What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Breastfeeding?
Just like your body suffers changes when you begin to breastfeed, there will be new changes to overcome when you stop breastfeeding. For most mothers, breastfeeding ends when their baby gets to 6 months of age.
But some mothers choose to breastfeed longer. You should be ready for the changes you will go through when the nursing phase ends, and your baby starts eating solid food.
During breastfeeding, your body produces more prolactin as well as more oxytocin. However, these hormones are not produced any more when you stop breastfeeding.
While this is one hormonal process, the other one is the increasement of estrogen, progesterone as well as the FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone).
These are a lot of hormonal changes and, to help your body manage them right, you should try to stop nursing gradually.
If you stop all of a sudden, it will be like a shock to your system and feel more side effects such as increased sadness and even depressive episodes.
C) Leftover Breastmilk
Breastmilk leftovers are absorbed into your body.
Women know that when they stop nursing, the breastmilk supply also stops. This phase is commonly known as the “dry out” phase.
However, the medical explanation is a bit more complicated. When you stop nursing, your brain gets the signal that no more breastmilk is needed.
But, before your breastmilk supply stops, your body will start absorbing the leftovers in your breasts.
While this is not a process that you will identify as it happens, it will be followed by your breasts reaching their original shape and size.
D) Emotional Shift
As you are stopping the nursing process, you will also experience an emotional shift.
This shift is experienced differently by each woman, and it can become a depression if you don’t address it correctly.
The sadness feeling might be more present if you stop breastfeeding sooner than 6 months, and it might be accompanied by a sense of guilt.
If you feel such changes happening and you find yourself overwhelmed, make sure to talk to a specialist.
Know that all these side effects that come as you stop nursing your baby are healthy. If you are aware of them, you will find it easier to control them, and you will be less at risk of experiencing severe depression.
Stay in tune with your body and learn to understand it so you can work as one through all these complex stages of becoming a mother.
“When to stop breastfeeding” – NHS Wales. Accessed April 09, 2020. Link.
“What Happens to Your Hormones When You Stop Breastfeeding”. Accessed April 09, 2020. Link.
“How to stop breastfeeding – NHS”. Accessed April 09, 2020. Link.