What happens when you stop breastfeeding?

(March 13, 2012)

What happens when you stop breastfeeding?

Many mothers who are breastfeeding generally do not start their menstrual cycles or may experience irregular cycles while they are still breastfeeding. Therefore, one of the common things that could happen once you stop breastfeeding is that your menstrual cycles return to normal. When you do decide to stop breastfeeding it is best that you do it gradually rather than suddenly. A gradual cut down in breastfeeding time gives your body the time to adjust to the change while a sudden halt might cause you more physical discomfort. If you stop breastfeeding suddenly you are also more at risk to a number of infections and complications. Once you stop breastfeeding your breasts will also gradually start becoming smaller in size and may or may not return to their pre-pregnancy size. This however also depends on your current weight and age. Some women may experience sagging while others may experience uneven or asymmetrical breasts which are usually not a medical concern.

Submitted by N on March 13, 2012 at 04:51

Stop Breastfeeding

What happens when you stop breastfeeding? There are several things that happen when you stop breastfeeding. An important point to keep in mind is your body will not stop producing milk immediately. If you have stopped breastfeeding slowly, your breast milk production will also decrease slowly. Once you start weaning your baby off, your body will most likely start producing less milk. For instance if you started the weaning process by only giving one feed a day, then the milk supply will also be enough for just that one feed. If you pump or express a lot of milk it would only trigger more milk production.

If you have not been able to do this, your breasts will probably remain engorged and painful. Try expressing small amounts of milk when this happens. The less milk you express the better it would be, as your body will automatically start producing less milk. Do not take out too much milk as this will only stimulate more production. Another good way of expressing milk is to take a hot shower. A little milk will leak out of the breasts during the shower. Once you stop breastfeeding you will need to wear a tight fitting bra. Use ice on your breasts and take a pain reliever if necessary. Use chilled cabbage leaves to stop the milk production altogether. Chill the cabbage leaves in your refrigerator and wear them in your bra throughout the day. Keep replacing the leaves with newer, chilled ones. These chilled cabbage leaves will help to relieve the pain as well. Cold packs and a breast massage might help as well. Do not ever bind your breasts. Contrary to popular opinion, this binding does not help the milk to dry up. It can actually harm you as you may develop infections and plugged milk ducts. Remember that when you stop breast feeding, the milk production will stop eventually – be patient as it will take some time for your body to do this.

You may also wonder what happens to your breasts once you stop breastfeeding. It will take about a month or so before your breasts return to a smaller shape and size. For some women, their breast size returns to what it was before pregnancy while for others, this does not happen. Factors such as your age and weight also play a role in what happens to your breasts once you stop breastfeeding.

Submitted by P T on July 22, 2010 at 04:56

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