How Early Does Nipple Discharge Start In Pregnancy?

Questions on leaking colostrum
When Do You Start Leaking Colostrum?

Pregnant women commonly start producing a pre-milk discharge called colostrum from their nipples in the second trimester of pregnancy. However if you start leaking in the first trimester, don't panic, it just means you are an early starter. No matter which trimester you start in, your body is reacting in a way that is right for you. Some women don't start until the third trimester while many more don't even produce colostrum until after the baby is born. The main thing is that you start producing it in time for your little bundle of joy to feed on. Colostrum is a thick yellow liquid which contains antibodies that help protect newborns from infections. If you start leaking before delivery, it will turn pale and nearly colorless after childbirth. Colostrum has more protein and less carbs than mature breast milk, which is exactly what the baby needs after birth. Usually colostrum turns to breast milk a day or two after birth.

Our Readers Personal Experiences

I'm 28 weeks pregnant and still have not started yet.
Janette, London.

I started around week 30. I spotted it immediately because there was a little spot on my night shirt. It felt wet to touch. It didn't occur again until week 34 and even then only in one breast.
Karen, Mississippi.

I started around week 25 and could literally shoot milk across the room with one little squeeze.
Jayne P, California.

At week 27 I noticed some yellowish stains on my bra at the end of the day. With my second pregnancy it started way earlier, at week 20. One morning when I was doing my household chores I looked down and my t-shirt was soaked.
Sara, New England.

Mine didn't start until I was back home after delivering. I could feel my breasts were full so I took a hot shower and gently massaged them. That started the flow.
Jess, Alabama.


I started at week 16 with my first pregnancy and ended up with a huge milk supply. I started at week 15 with this pregnancy and am now 36 weeks gone.
Harriet, Dorset.

I started at week 13 with my first baby and leaked through the pregnancy trimesters. With my second baby I had no colostrum until week 38. It’s like Russian roulette!
Sarah T, Melbourne.

I leaked colostrum once during the night maybe 2 weeks before I gave birth. That was it!
Marian T, New Jersey

If this is your first pregnancy and you want to learn more about what is in store for you, check out our section on pregnancy symptoms, which includes articles on morning sickness, stretch marks, strange pregnancy cravings as well as pregnancy cramps, dizziness while pregnant and pregnancy induced hemorrhoids.

• Need more information about pregnancy changes? See: Pregnancy breast changes.
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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