How does breastmilk dry up?

How does breastmilk dry up?

“My child is 3 years old. I stopped breastfeeding 2 years ago, and today I found out that I still have milk. I want to get pregnant again soon, and I’m worried there will be a problem breastfeeding my next child.”

Some people say that breastmilk dries up if you have a big scare, if you are stressed, or if you stop breastfeeding. But one day, months or even years after you stop breastfeeding, you squeeze your nipple and might see drops of something similar to breastmilk. That can be quite scary!

And you might ask yourself: should I have taken medication to stop the milk supply? Will I have problems breastfeeding my next child, or should I do anything special? Is this normal?

When a breastfeeding journey ends, you need to decide what to do. If it has been a slow weaning process that has lasted for weeks or even months, it is most likely that the mother does not feel any discomfort. No feeling of full breasts, it doesn´t hurt, and so, the lactation journey can be considered to be over.

But it can also be the case of an abrupt weaning, and the mother does feel that her breast are swollen and even painful. In this case, the breast needs to be relieved, and hand expression or with a breast pump is recommended. Remove a little bit less milk each day, or remove milk only when you notice any discomfort. By doing so, normally, within a week, the breast stops causing discomfort.

It is important to underline that when breastfeeding is already established, it is never necessary to take medication to dry up the milk supply. We have talked about it before, but this medication is only effective when it is taken immediately after birth. When breastfeeding is in full swing, this medication is useless and does not make the milk disappear, as is often believed.

If you stopped breastfeeding a long time ago and have noticed milk or a clear liquid when you manipulate your nipples, don’t panic. This is more common than you think. If the milk or fluid does not come out on its own, don’t worry. But if breastmilk-like fluid comes out spontaneously and you are not pregnant, you should see your gynecologist to see if it is advisable to have a blood test to check on your prolactin levels.

If you are thinking of getting pregnant again, there is no reason for you to worry. When you are pregnant, the mammary gland will regress and will start producing colostrum again for the new baby.

The main problem is that women don’t know and don´t explore their bodies enough. We are disconnected from our body, and we have to touch it again, feel it, and explore it to know what is normal and what is not.

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