Q: I am 23 weeks pregnant and have noticed a bloody discharge from my nipples sometimes. This is my first pregnancy and I am 30 years old. Could you please explain the reason for this? Sometimes there is also a colorless discharge which forms a crust on the nipples. – Deepthi, United Arab Emirates
A: Hi, Deepthi -
It is hard to tell what is going on with the bloody discharge from your nipples. It may be something called “rusty pipe syndrome” which is generally harmless to mom and baby (if it happens after your baby is born). The crust on the nipples is most likely colostrum, or your first milk. This milk first appears during pregnancy, and leaking small amounts is not unusual.
I would encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider about the bloody discharge, just to be on the safe side. Most likely, it is nothing to worry about, and having that confirmed will make you feel better. If there is a problem, then now is the time to have it checked out.
By Melissa Clark Vickers
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Moms & Babies Huntingdon, Tenn.