Breastfeeding Breakup: What Happens When You Stop

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Saying goodbye to a nursing relationship can be an emotional and physical rollercoaster, full of ups and downs, twists and turns. Whether you've decided to wean your child on your own terms or circumstances have forced the issue, there are certain things that happen when you stop breastfeeding that no one warns you about.

Breastfeeding Breakup: What Happens When You Stop

The Guilt Trip Begins

As soon as you start thinking about weaning or stopping breastfeeding altogether, the guilt trip begins. Questions race through your mind like a high-speed train: "Am I depriving my child of essential nutrients? Will they hate me for not continuing their favorite bonding time? Should I keep going even though it hurts?" But never fear, these thoughts are normal and common among all parents who have breastfed their children at some point.

Your Breasts Go Through Changes

It's true what they say - breasts are like snowflakes in the sense that no two pairs are alike. Therefore, how each person experiences changes in their breasts after weaning will vary between individuals. That being said, most lactating mothers experience similar transitions once milk production ceases:

  • A decrease in size
  • Sagging over time
  • The return of pre-pregnancy soreness during menses

Oh no! This confirms our worst fears - saggy boobs might become a reality post-weaning!

Hello Estrogen...

When milk production stops completely after ceasing latching sessions with baby/babies (or pumping), estrogen levels rise while prolactin decreases sharply from its previous levels during peak lactation periods; this shift jumpstarts ovulation/ menstrual cycles roughly six weeks later for many new moms (aka another period every month...yay?!) Drying up milk supply also ushers in hormonal shifts typical of postpartum depression, including feelings of anxiety or sadness that can make weaning an emotionally trying time.

When It Stops Hurting... Wait A Minute

We know how you feel - your nipples might finally have a break, no more constant soreness! But after the first few days/weeks of breastmilk leaving the building and baby/babies clamping down on mom's breasts, women get excited for a reprieve from pain but soon notice their boobs are inexplicably even more tender/sensitive than before - who knew? After all those sleepless nights attached to little ones' mouths, it seemed like freedom was just around the corner. However, breast engorgement counts as one main reason this happens post-weaning: milk production slowdowns cause backup in duct lines resulting in swollen painful breasts until they quickly return back to pre-pregnancy size along with estrogen/progesterone balances.

Bound To Gain Weight?

It seems counterintuitive at first glance that ceasing breastfeeding could lead to weight gain over time yet hormonal shifts will increase appetite & cravings making healthy choices harder between giving up nursing and going through dramatic physical undergoings (we're blaming craving donuts here not ourselves!) Women who fail maintaining balance while working hard towards managing plates because life changes so drastically postpartum thanks mostly due sleep deprivation which already accomplishes wonders when it comes pushing dieters off track every year where many new moms eat junk food more often than usual and end up accumulating extra pounds even if subconsciously leading them along paths of discomfort later down road!

Goodbye Money

No sugarcoating here- Breastfeeding is often free; formula cans come cost quite the arm without steady supply options available near home addresses so switch’s wallet-walloping becomes known commodity among parents unable choosing nursing longer period. Plus ‌formula costs tend getting steeper year after another!

So How Do You Stop?

There are many things that can factor into deciding to stop breastfeeding. Maybe you're returning to work or school, maybe it's taking more time away from other important life activities than planned for (like ability grocery shop without needing logistics and tandem lists), or maybe you just need a break mentally & physically(!) ‌No matter your reasoning, there are steps one can take ensuring the transition as smooth as possible:

  1. Take it slow: gradual weaning process by reducing feedings in smaller intervals is often far easier on baby/babies' emotional state and also helps avoid mastitis/engorgement.
  2. Don't forget nipples: invest in soothing creams/oils useful post-weaning when breasts become sore /sensitive
  3. Stay hydrated! Drinking enough fluids daily will help keep milk supply stable while weaning (your body still think u r "supposed" nursing)
  4. Self-care days precisely tailored around progressive movements - this'll make good fit depending where mom ends up heading shortly after.


It's safe to say that there will always be some challenges when breaking up with breastfeeding - physical and emotional changes – but change itself might actually end up making women feel even healthier than before because they have regained control over lactating duties removed restrictive obligations not feeling necessarily guilty because their bodies naturally determinated ideas limiting freedom somewhere along lines so goodbye preconceptions about motherhood (#confetti!)

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