Leaking breasts at the sound of a cry

One night at around 4am, when it was just Chris and me at home with the baby, we woke up to feed the baby and pump. After her diaper change, the baby started crying loudly because she was obviously hungry. As I was setting up my pump, I noticed that there were drops of milk that were on the kitchen counter below me…. And the drips continued to splatter. And I realized that I was actually leaking milk from my breasts. I am sure I had leaked milk before and it had probably just dried up on my clothes. But this time, it was obvious. The reason for the leakage was not only because my body recognized that it was my usual time to pump, but probably more because I heard the sound of a crying baby — my baby.

I read that this is pretty normal. Lactating women, when they hear the sound of a crying baby (it does not have to be their own child) will start leaking milk from their breasts. In this way, a lactating woman can feed any baby, not just their own. This is a sort of “takes a village,” evolutionary type thing.

Well, I leaked so much that I ended up just hand expressing both breasts. I never even turned on the pump. And I got over 2 ounces in about 20 minutes. I probably killed my hands and fingers doing this, but it flowed so easily that it was pretty quick.

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