How Early in Pregnancy Breast Discharge

How Early in Pregnancy Can Breast Discharge Occur? The good news is that most women will not have any discharge or milk production until the third trimester. This time range can vary from the seventh to ninth month. If your breasts start to leak fluid early on, it may be normal to some degree: Discharge during pregnancy can come from multiple sources. In particular, milk ducts start to grow during pregnancy and fat tissue also expands. It’s possible for you to have a little leakage if this happens too early on. If it persists past your third trimester or if your nipples are sore or cracked or if you have problems nursing after delivery, talk to your doctor about getting a diagnosis

What is breast discharge? Breast milk or colostrum are the first signs of pregnancy that a woman may notice, but it’s not all down to nature. Some women experience changes to their breasts and nipples as early as 6 weeks pregnant.

How early in pregnancy do you get breast discharge? If you are expecting a baby, you would have noticed one thing: Your breasts become more tender, sore and super sensitive. This happens since they are preparing the body for milk production.

Breast discharge is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. It can occur before you even realize you’re pregnant. While there are many reasons for it, such as cysts and feminization of a male fetus, the most common reason is that the ducts in your breast have become engorged with milk. You may notice it after having your first baby or suddenly in later pregnancies.

The first two trimesters are the best time for a woman to take control of their health. In this period it is important to keep up with screening tests, because the first signs and symptoms of breast cancer may appear during these trimesters. Breast discharge is a normal occurrence in every pregnancy, usually starting shortly after your period ends. It means your body is adjusting to its new hormone levels and preparing for breastfeeding. It’s usually clear or white, thicker than regular breast fluid, and may appear before your period or during ovulation. The discharge will be similar in appearance to other forms of breast fluid, such as colostrum (also called first milk).

Is Discharge From Breast a Sign of Pregnancy

Discharge is a symptom that tells you your breast is moist and healthy. So, if you still have discharge after having all the symptoms of pregnancy, it is not likely to be a sign of pregnancy.

Yes, discharge from the breast is a sign of pregnancy. This happens because of the growing levels of hormone estrogen in your body. The hormone causes the alveoli to swell, which causes the nipple to become erect and distended. As it is filled with milk, it becomes larger and gets engorged. The teat will discharge some milk before it dries up completely at birth.

Discharge from breasts is often a symptom of pregnancy. It can be discovered after ovulation and ends at around 4 weeks of pregnancy. After the pregnancy has progressed, the amount of discharge may increase slightly or dramatically. A discharge from the breast during pregnancy is a sign of pregnancy. A look at what happens in the month after childbirth, including that first postpartum visit to your doctor.

A missed menstrual period is often the first recognizable sign of a possible pregnancy, but there are other signs and symptoms of early pregnancy as well. Some subtle signs appear in the first week, and more may be apparent in the weeks before your first missed period.

Keep in mind that not all women have all symptoms or experience them in the same way. Some of the most common first trimester pregnancy symptoms are discussed in the following slides. Read on to learn more early pregnancy signs.

The first sign many women recognize as an early sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period.

Missed Period

The first sign many women recognize as an early sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period (amenorrhea). Some women may experience lighter-than-normal periods, and they may also have spotting that can occur 1 to 2 weeks following conception.

A missed menstrual period can be caused by other conditions aside from pregnancy, so it is not always a definitive sign.

 You may notice tenderness or swelling in your breasts in the first or second week after you conceive.

Breast Swelling, Tenderness, and Pain

Breast enlargement, tenderness, or pain similar to premenstrual symptoms can occur early in pregnancy. Early pregnancy breast changes may include breasts that feel full or heavy, and the area around the nipple (areola) may darken. A dark line called the linea nigra that runs from the middle of the abdomen to the pubic area may appear. You may notice tenderness or swelling in your breasts in the first or second week after you conceive.

A woman experiences nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness.

When Does Morning Sickness Start?

“Morning sickness” is nausea and vomiting that typically come in the morning in early pregnancy. When does morning sickness start? This usually happens between weeks two and eight of pregnancy. It’s somewhat a misnomer because morning sickness symptoms like nausea and vomiting can actually happen at any time. It’s thought that changes in levels of estrogen may play a role in developing nausea.

Another early pregnancy sign may be food cravings or aversions. Women may have an unusual urge to eat a particular food, even one she previously did not like, or she may be completely repulsed by a food she used to love. This is common, and usually the food aversions fade at the end of the first trimester.

The extra progesterone in a woman's body during pregnancy may cause her to feel fatigued and tired, and her need for naps increases.

Fatigue and Tiredness

The extra progesterone in a woman’s body during pregnancy may cause her to feel fatigued and tired, and her need for naps increases. By the second trimester, energy levels usually rise again.

The rise in progesterone during pregnancy can also cause abdominal bloating, fullness, and gas.

