How long could you lactate after you stop breastfeeding?

Kristen - posted on 04/18/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

12

33

2

I stopped breastfeeding my son on New Years Eve and I am still producing milk and it's April. Is this normal? My Dr. has run blood work and only finds that my Vit. D and Progestron is low. So for the last 3mo have been on added Vit. D and a Prog. cream. but I am still producing. I am at a loss and so is the Dr.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Mandie - posted on 09/25/2010

1

12

0

ha ha ha...my lil one is almost a year and its been 9 months since she quit breastfeeding (it was really her idea, if i can start up again i would!!!) and for the past well...awhile my boobs still feel funny, like when they were makin milk and today i squeezed my nipple and a drop of pure white milk came out, im freakin out and hope im not prego again, full time mom and student isnt ganna give me enough time for a newborn but this makes me feel better!!!!

Christina - posted on 03/17/2012

74

22

1

I stopped nuring my daughter in sept. of 2010! Yes 2010! It is now March of 2012! I still have milk!! I nursed my daughter for 10 months and quit yes 18 months ago. I have IUD which doesn't affect milk, though. I haven't seen a dr but I have heard that some women produce small amounts of milk until menopause. I haven't tried to pump since but I get what seems to be endless amounts of drops of milk. Surprising and kind of weird it has been so long and I still have this much. I must say though I was really a milk making machine!! I would pump at work every 4 hours and get up to 22oz on one side and 20 on the other! If I pumped after she nursed I would get 10 oz on one and 12 on the other. Needless to say, I had so much stocked up she was set for a VERY long time! I was so lucky!

Justine - posted on 04/18/2010

20

53

2

I stopped breastfeeding in Feb and I asked the health nurse the other day how long do you lactate for after you stop breastfeeding? She said that you can have milk for up to 12 months after finishing. She said that you can start feeding again (if you have milk still) at any time and it would only take a bout a week to get a full supply back again. So, you may find that you will still produce milk for a while. Its perfectly normal.

[deleted account]

My twins turned 1 march 2010 and I weened them then, its now december and I am still able to produce a colostrum kinda milk... Kinda weird but I guess it's not hurting anything

Alison - posted on 04/23/2010

0

0

0

OMG! I thought I was rare!!! I stopped nursing my twins in August and I still have milk! Had blood levels checked, but nothing unusual. I also drink 2-4 caffeinated beverages a day, plus have a hormonal IUD. The only difference I have between the ladies already posting, is that my brests will still sometimes leak. Not often, about 3 times amonth, but if I'm not wearing a bra, it's enough to make a small wet spot on my shirt. All I can say is, if this were the Middle Ages, we'd all be some rich king's wet-nurses!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

27 Comments

View replies by

Adiva - posted on 06/03/2010

9

27

0

Thank you guys for all this information...However, I am now concerned as the longest I have gotten my DD (2.5 yo) to stop feeding is 2 days and I was hoping it would dry up so if she tried there'd be nothing there for her. Is there no way that will happen? How do I get her to stop then?

Anna - posted on 06/02/2010

36

40

7

I was offered medication to stop producing milk just a few months ago, but never needed them (had medical issues that resolved themselves anyway). There's no history in my family of heartdiseases, so there's no worry about strokes. And my doc said one only medicate for a short time anyway. Birth control pills usually lowers the milk production too, but I don't think it stops it. And then there are natural medicines, check with your health food store. Oh, and don't stimulate the breast or pump unless you really, really have too. ;))
Best of luck!! I hope my little man (16 months) stops wanting the breast soon, but I am letting him decide. :))

Brenda - posted on 05/11/2010

28

2

1

Many women produce small amounts of milk until menopause, because the hormones involved in lactation are produced during menstruation and other times.

One theory of what causes fibrocystic breast condition is the normal production of milk in relation to menstruation and an overreaction of the break-down mechanism that once it runs out of milk starts attacking the milk ducts.

Alison - posted on 04/24/2010

0

0

0

I know my prolactin is within the normal range. The highest within the normal range is 30. Mine is 27.

