Pregnancy & Parenting
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what happens to the body when you quit breastfeeding??

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my son is almost 9 months old.I still havent gotten my period back.  Will I get this back when im done breastfeeding and also, do you gain weight whne you stop breastfeeding?  I know breastfeeding burns calories so/....

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I haven't quit yet, but I have stopped pumping. My period came back, full force, with a vengeance, right after I quit pumping at work. I have actually lost weight since I stopped pumping (I barely lost any weight when I was pumping and nursing, not just nursing). So for me, my body seems to be reacting differently than most. My son is going to be 11 months in a couple of days.

Most women do get it back after they are done breastfeeding. As for the gaining weight--yes and no. Take this into consideration: your breast will fill with milk, but since you are not feeding it will stay there until it is reabsorbed into your system (fluid is heavy). Eventually, the milk ducts will shrink and the glands will stop producing milk. But simultaneously, you will begin to return to your normal menstual cycle (which is usually a weight gain and loss process). Also, your caloric requirements will be reduced since you are no longer feeding, so if you are still eating the same amount of calories, but not using them you would tend to gain weight. However, if you eat right, exercise and drink plenty of water it is most likely that you would gain little, if any, extra weight.

**You can figure out what your BMI is and when you stop feeding return to your normal intake level.

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The answer to this depends partly on how you go about stopping.  If you stop abruptly, you'll be dealing with a fairly fast shift in your body chemistry.  Your period will return, your calorie requirements will drop suddenly, and you'll be dealing with breasts (and emotions) that take time to catch up to the new reality.

If you wean more slowly, (example: the don't offer, don't refuse approach), your body will gradually produce less milk as your son gradually nurses less.  At some point, you'll drop below the  point where he's nursing enough to suppress your period.  You'll be able to slowly reduce your intake of calories.

Your personal philosophy and situation will determine what you decide to do.  I let my son set the pace, and it was physically a very easy transition for me (and emotionally an easy transition for both of us).

Be aware that you can ovulate and therefore be fertile before you get your first period.  If you haven't already, you need to start using birth control even before your period returns.  Unless you're trying for a little brother or sister for your son.  :)

Personally, I didn't start menstruating again after I stopped nursing either of my kids. The first time around, I was prescribed medication to start my period. The second time, I started taking birth control pills immediately after weaning which forced my period to start. I've always had trouble with irregular cycles so it wasn't very surprising for me.

My first child, I just stopped nursing. No gradual weaning (I had no clue what I was doing and I was miserable). We did it the complete opposite with my second and weaned over a period of about 6 weeks. Either way, no period came on it's own.

I had lost all of my pregnancy weight (from my most recent pregnancy) but wanted to lose an additional 10-15 pounds. I wasn't able to lose any of that until I stopped nursing. The pregnancy weight, though, flew right off during breastfeeding.

You may need to play with your calories a little after weaning but I never gained weight, just maintained.

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