Galactorrhea and unexpected milk production
So, maybe you’ve weaned from breastfeeding, a process that may have seemed like it has taken quite some time. It might also seemlike everything returning to ‘pre-baby state’ is also taking its time. So, leaking after weaning is normal, right?
Generally, prolonged leaking (less than 6 months) after weaning is not considered a concern, unless the breasts produce high quantities of milk for a long period of time. Any stimulation, i.e., friction from clothing, breast examination or frequent stimulation during intercourse, etc. can continue to cause milk production after weaning. However, if your breasts remain swollen, hard and/or painful for months following weaning – it would be wise to seek advice from your health professional.
The spontaneous bilateral secretion of milk from the breast (not associated with lactation) is called Galactorrhea. It is not a disease, but could be a symptom of an underlying hormonal imbalance or health condition causing increased prolactin levels. It is commonly found to be caused by benign (non-cancerous) lesions, however can rarely be caused by malignant conditions and therefore deserves investigation.
Other possible medical conditions causing excessive milk production after weaning:
When to seek further advice from a professional:
➢ You have breast discharge that doesn’t appear to be ‘milk’. I.e., discoloured, sticky, bloody or purulent (contains pus – generally due to mastitis or an abscess).
Written by Keryn Thompson RM & IBCLC (L-301766)
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