Jennnifer - posted on 04/24/2010

34

13

4

did the dr check ur prolactin levels..the hormone that produces milk..they can give u a pill u take.. i had high prolactin levels even before concieving..the dr put me on a pill to lower my levels do i could concieve so i know the pill is out there

Jessica - posted on 04/22/2010

256

7

27

I asked my lactation consultant about this, my mom has recently overcome breast cancer (caught in very early stages at least!) this last year, and I know that increases my own chances - even with breastfeeding reducing them - so I asked how long 'after nursing' I should wait before getting a mammogram. 6 months was the minimum, 12 months was better; as sometimes the machines view active milk ducts as 'suspicious' and physical breast exams can't tell between a full milk duct or a tumor/cyst. As long as you don't stimulate or express your production will stop on it's own in it's own time. At least it's not bad for your health, right? LoL

Olivia - posted on 04/22/2010

2

2

0

My friend said that a woman from her mothers group who never breastfed got mastitis when her son was 9 months old because she'd just been checking every few months or so if there was any milk still being produced by her breasts... so the moral of the story is don't squeeze to check and you'll never know and they'll go back to normal in their own time. I weaned my 14month old daughter a month ago from one evening feed a day to none as I'm expecting number 2 in July and I never leaked afterward. I'm sure there is milk there still from her but also as number 2's hormones would have kicked in.

Deb - posted on 04/22/2010

27

25

1

My friend said she heard that on mammograms, you can still see the milk ducts with residual milk at 2 years! That jives with all the comments here. We weaned over two weeks ago after nursing only once a day for a couple months, and while my supply has dried up, some still comes out if I squeeze--never on its own though, so it's not a problem. FWIW, I'm not on birth control and don't drink much caffeine.

Kristy - posted on 04/22/2010

3

30

0

I stopped breastfeeding my son over a month ago and I can still express milk also. It doesn't leak out or anything, so it's not a problem, but it is still there. And I drink lots of coffee, so I don't think that old wives' tale is true. ;) haha. I am not on birth control though (because we will soon be trying for baby #2), so maybe that would work?

Rebecca - posted on 04/21/2010

94

21

1

Depends on how long you breastfed for also but 1yr after is pretty average. I myself breastfed my last child for over 4 years. At that age it is just a quick 5 minutes & their asleep 1-2x a day so for me I did not make any more milk after a few weeks. There wasn't much left to dry up.

Allison - posted on 04/21/2010

433

51

38

Ditto, my 3 year old weaned about 6 months ago, and I still have milk. It doesn't leak, and only a little comes out if he tries to nurse again (it's pretty funny b/c he kind of forgot how!) or if I squeeze it. I can't see any reason why this would be a problem - ? Also, I wonder if your Doc doesn't understand breastfeeding very well if they think it's not normal? Unless you are feeling unwell in some other way?

Michelle - posted on 04/21/2010

37

40

3

I didn't stop producing milk until about a year to a year and a half later. Its totally normal.

Lauren - posted on 04/21/2010

109

11

12

oh my goodness. I just started weaning my daughter and I'm hoping to be finished breastfeeding by next week. I don't know what I would do if I was still lactating after quitting nursing. Good luck!!

Carrie - posted on 04/21/2010

62

34

4

Hey Sara, its not like you're producing the same amount of milk as when you were feeding your baby, so its no big deal. Doctors used to give some medication, but it has been linked to strokes, so maybe natural is best!

Sara - posted on 04/20/2010

208

5

16

Old wive's tale... My MIL says coffee will dry you up. Doubt it works. :/ lol Can't doctors give us anything for it? Must be a pain to lactate for so long after weaning...

Carrie - posted on 04/19/2010

62

34

4

I mostly produce milk until I get pregnant again...so up to 4 years for me!

Sammie - posted on 04/18/2010

180

8

25

Yep, its normal to still produce milk after a year or even two. I remember reading somewhere, dont recall where or what, but a women was still producing milk 7yrs after weaning. Now im sure that is rare, but i guess not impossible.

Valerie - posted on 04/18/2010

901

29

171

yes it is normal and could go on for months, a year or even longer...

Erin - posted on 04/18/2010

261

21

42

I think I was still producing for nearly a year after weaning, I read in several sources that was normal so never questioned it :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms