20 answers

Breastfeeding Milk Leak - Stopped breastfeeding but still leak milk

I had to stop breastfeeding my son when he was 3 weeks old. I was experiencing severe pain while breastfeeding and did not find out until later it was because my son had gotten thrush, which also got on me. Anyway...I dried up my milk when he was 3 weeks old and he's 4 months (18 weeks) old now. I was able to dry up my milk within about 4-5 days without much trouble. The problem is I still notice my nipples leaking at times when he cries. It's not a lot, but my shirt has little wet spots. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had this happen this long after drying up your milk. Is there anything I can or should do about it?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I quit bf my daughter at 4 months and up until I got pregnant with this little guy I still had milk. my milk would leak pretty often when she cried (or when other babies cried). I'd try bf him again if you can. =) but otherwise, you may want to talk to the dr about it to see what they say.

K.,
I had a similar experience. I had to give up on the idea of breastfeeding very early on. But for a good long while, perhaps months (it's hard to remember exactly how long), I leaked small amount of milk. I'm just letting you know that eventually it stopped wihtout any intervention. Be patient, and wear some breast pads in the meantime! Good luck!

More Answers

it will continue for a while, but will gradually taper off over time. i could still express a few drops here and there unitle my daughter was over a 1 yr old and i stoppped nursing when she was 4 months. just continue to use nursing pads in your bra until it starts to taper off.

1 mom found this helpful

If your breasts are still leaking, and the thrush is gone, why not just nurse him again? Even if its not enough milk to sustain him, it will stop the leak and be a great comfort to both of you to have him nuzzling at your breast again. I nursed all mine for 3 yrs each, I can't imagine quitting after only 3 wks. I think this is your opportunity to reclaim some of that lost special time with him.
If that is not an option, try this: when he cries, and you feel that let down sensation that signals the milk is coming, just put your arms up to your breasts and push in until the tingling goes away. I had to do this quite often when I was nursing and working in a nursery, (bad combination!) everytime any of the babies cried, my body was ready to nurse them all! Direct pressure on the nipples stemmed the flow pretty quickly.
M.

I weaned at 7 months and I still on occasion has a leak and my baby is 2! Have you thought about restarting? It is totally possible! Either way a good place to go for more information is the La Leche Ledge. I am a doula (labor coach) and I highly encourage mothers to breast feed as long as they can. But also do what you feel is best for the baby.

H. Mother of three breast feed all and I am a doula

I brestfed my daugther for 3 months and she is 6 months now and I still have milk but it doesn't leak. You might try Lily Pads (that's the brand name) the are silicone pads that fit over the nipple that prevents leakage and that will help until you completly dry up. Also, this sounds crazy but if your husband ever does anything to them then your milk won't dry up until he stops.

Hi K., I stopped bfeeding at around 3 weeks. My son is now 14 months, and I *still* leak. I really could relactate if I wanted to. My mother said it took 2 years for hers to completely dry out. I've heard that cabbage leaves applied to your breasts help them dry out faster. I've yet to try this as it doesn't bother me much.

Absolutely! My sone is two and I stopped nursing him when he was 6 months old and I still on rare occassions leak out of one breast. My OB said it's natural to leak up to a year or more after breastfeeding. If it's a problem for you wear nursing pads to hide the leaks.

Dear K.,

If the thrush is gone, you can start nursing again.
And if it returns, drops for the baby and a salve
for you can cure it. Dr. Sears and his wife have
a wonderful book about breastfeeding, and they cover
thrush in their book. ALL of Dr. William Sear's baby
books are the best as far as I am concerned.

Sincerely yours,
Joan_h.

K.,
I had a similar experience. I had to give up on the idea of breastfeeding very early on. But for a good long while, perhaps months (it's hard to remember exactly how long), I leaked small amount of milk. I'm just letting you know that eventually it stopped wihtout any intervention. Be patient, and wear some breast pads in the meantime! Good luck!

I had the same problem. I talked to my doctor about it and he told me if my breast were still being stimulated, then they would continue to produce milk. So that meant that my husband couldn't touch them and sometimes my son would still try to feed. Double check with your doctor if that doesn't work.
L. C.

I quit bf my daughter at 4 months and up until I got pregnant with this little guy I still had milk. my milk would leak pretty often when she cried (or when other babies cried). I'd try bf him again if you can. =) but otherwise, you may want to talk to the dr about it to see what they say.

I use Lansinoh breast pads because they're not too bulky. Also, keep an extra shirt in your car in case this happens away from home. This happened to me once and I didn't even realize it! It was so embarrassing when my friend said "are your boobs leaking?" Augh!!

Hi K.,

It will happen until your body is ready and there is nothing that can be done about or for it. There used to be a medication to help dry it up, but it has been taken off the market. I stopped nursing after 9 months and didn't completely dry up for 3 years. It's different for everyone and, hopefully, yours will stop soon.

Good luck!!

Most oral contraceptives have the potential side effect of reducing milk supply, and so I imagine that might help. Of course, the pill can have other side effects that might not make this a worthwhile approach, but I mention it mainly in case you don't want to try breastfeeding again and you're looking at contraceptive options anyway.

Have you thought about re-lactating??? If you still have milk you can always build your supply back up...since you know the pain was from thrush and not other issues?!?!?! You can check out your local La Leche League chapter...and they would be able to point you in the right direction. If that is not what you want to do...it is normal to leak milk for a while after weaning.

I weaned my youngest at six months, he is nine months, almost ten, and I still see little droplets from time to time. We had to stop nursing, though. My first I nursed until he was a year old and then weaned him. My breasts were still leaking some when I got pregnant again. If you are leaking enough to have wet spots on your shirt, have you thought about trying to get your supply up and starting to nurse again? I think it would be wonderful if you could. And since you know it was thrush, it shouldn't hurt this time. And now if he were to get thrush, you know the symptoms and how to treat it. Good luck!

I am sure this is not what you want to hear but my youngest child just turned 8 and I can still excrete milk from my breasts. I leaked extremely bad while I was pregnant and for a while after I stopped nursing but I finally stopped leaking and like I said now 8 years later can still excrete some milk. My doctor has told me at every physical that everything is normal sometimes it just takes longer to completely dry up!!

I leaked for a long time after and doubt there is much you can do about it. Even if you are quite large in the chest, get a bra that has a little padding on it to hide leakage if and when it happens! Although expensive, Victoria's Secret has some great ones that are super supportive (nice for me, who after four kids, went from 34C to a 36 Long! LOL!)

I also leaked for a long time (almost 3 yrs) after quitting nursing my dtr (now 8 yo). But with my first, I had to wean him at 3-4 months, when I HAD to go back to work and pumping wasn't yielding much milk at all. I dried up like that (*snap*) and wished I could've kept feeding him myself. Found out later (when I had TONS of milk supply with my second son 2 yrs later) that my body just didn't produce enough milk with my first, which explains why he was so skinny until formula! You live and learn these things, and I loved every minute of breastfeeding (even having to be the one up at night with them) and I absolutely HATED everything about bottle-feeding! UGH!

My dtr was born 8 weeks early and couldn't suckle for about 12 weeks very well. B/C of this, I had to pump with her, and although my milk supply was awesome at first (hadn't dried up from my second son!), taking care of two toddlers and a preemie and trying to pump and trying to feed her took so much time that I started to dry up. I tried the herbal stuff to get my milk supply back up, but it did nothing for me. The doc then gave me a Rx for Reglan, and it came back immediately and thoroughly! So much so, that I had the leaking problem. All I can say is use breast pads for the leaks, maybe wear a cotton t-shirt under a blouse and keep a change of clothes with you! :) Also, the pressure on the nipples stopped mine whenever I let down at an inconvenient time, too. Hard to do in public but try *casually* crossing your arms tight across your chest! I pretended like I was cold and would rub my arms too! HA! :D

I saw a lot of others suggest trying to nurse again - I would have LOVED if my milk came back with my oldest, as he began to get sick all the time (also from being at a sitter's and then daycare, I am sure), and was never sick while nursing. Neither of my others was sick as babies either, and by then I was a SAHM, strictly breastfeeding. Made a world of difference. But if you are working, pumping can be difficult for some people at work or at home. Working puts that much more stress on your body and makes it hard to relax to pump. So do what you need, but just know that the leaking may continue for quite a while. I leaked on occasion for only a few months after stopping nursing cold turkey, but could express drops for over 3 years! Freaky!

Enjoy every precious moment! Mine are now 12, 10, and 8 and have the attitudes to go along with them! I miss the baby/toddler years SO much!

God bless!
A.

We weaned over a very slow period of time at 28 months-she had been nursing only once a day at that point. That was 10 months ago and up until the past month I would leak randomly. I've heard of some women leaking for up to two years after.

Someone else mentioned this and I will too. If you are leaking in response to his cries, then re-lactating might be something you are a good canidate for without the use of western medicine. If you are interested, contact your local Le Leche Leauge or call your hospital and ask to speak with a lactation consultant-usually free. If you're worried about the possibility of thrush again, know that it can be managed well with dietary changes in mom, taking a multiprobiotic (safe for nursing) and using genetian violet.

Your Mommy instincts are kicking in! You could try breastfeeding him again if you wanted to. Or if not, put a a TIGHT sports bra on for 2 weeks. Do not take it off except to shower and bath. This should clear it up!

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