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Q&A: Nipples and Fluid

Q. Why are my nipples already secreting fluid?

A. Your breasts are setting themselves up to become milk factories. The number of milk ducts is increasing, the milk glands are preparing for milk production, and the nipples are beginning to protrude more, making them easier for a baby to suck. During pregnancy some women notice a thin, yellowish liquid coming from their nipples. This is colostrum, which is the first fluid a nursing baby receives from the breasts. Colostrum, which contains nutrients and health-protecting antibodies, is produced for a day or two after delivery, followed by milk.

It's perfectly normal to leak colostrum during pregnancy -- and it's also perfectly normal not to. Colostrum secretion during pregnancy says nothing about your breasts or ability to breastfeed successfully.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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