Question Answer
0 View
Peringkat Artikel
1 звезда2 звезды3 звезды4 звезды5 звезд

What month does milk drop?

How to stop breastfeeding

It’s recommended that you breastfeed your baby exclusively (give them breast milk only) for the first 6 months of their life.

Breastfeeding still has lots of benefits for you and your baby after 6 months. It protects them from infections and there’s some evidence that it helps with the digestion of your baby’s first solid foods. It also continues to provide the balance of nutrients your baby needs.

The World Health Organization recommends that all babies are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of their life, and from 6 months babies should start eating solid foods as well as being breastfed for up to 2 years or longer.

If you’re not sure whether to continue with breastfeeding, contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 (available every day, 9.30am to 9.30pm).

Stopping breastfeeding gradually

There’s no right or wrong way to stop breastfeeding. For lots of mothers and babies, stopping breastfeeding happens gradually as the child grows and eats more solid foods.

It’s important that solid food should not simply replace breast milk. There’s evidence that breast milk may play a part in helping a baby’s digestive system to deal with their first solids.

Once they’re eating solids, your baby will still need to have breast milk or formula as their main drink up to at least their 1st birthday.

Cows’ milk is not suitable as a main drink for babies under 1 year old, although it can be added to foods, such as mashed potatoes.

Carrying on breastfeeding while giving your baby some formula can work very well.

Babies breastfeed for comfort as well as food. Phasing out breastfeeding gently will give you both time to get used to the idea. Stopping gradually will also help prevent problems like overfull, hard (engorged) breasts and mastitis.

You’ll probably find it easiest to drop 1 feed at a time. It does not matter which feed you drop first, so it will usually be a case of how it fits in with your life. For example, some mothers may prefer to continue night feeds so their baby can still have the comfort at night.

If your baby is younger than 1 year, you’ll need to replace the dropped breastfeed with a formula feed from a bottle or (if they’re over 6 months) a cup or beaker, instead.

If your child is over 1 year and having a variety of foods and drinks, they will not need a replacement feed.

Once you and your baby are settled into a pattern of having 1 less breastfeed, you can then think about dropping another feed. Completely stopping breastfeeding can take anything from a few weeks to several months.

If you’re trying to stop breastfeeding and having problems, you can get help and ideas from a health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist.

Combining breast milk and formula

Some women decide to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding with formula milk rather than stopping breastfeeding completely.

If you want to do this, it’s best to wait until your milk supply is fully established. This can take around 6 to 8 weeks.

You can start by replacing 1 of your baby’s regular daily breastfeeds with a bottle (or, if your baby is over 6 months, a cup or beaker) of formula, instead.

Common reasons for stopping breastfeeding

Sore or painful breasts

Some women find breastfeeding uncomfortable, especially in the early days and weeks. Common problems include sore or cracked nipples and painful breasts.

These problems can often happen when your baby is not positioned or attached well at the breast. A midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist can help you with positioning your baby and getting them properly attached.

Not enough breast milk

Lots of women worry that their baby is not getting enough milk when in fact they have plenty to meet their baby’s needs.

A midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding specialist can suggest ways to increase your milk supply if necessary. This could just mean making sure your baby is well attached to the breast and that you’re feeding often enough.

Going back to work

Some women worry about breastfeeding and returning to work. Going back to work does not necessarily mean you have to stop breastfeeding.

What not to eat during cold?

If your breast milk supply is well established, going back to work does not have to affect your milk supply for your baby. You can either express at work, give your breast milk to your child’s carer, or provide formula milk while you’re away.

If your employer is not familiar with the rules around breastfeeding and expressing in the workplace, it’s worth sharing the ACAS guidance on pregnancy and maternity with them, or contacting your union if you have one.

Going on holiday

As with work, going on holiday does not mean that you have to give up breastfeeding. In fact, breastfeeding can be more convenient while you’re away.

If you breastfeed, you do not need to worry about boiling water and sterilising feeding equipment. Plus, if you’re flying, there’s no need to worry about restrictions on carrying bottles or cups of formula through airport security checks.

Breastfeeding also helps to equalise the pressure in your baby’s ears on take-off or landing.

Getting pregnant again

If you get pregnant again while you’re breastfeeding, it should not affect your baby or the pregnancy. However, you may feel tired, and changes in your appetite and emotions can make breastfeeding more challenging.

Do not be put off feeding an older baby and a newborn (tandem nursing). The more milk your babies take, the more your breasts produce, so it’s possible to feed more than 1 baby.

Taking some medicines

Most medicines can be taken while you’re breastfeeding without harming your baby.

But it’s always best to tell a doctor, dentist or pharmacist if you’re breastfeeding.

Restarting breastfeeding after stopping

Stopping breastfeeding does not always have to be permanent, but starting again may take a lot of time and not everyone will produce enough to meet their baby’s needs. It partly depends on how well-established your milk supply was already.

Stimulating your breasts by expressing breast milk and offering the breast to your baby regularly can encourage your body to start making milk again.

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby can promote lactation (milk production) too.

You can ask a midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist for help if you would like to restart breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding older children

There’s no reason why you should not continue breastfeeding your child into their 2nd year and beyond. You and your toddler can continue to enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding for as long as you want to.

Your toddler may also find breastfeeding comforting when they’re ill or upset.

More in How to breastfeed

Page last reviewed: 16 March 2023
Next review due: 16 March 2026

Support links

  • Home
  • Health A to Z
  • Live Well
  • Mental health
  • Care and support
  • Pregnancy
  • NHS services
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • NHS App
  • Find my NHS number
  • Your health records
  • About the NHS
  • Healthcare abroad
  • Contact us
  • Other NHS websites
  • Profile editor login
  • About us
  • Accessibility statement
  • Our policies
  • Cookies


Lactation is the process of making human milk. Human milk is secreted through your mammary glands, which are located in your breasts. Lactation is hormonally driven and occurs naturally in people who are pregnant. It can also be induced in those who are not pregnant. Lactation will continue as long as milk is being removed from your breasts.

  • Appointments 216.444.6601
  • Appointments & Locations
  • Request an Appointment


Diagram of a person's mammary glands showing all the parts involved in lactation.

What is lactation?

Lactation is the process of producing and releasing milk from the mammary glands in your breasts. Lactation begins in pregnancy when hormonal changes signal the mammary glands to make milk in preparation for the birth of your baby. It’s also possible to induce lactation without a pregnancy using the same hormones that your body makes during pregnancy. Lactation ends once your body stops producing milk.

Feeding your baby directly from your breasts is called breastfeeding (or sometimes chestfeeding) or nursing. You can also feed your baby milk that you have expressed or pumped from your breast and saved in a bottle.

What phone battery lasts the shortest?

Where does human milk come from?

Human milk comes from your mammary glands inside your breasts. These glands have several parts that work together to produce and secrete milk:

  • Alveoli: These tiny, grape-like sacs produce and store milk. A cluster of alveoli is called lobules, and each lobule connects to a lobe.
  • Milk ducts: Each lobe connects to a milk duct. You can have up to 20 lobes, with one milk duct for every lobe. Milk ducts carry milk from the lobules of alveoli to your nipples.
  • Areola: The dark area surrounding your nipple, which has sensitive nerve endings that lets your body know when to release milk. To release milk, the entire areola needs stimulation.
  • Nipple: Your nipple contains several tiny pores (up to about 20) that secrete milk. Nerves on your nipple respond to suckling (either by a baby, your hands or a breast pump). This stimulation tells your brain to release milk from the alveoli through the milk ducts and out of your nipple.

It helps to think of the lactation system as a large tree. Your nipple is the trunk of the tree. The milk ducts are the branches. The leaves are the alveoli.

Why do people lactate?

The primary reason people lactate is to feed a baby. Lactation is a biological, hormonal response that occurs during and after pregnancy to feed a newborn baby. Your body triggers specific hormones to initiate milk production and ejection (releasing of milk). All mammals lactate for this purpose and it’s possible to induce lactation in men and in non-pregnant women using the right hormone medications.


What triggers lactation?

A series of hormonal events, which begin when you’re pregnant, trigger the lactation process. That process is called lactogenesis.

Stage one lactogenesis: This begins around the 16th week of pregnancy and lasts until a few days after you give birth.

  • Estrogen and progesterone rise and cause your milk ducts to grow in number and size. This causes your breasts to become fuller. Your mammary glands begin to prepare for milk production.
  • Your nipples darken and your areolas become larger.
  • Your Montgomery glands (small bumps on the areola) secrete oil to lubricate your nipple.
  • Your body begins making colostrum. It’s highly nutritious and filling and serves as your baby’s first milk.

Stage two lactogenesis: This stage starts about two or three days postpartum (after giving birth). It’s when milk production intensifies.

  • Once your baby and placenta are delivered, a sudden drop in your estrogen and progesterone causes the hormone prolactin to take over.
  • Prolactin is the hormone that produces milk.
  • You’ll notice your milk production increases dramatically at this stage. It’s often referred to as milk “coming in.”
  • Your breasts are often engorged (or overly full of milk) to the point where they feel sore, painful or tender.

Stage three lactogenesis: This describes the rest of the time you lactate.

  • Lactation generally continues as long as milk is removed from your breast.
  • The more milk that’s removed, the more milk your body makes to replace it. Frequent feeding or pumping will cause your body to make more milk.

Hormones for lactation

The hormone prolactin controls the amount of milk you produce, and your body begins producing prolactin early in pregnancy. At first, the high levels of estrogen, progesterone and other pregnancy hormones suppress prolactin. Once you deliver the placenta, those pregnancy hormones drop and prolactin takes charge.

When your baby suckles, it stimulates nerves that tell your body to release prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin causes the alveoli to make milk and oxytocin causes muscle contractions that push out of the alveoli and through the milk ducts.

When milk is released, it’s called a “letdown,” and it takes about 30 seconds of suckling before the letdown occurs. Because you can’t control which breast receives the hormones, the letdown can cause milk to drip from both nipples.

Inducing lactation in people who aren’t pregnant requires medication that mimics hormones your body makes during pregnancy. Suckling from the nipple can initiate lactation, either with a breast pump or by a baby. This is a complex process that involves working closely with a healthcare provider who understands the needs of non-pregnant people and has experience initiating lactation.

What is the symbol for radius?

When do you lactate during pregnancy?

Lactation begins as early as a few weeks into the second trimester of your pregnancy. As estrogen and progesterone levels rise, your body prepares for lactation by increasing the number of milk ducts in your breasts, and those milk ducts will transport milk from the alveoli to your nipples. About midway through pregnancy, your body creates colostrum, which is your baby’s first milk.

Can you lactate when you’re not pregnant?

Yes, it’s possible to lactate if you’re not pregnant. Inducing lactation is a complex process that usually involves using hormone-mimicking drugs for several months to produce milk. The second part of lactation is expressing the milk through your nipple. Stimulation from infant suckling, pumping with a breast pump or hand-expressing signals the brain to release the milk. It’s common for people in this situation to receive assistance from a healthcare provider who understands the needs of non-pregnant people and has experience initiating lactation.

How do you stop lactation?

There are many reasons why you might need to stop producing milk, and you can stop lactating either naturally or with the help of hormonal drugs.

Natural milk suppression

Lactation is a supply-and-demand process. Your milk supply gradually goes down as your baby relies less on breast milk, or as you reduce the number of times you nurse or pump. Generally, if you decrease the volume of milk removed from your breasts, your body will slow milk production.

Suppressing your milk can feel uncomfortable and most people will become engorged (the term for overfilled breasts). You may also leak milk or develop a clogged milk duct. However, you can treat that pain by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, wearing a firm bra or using an ice pack on your breasts.

