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Leftover breast milk, what happens if not drained?

Breastfeeding will eventually come to an end as the baby grows older or due to work or life reasons. After the baby stops breastfeeding, the milk remaining in the mother’s breasts is what we call residual milk.

Eliminate residual milk and completely restore milk

The concept of removing residual milk may be familiar to everyone. This is due to the promotion of merchants. For example, removing residual milk can make the breasts healthier and fuller; if the residual milk is not discharged, it will become toxic and may eventually lead to cancer. Removing residual milk means eliminating cancer. ; You must drain out the residual milk when you return to breast milk. If someone doesn’t drain out the residual milk, it doesn’t mean that it will be fine if you don’t. If it happens to you, you will be the one crying. Listening to these propaganda, it is really confusing. Maybe you will really spend money to remove residual milk if you are shaken for a while.

However, if we understand the basic principles of breast milk secretion, we will not be so easily fooled by the merchants’ propaganda. In the breastfeeding process, whether it is the proverbial release of milk, the stimulation of lactation or the return of milk, the key lies in the baby’s sucking. And the actual meaning behind baby sucking is breast emptying. More sucking and more emptying will lead to more breast milk secretion; less sucking or no sucking, and breast milk secretion will gradually decrease until it stops.

After the baby is weaned, the mother’s breast milk decreases until it stops being secreted. This is actually a very complex physiological process of the human body. During this process, in addition to the gradual decrease in milk volume that we notice, the composition of breast milk is also changing. For example, some studies have found that when the daily breast milk secretion is less than 400 ml, the concentration of sodium and other inorganic salts in breast milk increases, the concentration of fat, protein and iron increases, the calcium concentration remains basically unchanged, while the zinc concentration and lactose concentration decrease .

The time period from the baby’s weaning to the mother’s complete cessation of breast milk secretion is also a question that many mothers are concerned about. The length of this cycle varies from person to person. Generally speaking, after the baby stops breastfeeding completely, the mother will still continue to lactate for about 45 days, but some mothers may continue to lactate for several months or even longer. The length of this cycle is also related to the point at which breastfeeding is stopped. For example, if the baby is weaned while the baby still needs frequent breastfeeding every day, it will take more time for the mother’s body to completely stop lactation.

We don’t need to worry about the length of the cycle from the baby’s weaning to the mother’s complete return to breastfeeding. We don’t need to worry or deliberately count whether it is days, weeks or months. The most important thing is to ensure that there is no discomfort or abnormality during this period. The remaining breast milk is naturally absorbed and removed by the body and does not require special treatment.

Therefore, weaning is a natural and complex physiological process. After weaning, the residual milk is discharged. Even if the remaining residual milk is discharged, the mother’s body may still secrete new “residual milk” due to the stimulation of emptying. There is no way to completely drain away the residual milk after weaning through one or several operations. There is no scientific basis to support the claims that if residual milk is not discharged, the milk will become toxic and increase the risk of breast cancer.

What are the risks of not expelling residual milk?

Is there no concern or risk at all if milk still accumulates in the breast? That’s not the case.

In the early stages of weaning, mothers may feel breast fullness and discomfort, which is more obvious for mothers who wean quickly or suddenly. If not handled properly, it may also lead to problems such as blocked milk ducts and mastitis. And these problems are the real problems that may be related to “remnant milk discharge”.

During weaning, if your breasts are full and uncomfortable, you can pump some breast milk to relieve the discomfort. The amount of milk you pump should be used to relieve discomfort. It does not need to be completely emptied to avoid stimulating more secretion. Some mothers allow their babies to breastfeed only once a day, and then transition to breastfeeding once every few days. This method of gradually weaning off the baby is also possible.

In the first 5-10 days of weaning, you may easily feel lumps or lumps in your breasts. These lumps or lumps may be an early sign of blocked milk ducts or mastitis. Therefore, at the beginning of the weaning period, if you feel a lump, you should pay attention to gentle massage in time to drain out the remaining milk. You can also try cold compress to relieve discomfort. If these lumps cannot be eliminated, and the pain begins to worsen, or even symptoms such as fever appear, seek medical attention promptly.

Generally speaking, residual milk does not require special treatment, and there will be no additional health risks if you do not eliminate residual milk. If lumps, pain or other abnormalities occur during weaning, you should seek professional help from a regular medical institution in time instead of going to a regular medical institution. Beauty salon removes residual milk.