Medical Q&As

Breasts still leaking - didn't breast feed?

I have a nine-month-old baby and have never breast feed but when I have a shower my breasts still leak. Is this normal?

It is not unusual for non breast feeding mothers to experience some leaking from the breasts after birth however it is a little unusual for this to be persisting nine months after delivery. It would be reasonable to visit your GP and request that your prolactin level be checked. This can be measured with a simple blood test. Prolactin is the hormone that is involved in milk production and if it is elevated can give rise to leaking from the breasts when the breasts are stimulated. The jet of warm water from the shower may be sufficient stimulation for your breasts to leak if your prolactin level were elevated. It is worth noting that certain medications can cause prolactin to rise. This list includes the contraceptive pill, blood pressure tablets and some psychoactive medication. If your prolactin level was very high and you were not taking any of the aforementioned medication you still need not be concerned because the prolactin level can be reduced very effectively with medication.