Is Bloating an Early Sign of Pregnancy?

The rise in progesterone during pregnancy can also cause abdominal bloating, fullness, and gas. The weight gain in the first trimester is usually minimal, but swelling and fluid retention may make you feel as if you have gained more than the typical one pound per month.

The urge to urinate more frequently starts about six weeks into pregnancy.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination starts about six weeks into pregnancy, thanks to the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). The hormone causes increased blood flow to the pelvic area and can stimulate the urge to urinate. Later in pregnancy, the urge to urinate may be increased by the growing baby in the enlarging uterus putting pressure on the bladder.

The basal body temperature usually rises around ovulation and lasts until the next menstrual period.

Basal Body Temperature in Pregnancy

Many women hoping to become pregnant will chart their basal body temperature (the lowest body temperature in a 24-hour period, usually first thing in the morning after waking). The basal body temperature usually rises around ovulation and lasts until the next menstrual period. During early pregnancy, basal body temperature may remain high past the time when a woman would normally have her next period.

Pregnancy Mask (Melasma)

During the first trimester, one of the early signs of pregnancy is melasma. This is when the skin on your forehead, bridge of your nose, upper lip, or cheekbones may darken. This is often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” and the medical term is melasma or chloasma. It is more common in darker skinned women and those with a family history of melasma.

Early Pregnancy Mood Swings

Rapid changes in hormone levels during pregnancy may be responsible for mood swings and feelings of stress. When do pregnancy mood swings start? Newly pregnant women may feel emotional, anxious, or depressed, and have crying spells. Mood swings may be worst in the first trimester, easing up somewhat in the second, and coming back as the pregnancy nears the end in the third trimester.

Pregnancy Headaches

In early pregnancy, headaches are common. They may be caused by the surge of hormonal changes that begin soon after conception. Or they may be sinus headaches brought on by nasal congestion, which may also be a symptom of early pregnancy.

Bleeding, Spotting, or Discharge (Leukorrhea)

About 15% to 25% of pregnant women experience light bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy. This symptom can begin as soon as one week after conception. You may also experience light bleeding following a pelvic exam, Pap test, or after sex. This is common and usually not concerning, although if bleeding occurs later in pregnancy it can be serious.

Thin, milky, vaginal discharge is normal throughout pregnancy, and it may occur every day that you are pregnant. This is called “leukorrhea,” and it is caused by the extra estrogen your body is now producing. The color of discharge in early pregnancy may be white or clear, and it may have a mild odor or none at all, all of which is normal. This is a necessary side effect of pregnancy, so there is no medical treatment for leukorrhea. However, it may be distressing for some women. Panty liners can help. But avoid tampons, which may cause infections.


Many pregnant women become constipated. Possibly more than 35% of pregnant women develop this discomfort, according to some experts. This may be due to the hormonal changes that pregnancy causes, including an increase in progesterone.

Relief of constipation in early pregnancy may include drinking more fluids, eating more fiber, and getting enough exercise to move things along. But if these safe remedies don’t work, with a doctor’s guidance you may find other helpful treatments that are safe during pregnancy, such as certain types of laxatives. Do not take any medication while pregnant without your doctor’s recommendation.

How Early Do Your Breast Start Leaking During Pregnancy

How early do breasts start leaking when pregnant? In most cases, it can start as early as the first trimester. But if it doesn’t, don’t worry! About 70% of women leak at some point during pregnancy. The reason this happens is basically to prepare your body for breastfeeding after birth. The more milk that’s produced during pregnancy, the more production ramps up once baby arrives—so be prepared!

The first sign of pregnancy for many women is breast leaking during early pregnancy. This is due to the changing hormone levels in your body, which causes your breasts to start making milk! Many women have different experiences with leaking breasts during pregnancy. Some women only have a slight amount of leakage or no leakage at all. Leakage itself is completely natural, however, it should not be excessive. Also, there are some early signs of pregnancy that could indicate breast leakage as well. This article explains more about the leaking breasts during pregnancy and their causes.

Breast leaking (aka prolactin or milk secretion) usually begins about 2 weeks before you start to show. Usually this means you will begin leaking at about 7 weeks of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the levels of the hormone progesterone increase and the breast begins to enlarge in preparation for breastfeeding. Almost all pregnant women leak colostrum a few days before the baby is born. By the time your baby comes out and you feed him or her for the first time, your breasts will have begun to produce milk (lactogenesis), which is a reflex that causes your breasts to feel full.

Brown Discharge From Breast When Squeezed

If you notice a brownish discharge from your nipple when you squeeze it, consult a doctor. This can be a sign of a condition called mastitis – an infection of the breast tissue.


In the beginning, a woman does not start producing milk until one or two days after the baby is born. You may notice a yellowish liquid oozing from your breasts. This is colostrum, your baby’s first nourishment even before milk. It may be equally surprising to know that your breasts have been producing this ‘baby-food’ right from the 14th week of pregnancy.

Is Breast Leakage Common During Pregnancy?

Leaking breasts can be quite an embarrassment but it is perfectly normal. In case of breast leaking during pregnancy, a clear fluid called colostrum may ooze out and it is a healthy sign that your body is preparing your baby’s food. Colostrum is particularly nutritious for your baby and helps in early digestion. It contains high amounts of protein and is low on fats and sugar. It is also loaded with antibodies that protect your baby from falling sick.


When Do Your Breasts Usually Start Leaking in Pregnancy?

Because there is no thumb rule in pregnancy, every expecting mother will have a different experience. Some women may notice breast leaking during 2nd trimester, around 26 –30 weeks of pregnancy. This is quite common among pregnant women. However, there are also instances when women have leaking breasts as early as 1214 weeks of pregnancy or it may not begin until the last trimester.


As the due date approaches, this leaking may also increase in some women. There may also be cases where there is no leaking until after delivery. Whatever the case may be, you needn’t fret over it. This is no indication of whether or not you can breastfeed your little one. Some women may not experience leaking even right after delivery. If it still worries you, feel free to discuss this with your doctor.

wearing leak pad during pregnancy

Are Leaky Breasts During Third Trimester of Pregnancy Normal?

Yes, breast leaking during the 8th month of pregnancy or during the final weeks is normal. It may differ from woman to woman. Do not panic if you spray some milk while showering or when you are changing your clothes. During the third trimester, your body has high levels of the hormone called prolactin. This hormone helps in producing milk in the breasts and is responsible for prepping the food for your baby. The breasts generally spurt some milk when they are stimulated. So you may end up oozing even when having sex during the third trimester.

Is It a Sign of Labour?

Leaking breasts are commonly mistaken for signs of oncoming labour as they usually occur during the last trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes, breast leakage is also accompanied by uterine contractions when having sex. This definitely does not mean preterm labour as breasts play no part in indicating symptoms of preterm labour.

How to Deal With Breast Leaking While Pregnant?

  • Stop worrying. Leaking breasts can be a pain, but don’t let them be one. Brush it off with some good-natured humour and add it to your kitty of funny pregnancy anecdotes.
  • Feed your baby regularly. Breast leaking generally comes down if you frequently breastfeed your baby. But if you are still producing a lot of milk, then the best thing would be to express it out. Otherwise, it may lead to clogging.
  • Use breasts pads. Breast leaking becomes a nuisance especially when you have to step out of the house. The market is flooded with a range of reusable or disposable breast pads. Take your pick. Also, change them frequently during the course of the day to maintain hygiene.
  • Maternity bras to the rescue. Cotton maternity bras are more comfortable than regular ones and may be just the thing for you. They are particularly helpful during the nights.
  • Keep spares handy. Always carry an extra bra and t-shirt or dress in your bag and ‘spare’ yourself the embarrassment.
  • Patterns trending. Camouflage those leakage stains with patterned tees. Make a style statement while you are at it.
washable nursing pads

When to Worry?

As you can see, breast milk leaking during pregnancy is a normal phenomenon. However, if the oozing milk is not the thick, creamy liquid, then there is cause for worry. You must rush to your doctor if the milk is either bloody or may be foul-smelling. You might want to rule out the chances of intraductal papilloma or bacterial infection. In very rare cases, this may also be the first signs of breast cancer. Therefore, it becomes imperative to consult your doctor.

Sometimes, in the last trimester, it may be detected that the baby’s growth may not be adequate or may be born with Down’s syndrome or with a cleft palate, etc. In such cases, your doctor may advise you to express the early colostrums during pregnancy. Follow your doctor’s directions for expressing and storing of the colostrums.


As irritating as it can be, don’t let breast leaking ruin your pregnancy experience. And do not compare with others. Some women may leak a lot while others may not. Women who have been pregnant before may begin leaking earlier and in much more quantities. It may be quite different for you if you are a first-time mother. What you must remember is that leaking does not affect your health or that of your baby. Trust nature to take care of you and your baby.

If you squeeze your breast and see red or brown discharge, the first thing that should come to mind is not cancer. However, it is still important to discuss it with your doctor. Dr.Hess provides more information about recognizing and treating benign breast lumps and noncancerous conditions.

If you’re experiencing discharge from your breast when it is squeezed, that could be a sign of breastmilk. Breastmilk can be expressed from the nipple by manual stimulation, in response to baby sucking or by breastfeeding. The milk contains antibodies which help the baby fight off infections, and it also helps with milk production and digestion. One of the most common questions we receive is how to treat breast discharge and how to deal with bloody discharge. Breast fluid can appear brownish or pinkish in color, and it might not always be present.

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