Q: Can I start pumping before my baby is born? I am 36 weeks and I've started to leak and my breasts are sore.
A: Pumping is not recommended during pregnancy. Breast stimulation releases oxytocin, the hormone that causes uterine contractions during labor. You don't want to cause premature labor by using a pump at 36 weeks. Even when you are further along still check with your doctor or midwife before doing any type of nipple stimulation that could start labor. As for leaking, you can purchase washable or disposable breast pads to place in your bra to keep dry. They'll come in handy once your baby is born, too! Also be sure you're wearing the right bra to keep your comfortable and supported during the pregnancy and postpartum period.