Q&A: I have discharge from my nipples. What is it?
I have noticed some discharge from my nipples. Could I have an infection?
What many women think may be some type of breast infection during pregnancy is actually the leaking and/or crusting of early milk on the nipple. Colostrum, the initial super-charged, immunity-rich milk your baby will drink right after birth begins to form in your breasts early in your pregnancy. Some women will experience leaking during pregnancy, while others may not see anything at all. (This is no indication of your ability to produce milk.)
If you notice a discharge from your nipples, gently wash your nipples with a washcloth. In some cases, where there is significant leaking, you can wear a nursing pad to absorb moisture. Seeing this leaking is a good answer to the frequently asked “Is there anything in there?” question!
Some other changes you may notice in your breasts include:
- Increase in size
- Darkening and increased size of the areola
- Larger, more prominent veins
- Stretch marks (due to increasing size)
- Itchy skin (due to stretching as your breasts increase in size)
If you have questions about your breasts or any other changes you may be experiencing as your pregnancy progresses, check with your doctor or midwife.