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Breast Feeding

Whats wrong with my boobs

04/18/2000

Question:

I`m 36yrs old, 5 children breast fed all, it`s been 2yrs since the last child, had a tubal ligation at the birth of the last child whom is 4yrs old, my breasts have becaome extremely tender & the left is at least 1 size larger. I do still have a little bit of milk, I wondered if they could have stimulated by running with no bra when I was in Florida 10 weeks ago & my mamary glands are growing

Answer:

Many women report they can express small amounts of "milk" from one or more nipple pores for several months to several years after completely weaning their last child. However, the milk expressed tends to be thick, "cheesy," or "stringy" compared to the thin liquid one expresses when a baby or toddler is still breastfeeding. The ability to express this substance long after weaning has occurred appears to be unrelated to any change in size or sensation in the breasts. Inducing lactation by expressing milk frequently is possible and may affect the amount of milk and stimulate mammary gland growth, but this is unlikely unless you (or your partner) have recently begun to express milk MUCH more often on a daily basis.

I`d suggest you make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and have a physical examination by your primary health care provider or gynecologic care provider right away. Running without a bra would not contribute to actual mammary gland growth. The symptoms you describe could be associated with, pregnancy, perimenopause, pituitary conditions or certain breast diseases. An "in person" assessment by a qualified health care provider is the best way to discover the cause of your symptoms.

All the best…

Reference:

Love S & Lindsey K (1995). Dr. Susan Love`s breast book (2nd ed.). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Adjunct Clinical Instructor
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati