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How breast milk burns out: signs, sensations, symptoms

Nursing mothers often ask questions when and how breast milk is burned out. Usually this topic occurs if a woman makes a decision about the completion of breastfeeding. Or when it seems to moms that the amount of milk decreases due to illness or stress.

But can it really “burn out”? And what happens during the period of lactation in the mother’s body?

The “burnout” of breast milk and its symptoms can be heard from experienced mothers and medical staff. So the opinion was strengthened that after the end of natural feeding milk must necessarily “burn out”.

But exactly how this happens and why milk “burns” remains a mystery. This judgment can be attributed to one of the most common myths about breastfeeding.

Where did the expression “burn out breast milk”

Moms are mentally preparing for painful sensations during this period, waiting for the temperature to rise and counting how much breast milk is burned out. However, if we consider this question from the point of view of physiology, it will become clear that the term “burnout” has nothing to do with the reduction of lactation.

If we turn to the dictionary of S. I. Ozhegov, we can find the following interpretations of the term “burn out”:

  • to deteriorate from long burning or strong heating;
  • dry out from the heat, collapse from overheating;
  • burn, rot.

Nothing like this happens to women’s milk. In fact, it does not burn, is not exposed to heat and high temperatures.

But it is precisely these feelings that women experience when they resort to traumatic methods of completing lactation: they tie up the chest, abruptly stop applying.

However, there are other versions of the appearance of this phrase. There is information that in medieval Russia, when the mother finished feeding her child, there was a special custom.

A woman was pumping a few drops of milk onto a very heated stove or fire.

The liquid quickly turned into steam, and in this there was a sign that the milk would disappear quickly and painlessly. For modern mothers, this ritual is already irrelevant, but questions about how breast milk is burned out and what symptoms may be present remain.

Often, after ARI, women notice that there is less milk in their breasts. And the breast itself went limp and empty. To make sure that the milk is still left, women begin to express themselves.

And they notice with disappointment that they manage to get only a few drops. From this comes the conclusion that milk is “lost.”

Recalling their condition during an illness (fever, fever, aches and pain in the chest), lactating mothers attribute the disappearance of milk exclusively to abnormal temperature. “The whole body was burning with fire, and with it the“ burned out ”and milk”, – such conclusions are mistakenly made by mothers who find themselves in a similar situation.

To milk has always been enough, the child must often suck the breast. The ideal situation is when the baby is fed on demand for the first three months.

If this is not possible, the mother must decant.

When pumping and sucking, the receptors on the nipple and areola receive active stimulation. This starts the process of creating a new secret.

An important hormone appears in the mother’s body – prolactin. The higher its concentration, the more milk will arrive for the next feeding.

And vice versa.

In order to maintain a sufficient level of prolactin throughout the day, after three months it is optimal to apply the crumbs (or decant) eight to 12 times a day. The less often this happens, the less incentive the breast receives.

The content of prolactin in the blood falls. And the sooner it becomes noticeable that nutrition for the infant is not enough.

There is another situation when milk may become less. For various reasons, the child can not always correctly capture the breast.

Sometimes this leads to the fact that sucking loses its effectiveness. Because of this, part of the milk is retained in the alveoli and ducts.

In the filled chest, the development of a new secret takes longer. The body receives a signal that the crumbs need less power. So, you need to reduce the activity of the gland.

The same happens with ineffective pumping.

From the point of view of physiology, the main sign of the completion of natural feeding is the gradual disappearance of milk. On average, its production stops in two or three weeks.

About the extinction of lactation speak in the context of the following situations.

  • With the intentional weaning of the child from the breast. Mom can decide on weaning at any age. To do this, it intentionally limits the number of attachments, leading them to zero. The process can go smoothly or abruptly, but the mechanism of action will be the same. In the first case, the number of feedings decreases gradually. This is a physiological method that is safe and comfortable for the mother and her offspring. With a sharp weaning, feeding stops suddenly. This option is fraught with engorgement, lactostasis and mastitis. Yes, and the baby will not be so easy to part with such an important part of his life.
  • With the wrong attachment. Some mothers immediately find convenient options to attach the newborn to the breast so that it sucks effectively. Others need a little more time and effort for this. In any case, improper attachment makes itself felt not only by a decrease in lactation, but also often by pain, nipple cracks, and stagnation. All this is noticeably reflected in breastfeeding.
  • With rare devastation of the breast. Forced separation from the baby or an occasional long break in feeding can not only reduce the formation of new milk, but also cause stagnation of the secret (lactostasis). In such cases, if the mother plans to continue feeding, lactation should be maintained by pumping.

When the mother rarely allows the baby to breast, the excess milk is sucked back into the blood. This continues until its complete disappearance.

Part of the glandular tissue as if “falling asleep.” The other is absorbed by the mother’s body.

This is called breast involution.

When milk becomes less, mothers notice that the breast has become softer. It is no longer filled as much as before. When decanting the fluid is no longer beats active jets.

Only a few drops of milk can be excreted from the breast. The bust decreases in size and approaches its former shape.

However, it is not always the extinction of lactation is mild and painless. If a woman suddenly stops feeding or decanting, she risks facing unpleasant consequences: lactostasis and mastitis.

They appear as a result of stagnation of a secret in one or several milk segments. Symptoms may be similar, but there are significant differences.

Often, women take lactostasis and mastitis for manifestations of acute respiratory infections. After all, all these conditions may be accompanied by fever.

And redness, induration and chest pain may not always be present. And not every woman is able to clearly identify them.

The chest is very full, swells, a heaviness appears in it. In the area of ​​stagnation develop pain. Sometimes they look like a bruised pain.

Any touch to the chest brings discomfort. Sometimes the seal can be felt by hand.

In the stagnation zone, the skin turns red, but this does not always happen. Some moms experience fever and notice a fever.

What should mom do in this case?

  • To take a shower . And drink some warm tea. This will improve the flow of milk.
  • Squeeze the milk from the diseased breast. Stop when it has ceased to flow freely. When expressing pain should not be.
  • Attach the baby to the chest. To that in which stagnation was formed. It is better to do this at night or for daytime sleep.
  • Repeat the procedure. If necessary, repeat the above steps after 12 hours.

Mastitis is an inflammatory process that is often a complication of lactostasis. It is characterized by prolonged fever (more than two days), pain in the affected part of the chest, poor health.

How to act mom?

  • Make an ultrasound. If the fever lasts more than two days, urgently make an ultrasound of the diseased breast.
  • Discuss the results with your doctor. You should contact a mammologist or a surgeon.
  • To decide on the treatment. The doctor will determine if there will be enough effective breast emptying or perhaps additional medication assistance is needed.
  • Remove stagnant milk. To do this, use the same scheme as for lactostasis: shower and tea – decanting – applying.

Moms say that they have less milk after colds. However, in this case, a decrease in its production is most often caused not by the disease itself, but by a decrease in the number of feedings. After all, not always feel nursing mother allows her to continue breastfeeding as usual.

Therefore, as the recovery of lactation is quite possible to establish.

With regard to stress … Excitement and excessive anxiety badly affect the ability to breastfeed. Under such conditions, the hormone oxytocin is very reluctantly produced.

It helps fluid out of the chest. In the language of nursing mothers, its action is called “tide”.

All that is needed for the resumption of lactation in the previous volumes is to arrange frequent feedings. In this case, you can return breastfeeding at any age of the child.

Mom needs to stop worrying that the milk is irretrievably gone, and continue to feed her child.

Milk formation can be stopped not only in the absence of breast stimulation. Sometimes this effect gives the reception of certain pills. These drugs inhibit the secretion of prolactin.

However, the result of their use depends on the stage of lactation.

For the mechanism to work, the content of this hormone in the blood must be very high. This is typical of the first two months after delivery.

Later, its level is maintained due to frequent attachments (or decanting). But he is not so great.

Therefore, the use of such drugs will not bring the desired effect.

In addition, breast complications may develop. If the medication is taken against the background of low prolactin levels, milk production does not stop. Therefore, even after pills a woman may face engorgement.

In case of untimely or ineffective breast emptying, the risk of lactostasis, mastitis and even abscess increases.

Sometimes a woman wants to finish feeding her baby in a short time. This happens for various reasons. For example, a mother plans to go to work or send a child to kindergarten.

Or the baby has reached the age when the mother thinks that it is no longer necessary to continue his breastfeeding.

To avoid complications and discomfort in the chest, it is important to follow three simple rules for the physiological completion of lactation.

  1. Gradually reduce feeds. The first to go suck during wakefulness baby. Then you can limit the application of the baby to wake up. The next stage – farewell with feeds for daytime sleep and during sleep. At the very last turn, nighttime communication with the breasts takes place. Such a sequence is most comfortable both for the mother and for her offspring.
  2. Watch your feelings. When breastfeeding is complete, the formation of milk is still ongoing. This process will stop in about two to three weeks. At this time, the mother can feel great, and then do not need to do anything. But if there is a feeling of fullness in the breast, it is bursting with milk that has come in, it is important to take measures immediately to prevent the formation of stagnation. To do this, slightly slit the chest to eliminate discomfort.
  3. Gradually reduce the number of drains. Smoothly the number of pumping decreases, and the intervals between them increase. Thus, the mother helps her body to tune in to the painless extinction of lactation.

With the decline of lactation, milk production slows down. Over time, it becomes less and less, and often women tend to believe that it is “burned out”.

However, this term is inappropriate to use in the context of breastfeeding, it is also wrong to calculate how many days breast milk “burns out”. Even if the feeding stops suddenly, the milk cannot disappear in a few hours or days.

If the mother desires, breastfeeding can be resumed at any stage of completion of lactation.

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