What Happens if you Don’t Breastfeed?

What Happens if you Don’t Breastfeed?

As soon as you give birth, your brain sends a signal to your body to begin producing breast milk. Days after delivery, your breasts will begin producing milk. This will happen even if you do not breastfeed, so the question becomes, What happens to your breasts if you don’t breastfeed?

Following the delivery of a baby, milk production is primarily influenced by hormones. After the placenta is delivered, either vaginally or via c-section, the milk-making factory is turned on and milk production starts to happen.

You may have some milk leak from your breasts and they maybe tender and swollen. These maybe symptoms of engorgement and they usually subside after a few days.

What to do When you Don’t Want to Breastfeed

If you are not able to breastfeed or are stopping breastfeeding because of a medical condition or by choice, consider wearing a clean bra like a sports bra to help reduce the amount of milk that comes in. Keep an eye out for breast engorgement, and if your breast do get engorged, it is possible to decrease your breast discomfort and help them stop making milk at home. you can use ice packs to help reduce the discomfort.

Another breast infection condition to be aware is Mastitis which results from blocked milk ducts.

This condition usually resolves within 48 hours. It is best to avoid breast stimulations such as getting into a warm shower and letting the warm water run over your breasts. If you don’t breastfeed or breast pump, your body will stop producing milk over time. You may need several weeks to reach this point.

It would be a good idea to get in touch with a lactation consultant who can help guide you. Lactation consultants in hospitals are board certified health care professionals who have a wealth of knowledge about breastfeeding.

Breast Milk is Supply and Demand

Milk production is a supply-and-demand function, which means that the more you nurse or pump, the more milk your body will produce. If you plan to formula feed, you should know what you can do to stop milk production after delivering your baby. Since milk production is hormone-driven, it can take a few days before it stops.

Normally, a mother will breast feed and pump to stimulate milk production, but if you don’t want to breastfeed, avoid doing things that will stimulate milk production.

Every few hours, you can express milk to make your breasts feel more comfortable, but remember to be careful as not to empty your breasts. As a result, your body will get the message that it needs to reduce milk production and this will in turn reduce the milk supply overtime.

You will need to do this for a few days, and as time goes by, you will want to gradually increase the period between expressing breastmilk.

Do not Stimulate your Breasts

In the event that a woman cannot breastfeed either by choice or for medical reasons. it is important that the breasts are not stimulated so as to avoid more milk production. Furthermore, women who are not able to breastfeed must take care of their breasts to prevent engorgement, which occurs when your breast is filled with too much milk. Engorgement can lead to tightness, swelling, and pain in the breasts. It is both uncomfortable and painful.

What Can Stop Milk Production?

Making sure that you are using the pump just for a short period of time so that your body gets the message that it doesn’t need to make more milk every few hours can help you avoid encouraging milk production.

In order to alleviate sore breast discomfort, use cold packs, gel packs, or frozen vegetables and place one on each breast after you’ve manually expressed a little milk every few hours. You’ll just need to do that for the first few days, and then you will want to gradually increase the time you go without expressing milk.

RELATED: How to Stop Milk Production if not Breastfeeding

Cabbage Leaves for Drying up Milk Supply

You can also use cabbage leaves, but you will have to wash them first and then strip the vein out. You can also put them in the fridge so they get cold. However, cold or not, it can be helpful to tuck one into each breast and let them sit for a couple of hours before replacing them. The reason why this process needs to be gradual is that if you don’t do anything while milk is being produced, your breasts may become engorged or you may develop mastitis. Getting engorged or mastitis is not something you want to happen.

These are things you should avoid at all costs. Consequently, reduce your milk production gradually until you are comfortable. It won’t take long for your body to realize that it is no longer required to produce milk.

The Side Effects of Stopping Breastfeeding

During the process of suppressing milk production, it is normal to feel slightly uncomfortable. As long as your doctor approves, you can take a pain reliever. This may help alleviate any discomfort and swelling you might experience. Investing in a comfortable supportive bra would be a good idea.

You may still experience milk flow after a month or two. This is normal after giving birth, and there is usually nothing to worry about unless the milk has changed color or you notice any irregularities in the breast tissue. Tell your doctor immediately if these changes occur.

What Happens if you Don’t Breastfeed?
What Happens if you Don’t Breastfeed?

How do you bond with your baby if you are not breastfeeding?

There are many benefits to breastfeeding your baby, according to this study by Florida Atlantic University, Breastfeeding mothers are at a lower risk of getting Postpartum depression.

Even if a mother is unable to breastfeed, she can still enjoy a special relationship with her baby. During feeding, a baby can be held close to the mother’s chest to give the illusion of breastfeeding instead of laying the baby on a pillow. Women who are unable to breast-feed due to health problems may feel judged or scared that they are inadequate mothers. You might find it useful to keep in mind that a mother who is doing the best she can with the resources she has available to her is the best possible mother for her child.

Final Thought

Breasts are designed to help a woman feed her baby. Almost all women are able to breastfeed, however a few are unable to do so because of serious health problems or by their own choice. Breasts are complex organs that occasionally do not perform as expected. Further, successful lactation requires balancing a number of physical, emotional, and personal factors. Breastfeeding can be a beautiful experience for some women, while it can also present a set of challenges for others.

We hope you find this what happens if you don’t breastfeed article useful

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