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Breast leakage in late pregnancy
Q: I'm seven months pregnant. In addition to having bigger breasts, I have a yellow fluid leaking from them. Sometimes I stain my bra. Is this leakage normal?

A: Your body starts to prepare for breastfeeding months before your due date. Early in pregnancy, the hormones estrogen and progesterone caused your breasts to enlarge. Late in pregnancy your body produces colostrum, a clear or yellow fluid designed to nourish your baby during his first days of life. Colostrum is rich in protein and lower in fat and sugar than breast milk, and will be your baby's first drink. Any stimulation to your breasts during pregnancy, such as sexual foreplay, can result in additional leakage. Be assured that this is entirely harmless. Some women seem to leak a fair amount of fluid, while others have no obvious colostrum until after the delivery. Wear a supportive bra with a tissue or gauze placed over your nipples to absorb the fluid. If the colostrum dries and becomes crusty on your nipple, it is safe to wash off with warm water.

Other breast changes you have probably noticed during your pregnancy include darkening to the pigment of your areola (the skin around your nipple), an array of tiny sweat glands that encircle your nipple (called Montgomery tubercles), and prominent blue veins that traverse your skin. All of these changes are normal, and most of these changes will fade after you have completed breastfeeding.
Laura E. Stachel M.D. Obstetrician & Gynecologist