Medication suppression

Medications can also be an option if you need to stop producing milk. Your healthcare provider can explain more about lactation-suppressing drugs, as well as the benefits and possible side effects.


Where are the mammary glands located?

Mammary glands are commonly called breasts and both genders have them. They are located on your chest and are composed of connective tissue, fat and special glandular tissue that makes milk. A woman’s glandular tissue is slightly different because it contains the alveoli and lobules necessary for producing milk. Women also have much more glandular tissue.

Conditions and Disorders

What are common conditions that affect your ability to lactate?

The ability to lactate and the length of time you’re able to produce milk varies. Some can produce milk for years, while others have trouble producing enough milk for their baby.

Some common factors that can impact lactation or breastfeeding are:

  • Hormonal levels and conditions.
  • Medications.
  • Undergoing radiation therapy in the past.
  • Trauma to your breast or nipples.
  • Breast augmentation, reconstruction or other breast surgeries.
  • Other medical conditions like HIV infection.
  • Use of drugs and alcohol.

If you’re nursing or pumping your milk to bottle-feed your baby, you should always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medications or treatments. Many medications can pass to your baby through breast milk, which may have dangerous effects on your baby.

What is lactational amenorrhea?

Lactation amenorrhea (ah-men-oh-re-uh) means you aren’t menstruating (getting a period) due to lactation. When you’re lactating, your body produces prolactin, the hormone that produces milk. Prolactin reduces the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your body, which helps trigger the release of an egg during ovulation. If you aren’t producing enough LH, you can’t ovulate or get your period. The length of time you can be amenorrheic due to lactation varies from a few months or until you’re completely done lactating.

Does lactation reduce my risk of any diseases?

Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk of ovarian and breast cancers. It can also lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

What prescription gets rid of gout?


How do you maintain milk production?

Maintaining lactation is mostly based on supply and demand. The more your baby breastfeeds or the more milk you express with a breast pump, the more your body will make. There are ways to suppress lactation with hormones or oral contraceptives. If you wish to maintain lactation, some things you should do are:

  • Continue nursing on-demand or pump milk frequently (approximately every four hours).
  • Eat a healthy diet with enough calories. Low-calorie diets can decrease milk supply.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Human milk is primarily water.
  • Avoid smoking, drugs or alcohol. These can reduce your supply and transfer to your milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between lactation and colostrum?

Lactation describes the process of making and secreting milk from your breast. Colostrum is the first milk your breasts create during lactation and the first milk your baby drinks. It’s thick, yellow and commonly called “liquid gold.” Colostrum is high in protein, minerals, vitamins and antibodies.

What is hormone therapy for inducing lactation?

Couples or families who wish to induce lactation, maybe because of adoption, surrogacy or other reasons, can try hormone therapy. Induced lactation means you’re creating a milk supply without being pregnant. It’s a process that involves taking estrogen and progesterone for several months to make your body believe it’s pregnant. This helps prepare your breasts for lactation. Some medications and herbs are believed to help establish a milk supply, too.

Several weeks before your baby arrives, begin pumping your breasts with a breast pump. This encourages your body to release prolactin, which produces milk. Ideally, you express your milk several times a day, just like you would if you had a baby. This helps establish a supply. You can also freeze any milk you produce for use once your baby arrives.

If you’re considering this as an option, you should talk to your healthcare provider about your desire to feed your baby with human milk. Induced lactation works for many people, but not all.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you want to feed your baby human milk, it’s helpful to understand the process of lactation so you know what to expect. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to best prepare for nursing or expressing milk. Remember, lactation can look different for everyone depending on your circumstances and health history. If you struggle with lactation at any point, you may feel embarrassed or even ashamed. But struggling with lactation is very common, and lactation specialists and other healthcare providers can help you as you try to overcome these difficulties.

Losing Your Milk: What seems like dwindling milk can actually be normal changes in baby and you

Remember when it felt like you had two boulders full of milk on your chest? And if the baby let go while nursing, you’d laugh as the milk sprayed everywhere? But now things have changed. No more leaking, your breasts don’t feel “full” anymore, and your baby’s behaviour is changing too. Have you lost your milk?

It’s a common worry. “I would say that the majority of breastfeeding women will have concerns about their milk production at some point,” says lactation consultant Karyn-grace Clarke, president of the British Columbia Lactation Consultants Association. There are certain times when this is more likely: in the first couple of days after birth, before the mature milk comes in; when the baby is around three or four weeks old and starts nursing frequently; and between three and six months.

Changes in baby’s behaviour are often behind these concerns, Clarke says. “Mothers tend to think they’ve lost their milk if suddenly the baby is fussier, feeding more often or crying more than usual. Sometimes the baby begins to wake more frequently at night or starts taking shorter naps in the day, and the mother may think this means the baby is hungry because she has less milk.”

What is the weakness of Itachi?

What’s happening?

What could be happening? Clarke lists some of the common — and normal — changes that can sometimes be interpreted as a decrease in milk:

  • Mothers often feel that once their breasts are not engorged, or when they stop leaking milk between feedings, their milk supply has gone down. “In truth, what these things mean is that their milk supply has been regulated,” says Clarke. “It’s common for a mother to overproduce milk in the beginning before her body finally understands how much it really needs to make on a daily basis.”
  • As babies grow, it’s normal for them to take less time to feed. Your newborn might have needed 30 or 40 minutes to fill his tummy; by three months, he may be satisfied after just five or 10 minutes.
  • Between four and six months, most babies become easily distracted, even at feeding times. They latch on, nurse for a few seconds, pull off to look at the TV, then go back on for a few more seconds, let go again because a fire truck just went by, and so on. “Many mothers think this means they don’t have enough milk to keep the baby interested in feeding,” says Clarke.
  • A baby who had been sleeping for fairly long stretches at night may begin waking again, and mothers often think this means the baby is hungry due to a drop in milk production. However, there can be many reasons for increased night waking, including teething, nursing less often during the day, a cold or a virus.

Signs your milk production has dropped

How can you know if your milk production really has dropped, or if you’re experiencing one of those normal changes? “If baby continues to have a regular pattern of wet and poopy diapers, it’s very likely that everything is fine,” says Clarke. “One thing to note is that around the six-week mark, many breastfed babies start having fewer poopy diapers.”

If your baby’s output pattern has changed, it would be a good idea to check his weight gain; if that has slowed down significantly, then milk production may be a concern that needs attention.

Should you supplement if you see signs of an actual decrease in milk? Clarke recommends you first consult with a breastfeeding expert who can help you figure out the cause. “I would need to consider many different things that could be in play: the mother’s health history or current health situation, any changes in breastfeeding or sleeping patterns, any medications that the mother is taking, possible stresses, separation between mother and baby, adding other foods or liquids to baby’s diet, and so on.”

Depending on the cause, you might be able to increase milk production by adjusting your breastfeeding technique or the frequency of feedings, changing medications, or taking herbal supplements or medication to increase the amount of milk you make.

At times, supplementation is needed, but it’s less likely to lead to unintended weaning if done with a plan to increase milk production and gradually decrease the supplementation — the kind of plan a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding expert can help you work out. If continued supplementation is needed, that doesn’t have to mean the end of breastfeeding, either: There are approaches (such as “paced” bottlefeeding and giving the supplement first, then finishing at the breast) that help to keep the baby interested in nursing

The hormonal shift

Lactation consultant Karyn-grace Clarke points out that when the baby is about three months old, milk production stops being controlled by the mother’s postpartum hormones, and starts being controlled by the information that the body has gathered during the previous weeks of breastfeeding. If the baby nursed infrequently in those early weeks, the milk production may decrease at this point because there were not enough “milk-making factories” created to match the baby’s needs.

Teresa is the author of fifteen books, including the co-author of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 8th revised edition

© Copyright Teresa Pitman. Used with permission. Originally published in Today’s Parent.

Ссылка на основную публикацию