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Breast Feeding

Breast milk a year after not breastfeeding

12/28/2006

Question:

My daughter is 14 months old and I stopped breastfeeding at a month. I still have milk that will leak from my breast if pressure is applied. It`s not a lot but enough that it bothers me. Before my pregnancy I had my nipples pierced. Does that have something to do with it, and how can I make it stop? Thanks

Answer:

It is not unusual for a small amount of milk to be expressed as much as a year or more after weaning.

The more the breasts are stimulated, the more the milk will be produced.

As long as the amount decreases over time, there is nothing to worry about. If, on the other hand, the amount increases despite lack of stimulation, then you should consult an endocrinologist, who would likely check your prolactin levels and maybe your pituitary gland.

It is unlikely that the piercing has anything to do with causing prolonged lactation, other than that if the milk ducts were pierced, whatever milk that is being produced is leaking from those sites instead of from the pores at the tips of the nipples.

Meanwhile, you might try taking Sudafed, 60 mg doses, once daily for 3 to 4 days, and drinking mint or sage tea to suppress prolactin and hence milk production.

You can also apply ice packs (bags of frozen peas work well) to your breasts a few times per day.

Avoid heat and manual stimulation of any kind.

For more information:

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

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati