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Is it necessary to express residual breast milk from the breast after cessation of breastfeeding?

Updated: 2020-04-24


1. What is residual breast milk?

Residual breast milk is the milk remaining in the mother's breast duct after she has stopped breastfeeding the child.

Residual breast milk is thicker and yellower than normal breast milk.

This is because after weaning -- as a result of lactation inhibition feedback factors and so on -- milk production decreases, milk composition and color changes, water concentration gradually decreases, the concentration of lactose and potassium ions decreases. At the same time, the concentration of sodium ions and chloride ions increases and the proportion of fat increases.

The milk discharged at this time may be viscous white powder or creamy white, or creamy yellow pasty substance.

2. Will the human milk in breasts deteriorate?

Breast milk in the body is a kind of body fluid, the same as blood, sweat, tears and does not deteriorate. Breast milk is stored in the breast and is not exposed to air, light, temperature and does not have deterioration tendencies at all.

3. After weaning, does the mother need to express the residual breast milk in her breast?


If the mothers of newborns are gradually weaning their children and there are no breast lumps, mastitis, etc. in the process of weaning, there is no need to consider the so-called expressing residual breast milk.

If the mother of a newborn suddenly weans her child and the breast has obvious symptoms such as lumps, swelling, fever, etc., she needs to go to a regular hospital in good time.

Given the principles of lactation, residual breast milk is impossible to express cleanly. When a mother squeezes out old milk, the breast is stimulated and the hypothalamus receives signals to secrete prolactin, which causes the breast to produce new milk and eventually only more and more milk.

Even if a mother expresses the remaining milk many times, there must be milk left in the breast and absorbed by her body.

4. Is breast hyperplasia or breast cancer caused if residual breast milk is not expressed?

Whether it is mastitis, breast nodules, breast hyperplasia, or even breast cancer, there is no clear causal and logical relationship between the occurrence of these breast conditions and a failure to express residual breast milk.

High risk factors for breast cancer:

Obesity (BMI≥30kg/m2);

Early menarche time or later menopause time;

Family history of breast cancer;

Breast cancer susceptibility gene mutation;

Infertility, no childbirth, no breastfeeding;

Adverse lifestyle such as drinking, smoking, staying up late.

Experts say it can be seen that these have nothing to do with whether residual milk is expressed.