Why would she be lactating years after her milk dried up?

Katie - posted on 06/03/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My friend just messaged me freaked out because she just lactated. She's freaked out because the last of her milk dried up in November 2008 and she had her tubes tied, so shes not pregnant. Shes not on any medication, and shes not sexually active. Does anyone have any ideas on why she would be lactating again after all this time? Thanks!

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Jean - posted on 11/23/2012

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Katherine - You must go see a doctor. I am a nurse and used to work in gynecology. Sudden weight gain and breast milk production is a clear indication of a hormonal problem. The most common cause of this happening is a prolactinoma. It's a noncancerous brain tumor that can trigger breastmilk production. Please use your Christmas budget to take care of yourself. Us women are notorious for putting everyone else first and not taking care of ourselves. You must see this as a red flag and get yourself to the doctor.

Amanda - posted on 06/04/2011

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The other responses have covered one of the reasons why she might be lactating again: maybe it is just a freak thing and everything is ok. There are other causes though... You mentioned that she had her tubes tied. Were her ovaries removed? Hormonal imbalance can cause lactation in some women if they have lactated previously. Also manual stimulation (from sex maybe?) can cause a women to lactate - also called witches milk. Also, it can be a symptom of breast cancer or a pituitary tumor. I don't want to cause unnecessary worry, but would recommend seeing her gynocologist "just in case". If she has recently had her yearly check up than she might be able to just give a call. Better safe than sorry.

Micha - posted on 11/23/2012

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Hello Katherine, you should read the posts in this thread carefully. Most people here recommend to visit a Dr., if you don't have a real cause. Your weight gain is an additional indication that the hormonal balance of your body is changed.

Micha - posted on 06/06/2011

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I assist some above. If there is no clear cause, woman should consult a gynecologist. In some cases it might be caused by a malignant tumor. It is safe to exclude that.

Katie - posted on 06/06/2011

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I had my baby in April 2009. Stopped breast feeding when she was 10 months old. I still lactate. I asked my doctor about it and they said it could be from something called a pituitary adnoid. (a benign brain tumor). They tested me and it came up negative. So i started doing research. Women can lactate for up to six years after having a child and it is not uncommon. If your friend is still flipping out tell her to go see a doctor... (one that will listen) but i really don't think its anything to be overly worried about :)

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Katherine - posted on 11/23/2012

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I have been lactating for a few weeks now. My youngest child is almost 13. I breastfed him for only 4 months. I have my tubes tied, so I can't be pregnant. I would like to know what to do about this. I have gained 20 lbs in the past 2 months. I'm worried that this can be something more than what I am thinking. I can't afford a doctor really. I have been under minimal stress and am a very happy person. Don't know what to think about this situation. Any and all feedback on this matter will be helpful. Thanks!

Elizabeth - posted on 06/08/2011

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i lactated a bit during a breast exam a few months ago. weened my daughter 2 yrs ago! the dr laughed & said no worries, she did the same thing for 3 yrs or so.

Natalie - posted on 06/07/2011

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I don't mean to freak you out at all, but my sister started lactating at the same time she found lump in her breast. Your friend should have a checkup just in case!

LaLasha - posted on 06/05/2011

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A few reasons her Throid could be waky the pituitary glad also could be over active and the liver could also being doing poorly they thyroid helps manage hormones and the pituitary makes the hormone the liver filters out excess so anyone of these could be the problem either was she should see a doctor.

Jean - posted on 06/05/2011

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I second what Amanda said. She needs to see her doctor to have certain cancers ruled out. Hopefully it will turn out to be a fluke, but it's worth getting checked.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/04/2011

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I'm not absolutely certain, but I've heard it's hormonal, so if she's nearing menopause, for example - or just under stress. It's a pretty extreme reaction, but I don't think it's anything to be worried about. If she is, though, she could go to her doctor to find out once and for all!

Heather - posted on 06/04/2011

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i know a few women who lactated on and off (years on years off) for 16-20 years...my mom was one of them and she only nursed me for 5 mo and my little sister for 6 mo and still she would lactate on and off...i would not be too concerned unless their are other symptoms that should be checked out.

[deleted account]

I have the same question. I stopped bf'ing over a year ago and a few weeks ago my boobs spontaneously filled up again. I'm not nusring and Im not pregnant but I am completely engorged and even had to pump to release the pressure bc it hurt so bad. Ive tried everything to get it to stop but so far nothing has worked. If you find any answers please share them with me! ; )

Rachel - posted on 06/04/2011

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Is your friend close to a baby? There are accounts of women lactating who haven't nursed in years. In the Bible the book of Ruth for example, Ruth gave birth to Obed but he became as if Namoi, her mother in law, was his mother. She, Namoi, nursed the baby. It's possible for women who have not birthed to lactate and nurse.

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