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Thread: Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    18

    Default Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

    Hello,

    As with my last post, I am 'almost' exclusively pumping for 6 weeks and my baby is 11 weeks.

    I noticed that my breast returned to it's pre-pregnancy size and I think I am starting to ovulate.

    Is this my body telling me to wean? Or, have I accidentally sent signal to my body that I am to wean?

    How should I tell my body that I am not ready to wean? And that I still want to breastfeed my baby?

    Help?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

    Our bodies do not tell us to wean. The way it works biologically is that we tell our bodies to stop making milk by reducing how often we (or baby) takes milk out of the breast. And we can send the message to our body to increase milk production by increasing how often and how effectively milk is taken out of the breast.

    But anyway, breast size has nothing to do with milk production. Breasts usually grow some what as they prepare to make milk during pregnancy and of course many moms experience larger, fuller breasts in the early weeks of milk production. But it is entirely normal for breast size to reduce or for mom to start feeling "empty" while mom continues to make milk and it usually happens around this age. Also the return of fertility does not mean a mom is going to see a decline in milk production. Many moms get their periods in the early months of breastfeeding and continue to breastfeed.

    A helpful book about milk production is Making More Milk by Marasco and West.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

    There is no such thing as your body telling you it's time to wean. You and your baby and your pump are in control of milk production. Your body is going to do what you tell it to do!

    If you want to keep milk production going, here's what you do:
    1. Remove milk from the breast at frequent intervals by nursing or pumping with a high quality electric pump with properly sized shields.
    2. If you find that supply is slumping, nurse more and pump more until you restore your target production level.
    3. If the baby is able and willing to nurse, try to nurse as often as possible, even if you still need help from the pump to maintain production. Nursing your baby helps prodicution even if it's "only" for comfort, and training him to feed at the breast is an investment in the future. Most babies get better at nursing as time goes on, if you give them the chance to practice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

    But anyway, breast size has nothing to do with milk production. Breasts usually grow some what as they prepare to make milk during pregnancy and of course many moms experience larger, fuller breasts in the early weeks of milk production. But it is entirely normal for breast size to reduce or for mom to start feeling "empty" while mom continues to make milk and it usually happens around this age. Also the return of fertility does not mean a mom is going to see a decline in milk production. Many moms get their periods in the early months of breastfeeding and continue to breastfeed.
    Thank you for your reply. I am just worried that since it seems that the hormones that help in milk production is slipping my body, it will not anymore cooperate that much in my goal to provide for my child the breastmilk she needs and get her out of supplementing formula.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    There is no such thing as your body telling you it's time to wean. You and your baby and your pump are in control of milk production. Your body is going to do what you tell it to do!

    If you want to keep milk production going, here's what you do:
    1. Remove milk from the breast at frequent intervals by nursing or pumping with a high quality electric pump with properly sized shields.
    2. If you find that supply is slumping, nurse more and pump more until you restore your target production level.
    3. If the baby is able and willing to nurse, try to nurse as often as possible, even if you still need help from the pump to maintain production. Nursing your baby helps prodicution even if it's "only" for comfort, and training him to feed at the breast is an investment in the future. Most babies get better at nursing as time goes on, if you give them the chance to practice!
    Thank you for your reply. Like what I have mentioned above, I am just worried that since it seems that the hormones that help in milk production is slipping my body, it will not anymore cooperate that much in my goal to provide for my child the breastmilk she needs and get her out of supplementing formula.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Pre-pregnancy Breast Size

    Okay, in that case, it makes sense to think about the 2 hormones that are involved in milk production. The first is prolactin, which is produced in your brain, in the pituitary gland. More prolactin = more milk. The second hormone is oxytocin, which is also produced in the brain, in the hypothalamus, and stored in the pituitary. Oxytocin has many functions, but its function during lactation is to cause the release of milk from the breast. The way it works is this: breast gets mechanical stimulation (sucking or pumping) -> nerve signal is sent to the brain -> oxytocin is released from the pituitary -> oxytocin signals the breast to release milk -> nerve signal is sent to the brain telling it that milk has been removed from the breast -> prolactin is released -> more milk is made.

    So if you want to keep those milk-making hormones from slipping away, thw way you do it is to increase the frequency and thoroughness of milk removal from the breast. That is, you nurse more and pump more!
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; April 18th, 2017 at 06:36 PM.

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