I stopped breast-feeding my second child about 18 months ago, but recently I have noticed milk leaking from my breasts for no apparent reason. It is only a small amount, but it is now happening most days, particularly in the mornings. The health visitor told me it was likely to be a remnant of breast-feeding, but nothing similar happened after I weaned my first baby. Is this something to do with feeding more than one child?
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
Spontaneous leakage of milk from the breasts in women who are not pregnant and not breast-feeding is not normal. If you are definitely not pregnant, there are several possible explanations. Some drugs can cause milk production - the most likely ones are drugs used to treat mental illness and depression, and for high blood pressure. But there is a long list of other drugs that could be the culprit. If you are taking any medicines at all, read the package inserts to see if milk leakage - also known as galactorrhoea - is a recognised side-effect. Even some herbal remedies can cause this.If it is not a side effect of a drug, it may be caused by raised levels of the hormone prolactin, produced by the pituitary gland. A blood test can check your prolactin levels. Low thyroid hormone levels can push up prolactin levels, so get that checked too. Also, consider nipple stimulation; jogging in a loose bra, or erotic stimulation of the nipples, can stimulate milk release.
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