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World Breastfeeding Week 2019: Changes That Happen Once A Woman Stops Breastfeeding

By Subodini Menon

Breastfeeding is one of the most cherished parts of having a baby. Most moms would tell you that they loved breastfeeding inspite of the many challenges they may have faced through the process of getting accustomed to it.

Though the baby grows in the mother's womb, most women vouch for the fact that they tasted motherhood only when they began breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding moms go through a lot to get used to the idea and process of feeding their child. From getting their child to latch correctly to the problem of teething babies biting while breastfeeding, young moms have pushed through it all. It takes a lot of physical and emotional investment to breastfeed.

When the time comes to wean the baby off of the breast milk, the mother faces new challenges again. From the emotional issues to the physical after-effects, it is like going through it all over again.

Today, we shall talk about the physical and mental changes that a breastfeeding mother has to face when she is done breastfeeding. Read on to know more.


The Breasts Are Pretty Sensitive

The breasts of a breastfeeding mother have to go through a lot; the first letdown, the pain of engorgement, mastitis and the tiny sharp teeth gnawing on them. Sensitive is probably an understatement when it comes to the breasts of a breastfeeding mom.

You might think that things would get better once you are done breastfeeding but you couldn't be more wrong. The breasts stay as sensitive or a tad more after breastfeeding is done and they stay so for quite some time.


You Might Have Another Bout Of Mastitis

Most breastfeeding mothers might have had to deal with mastitis when they started breastfeeding. Engorgement of breasts and retention of milk in the ducts are thought to be the reason of mastitis. When you stop breastfeeding, you will have engorged breasts. This can lead to mastitis. Painful breasts, fever and chills are the common symptoms of mastitis.


The Sudden Hormonal Changes

Most moms do not ovulate when they are breastfeeding. Once they are done breastfeeding, the body gears up to ovulate again. This brings about a huge surge of hormonal changes in the body. Painful and sensitive breasts are a result of it. The emotional changes are also brought about due to the hormonal surges in the body.


You Will Have A Baby Who Is Obsessed With Your Breasts

Once the breastfeeding stage is done, the baby might not want to feed on it any more, but it is still a source of comfort for them. Your baby may reach out and grab your breasts for comfort. But it might be very uncomfortable for you if it happens at inappropriate times. You can just gently redirect your baby to correct his behaviour.


Your Breasts Will Sag

Saggy breasts are an indispensable result of pregnancy and breastfeeding. When you are breastfeeding, the ligaments and the connective tissue of the breast stretches out and it may never get back to the way it was before. The changes are not very evident when you are breastfeeding, as they are filled with milk. Once you stop breastfeeding, you will start to notice that your breasts are not the same as before.


It Takes Time For Your Milk To Dry Up

You might think that once you stop feeding your baby, your milk will dry up fast. But that is not the case. The milk might take weeks and even months to dry up completely.


Phantom Let Downs

Your breasts may experience what is known as phantom let downs. During this time, you will have sudden leaking of milk. This can be uncontrollable and can lead to discomfort.


You Might Miss Breastfeeding

Most breastfeeding moms await the day when they shall be free of the troubles that come with breastfeeding. They expect that they would feel free once they stop breastfeeding. But, in most cases, the mothers feel the blues of giving up on breastfeeding. They feel sad to have lost the special bond they had with their baby.


You Will Be Much Rested

End of breastfeeding means that you don't have to wake up in the nights to feed your baby anymore. This will result in a deeper and more restful sleep at night. You will be more relaxed and energetic when you wake up in the morning.


The Changes In The Weight

Breastfeeding brings with it a huge appetite. But thanks to the breastfeeding, all the extra calories do not make you put on weight. Some women stated that they even lost weight doing nothing but breastfeeding alone. But the case is different when the breastfeeding ends. If the same pattern of eating is carried on after the breastfeeding is stopped, you are sure to put on weight.


You Might Feel Many Different Emotions All At Once

Once the breastfeeding ends, you will be bombarded with many different emotions, often contrasting ones. This can be partly due to the surge of hormones in your body. You may feel excitement due to the new found independence. You might be happy the baby is independent. But the same facts may also cause you to regret at times, be sad or even depressed.

Read more about: breastfeeding postnatal parenting
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