Why Would Breasts be Leaking 8 Month Later?

Kathleen Tackett's picture

QUESTION

Dear Lactation Consultant,
Hello. I have a small concern. Last week I had a longer lasting than normal period. Now this week, I still have all the physical aches and pains that go along with menstruation. I also noticed that I have a liquid that sure looks like colostrum leaking from both breasts. I weaned my son eight months ago. Do you know what could be causing this? Any help you could give me would be appreciated.

ANSWER

Hi,
It's not unusual at all for mothers to leak or be able to express drops of milky or clear fluid (it looks a lot like colostrum) for months or even years after they stop nursing. This only becomes a concern if the breasts produce a large amount of milk for long periods of time. If the breasts stay engorged or lots of milk leaks out months after weaning, then there may be a problem and the mom should be checked out by a doctor.

I don't know how long you breastfed, or whether you weaned gradually or abruptly. I also don't know how long ago your periods started back. After nine months of pregnancy and months or years of nursing, women's bodies usually take a while to get back to your pre-pregnany state. It certainly doesn't happen overnight. Most women will have somewhat irregular menstrual cycles for months after their periods resume, and they may be heavier or lighter than usual, or you may even skip a period. Some women experience cyclical breast changes when they start menstruating again, and after weaning, these changes may include breast tenderness and discharge.

Chances are that nothing is wrong at all, and that your body is simply taking a few months to adjust to your non-pregnant, non-lactating state. If you continue to experience problems with irregular periods or excessive leaking or soreness, then I would have your doctor check it out. Otherwise, I would just give it some time, and things should settle back down to normal soon.

-- Anne, IBCLC