in both breasts, which is why you can notice one breast leaking while the baby is feeding on the other. To dampen the let-down reflex in the breast and stop it from leaking, try pressing a finger against the nipple (as if you were pressing a button) or hold your hand against the breast for a while.
There are breast milk collection shells that can be put in the bra on the side you are not feeding on. The shells collect the leaking milk, which can be put in the freezer and used at a later stage.
To avoid getting stains on the clothing, you can put nursing pads in your bra. These are available both as disposables and as cloth pads. Change pads often if the leakage is severe, to keep the areola from staying damp and developing nipple soreness and fungal infections.
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Getting the baby to latch on to the breast
It is important that the baby can latch on to the breast properly as this will reduce the risk of sore nipples, uncomfortable breastfeeding, engorgement, insufficient amounts of milk and slow weight gain in the baby.
The first days of breastfeeding
The breastfeeding pattern differs from child to child. Some babies sleep almost the entire first day after birth, while others want to feed straight away and often. Although your priority is not on yourself, make sure to sleep when the opportunity presents itself, eat well, and ensure that you get enough fluids.
Bleeding and discharge after giving birth
After giving birth, it’s normal for the mother to bleed, for up to eight weeks. Most of the bleeding is from where the placenta comes away from the wall of the uterus. This happens to all women, whether the birth was vaginal or by cesarean section.
The uterus will shrink back down to its normal size after delivery. The contractions are called postpartum pains, or simply afterpains, and are similar to period pain.