Does Breastfeeding Actually Shrink Your Uterus?
Breast Feeding Shrinks My Uterus?
As pregnancy progresses, the uterus grows bigger to accommodate the fetus. By the time your baby is born, your uterus would have expanded to many times its normal size.
After the process of delivery, the uterus goes through a process called involution, which helps it return to its previous size. The hormone-oxytocin helps the process of involution.
Oxytocin is released when mothers’ breasts are stimulated by suckling or pumping. When the oxytocin level is increased in the body, the uterus starts to shrink back until it returns to the pre- pregnancy size.
After breastfeeding is established, the body may release oxytocin. Besides breastfeeding, events like when you hear a baby cry, think of your baby, or have sexual intercourse will promote stimulation of oxytocin. When this occurs, your breasts may leak milk whether or not you are actively breastfeeding or pumping.
Do you realize that when you are in a state of anxiety, embarrassment or annoyed, your breastmilk production is reduced? Yes, this is because your body may not secrete oxytocin when you are in these states. So, you may need to breastfeed in a more relaxing, quiet, familiar, private place for the let-down to occur.
Article written by:
Nutritionist Foo Kai Li
Dietitian Christabelle Chong
𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐫: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐛𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐍𝐮𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭 & 𝐃𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧. 𝐀𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐟𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬.
- British Columbia (2019). Oxytocin, retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/tj8006#:~:text=Oxytocin%20also%20is%20released%20when,to%20its%20pre%2Dpregnancy%20size.
- Parenthood Healthline, (2020). 11 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Both Mom and Baby, retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/breastfeeding/11-benefits-of-breastfeeding