Breast discharge

■ 3rd trimester

In the final weeks of pregnancy, you may notice a thin, yellowish or clear substance leaking from one or both nipples. This discharge is colostrum, the yellowish fluid produced by your breasts until your milk comes in.

Colostrum can range in color and consistency, but such variations are normal. It may be sticky and yellow at first and become more watery as you approach your due date.

The older you are and the more pregnancies you've had, the more likely it is you'll have some breast discharge. But it's no cause for concern if you don't leak colostrum — it doesn't mean you won't be able to produce breast milk.

If you're breast-feeding, you'll notice that you produce colostrum for the first few days after your baby is born.

■ Prevention and self-care for breast discharge

If you're leaking colostrum, you might want to wear disposable or washable breast pads. It may also be helpful to allow your breasts to air-dry a few times a day and after showers.

■ When to seek medical help for breast discharge

Call your health care provider if your nipple discharge is bloody or contains pus, which could indicate a breast abscess or other problem.

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