What to Expect when you Stop Breastfeeding

Photo by Dave Clubb on Unsplash

If you want to know what happens when you stop breastfeeding, here are some of the changes that occur. Some women find the weaning process easy, whilst others experience some pain and engorgement.

 If your breasts become engorged, any stimulation will make it keep happening. What you should do is wear a supportive bra, take some ibuprofen and try to ignore them. The discomfort usually disappears after a few days.

You may notice some solid lumps in your breasts. This is caused by milk absorption and they will go away. When you start weaning, your breasts still fill up with milk. If you no longer breastfeed or pump, your body notifies your brain that the milk isn’t needed anymore.

Your body gets the message to stop producing milk and the cells that helped with its production begin breaking down any milk that’s left over. It can take up to a few months for your body to adjust which means you may still experience a ‘let down’ for some time.

Hormonal changes also occur when you stop breastfeeding and it’s advisable to stop gradually, rather than all at once.  When breastfeeding ends, your prolactin and oxytocin levels drop. Other hormones like progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen increase.