To ask what I can do about my exploding breasts?!

(45 Posts)
Spice17 Sun 17-Feb-13 16:26:34

HELP! Did my last express of breast milk 12pm yesterday and am using the cold turkey approach in drying my milk up (can't see the sense in expressing a bit, as assume my breasts will then just produce more milk again?)

Must have missed something in the pregnancy and baby books because I can't believe how much it hurts and how thouroughly miserable I feel, can barely pick DD up.

Firstly, how can I make it more comfortable? Accidently hit myself in boob earlier and shouted like I did when I was in labour - ouchie, ouch!!! Secondly, when will the Lolo Ferarri faux boobies deflate? Supposed to pop into work tomorrow but fear I will be leaking and crying all day!

And finally, why do I feel so incredibly rubbish and sad? Worst day I've had since DD was born. Guessing because I feel guilty for stopping but milk was lessening anyway, just feel like shite sad

kinkyfuckery Sun 17-Feb-13 16:32:12

I'd hand express a tiny amount, enough to give you some relief, but not as much as to stimulate a huge amount more.
I've heard cold cabbage leaves in your bra help with pains.

BubblegumPie Sun 17-Feb-13 16:33:50

You may well end up with mastitis if you don't express. I would express slightly less each day to lessen your supply gradually, rather than put yourself through this pain. Although as far as I am aware many women never breastfeed or express and the milk dries up without any complications, perhaps one of them will come along in a minute with different advice.

Could you wear two bras on top of each other and put thin ice pack things between the two bras?

The hormonal changes could account for part of how you're feeling.

fluckered Sun 17-Feb-13 16:36:00

you should express and leave as long as you can between expressing you will eventually dry up. but you have to relieve some milk now or you will end up with mastitis. hot shower/hot face cloth around them or even dipping boobs into sink of hot water will help. dont go cold turkey express a little else you risk infection.

diddl Sun 17-Feb-13 16:36:24

I think expressing to relieve the pain-& decreasing the amount expressed.

Cabbage leaves & cold compresses?

Sparklingbrook Sun 17-Feb-13 16:36:59

I did the cold turkey thing twice. i just wanted to put them away. it was a bit like a boob migraine for a couple of days but did subside.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 17-Feb-13 16:37:33

Not expressing doesnt cause mastitis- think you are thinking of engorgement.
Express a very small amount of milk- the more you express the more you will produce. Try hot flannels hot baths and savoy cabbage leaves in your bra.

McNewPants2013 Sun 17-Feb-13 16:37:56

have you taken some painkillers.

Apply cold compress and express small amounts to relief the pressure

FreyaSnow Sun 17-Feb-13 16:38:31

I fed less gradually, and had no pain. There was eventually just none left.

Are you definately ready to stop? Feeling really sad might be an indicator that you're not.... If you are ready to stop, doing it gradually is a much better idea. Take a little less off each time. If that's not possible, then taking a little bit off will ease the pain. Get into the shower and hand express, it's quite soothing. Alternatively you can ask for medication from the gp. Good luck and let us know how you get on smile

mummymeister Sun 17-Feb-13 16:38:51

sorry no easy way round it unless you just dry up naturally. i did the hand express a little bit then gradually less and less and for a while got DH to do the late evening/night feeds as this apparently helps.

smile at the description of 'boob migraine' which describes it exactly!

yes painkillers too!!

Sparklingbrook Sun 17-Feb-13 16:40:23

grin Three. I had to put the car seatbelt on v carefully. This was all 13 and 11 years ago now but the boob migraine will not be forgotten

HollyBerryBush Sun 17-Feb-13 16:40:53

You are going to laugh - old cabbage leaves down your bra. It works. I don't know why - but it does

fluckered Sun 17-Feb-13 16:41:35

FuttheShuckUp engorgement as op seems to describe can lead to mastitis

McNewPants2013 Sun 17-Feb-13 16:42:39

don't use heat as this will worsen the situation. Don't know why but thats what the HV told me

I just hand expressed a little in a hot bath when it got really sore. It does get easier.

FutTheShuckUp Sun 17-Feb-13 16:47:51

Oh right. Never heard that before!

My friend has recently gone through this. Tried the same approach as you, and ended up with lumpy, very painful breasts. After a week she went to the dr and he advised expressing just enough to be comfortable. She had a bath that evening, and expressed a fair bit. The next morning she had no milk at all

wibblyjelly Sun 17-Feb-13 17:14:56

When I did this, I expressed a little less each day.

Tailtwister Sun 17-Feb-13 17:31:56

I'm sorry you're having a rough time OP. I would hand express a bit (can be easier in the bath or shower), just until you're comfortable and continue with this until eventually your supply stops. The emotional aspect is probably hormonal, which won't make you feel better but at least is an explanation.

Hope you feel better soon.

Spice17 Sun 17-Feb-13 17:32:38

Thanks so much all, think I will express a little on the pump, never seemed to be able to hand express, so perhaps that the solution, oh the relief will be to die for!

So, I just express less? Maybe once a day for 5 mins instead of what I was doing??

No one told me this was so unbearable smile at 'boob migrane', so true!

Trash I think I do feel ready to stop to claw some time back with DD mainly but feel so horribly guilty at the same time. FWIW, DD hasn't seemed to mind just having FF so far (I've been upping it gradually over the past few weeks)

Annunziata Sun 17-Feb-13 17:34:13

A hot shower helped me (although it was years ago, advice might have changed). Sympathies, its agony.

calendula Sun 17-Feb-13 18:16:37

Engorgement can easily lead to mastitis. Your best move is to express as much as you need to to feel comfortable plus just a little bit more. Massage your boobs downwards feeling carefully for lumps, painful areas or areas that feel crunchy. Make sure you massage any of these points you find until they feel soft again. Run your thumb over the sore spots from the top in the direction of the nipple (yes, it will be agony but has to be done). Then extend the time between expressing and reduce the amount. If you have sore spots or blockages again, massage them out. Good luck, your supply should dry up over the next week.

catpark Sun 17-Feb-13 19:54:05

Back when my mum had me 30 odd years ago, the matrons on the ward (When you were kept in for 7 days after birth or longer if c-section) used to bind the mothers who were FF. Basically they wound fabric/towels round your chest and the pressure caused the milk to get out but cause of the pressure it was hard for the milk to come back or something.

Perhaps give this a try ?

Also doctors can give you tablets to cause your milk to dry up, they are available in private maternity units so you might have to pay for them. But they are available.

diddl Sun 17-Feb-13 20:26:08

Binding can cause mastitis!!

I was born in the 60s & am fairly certain it was out of date then!!

Twattybollocks Sun 17-Feb-13 20:27:46

Don't express until you get to where it's uncomfortable, then express the minimum you can to get a little relief. Ibuprofen is good in this situation, also sudafed decongestant is good for reducing milk supply.
The first 3 days are the worst, and you should be right as rain in a week or so.

SirBoobAlot Sun 17-Feb-13 20:30:16

Don't bind, for goodness sakes, and do not go cold turkey. Express small amounts off, either by pump or hand, and keep massaging any lumps that appear.

EasilyBored Sun 17-Feb-13 20:32:49

I hand expressed in the shower, just enough to take the edge off the pain, did a but less each day.

determinedma Sun 17-Feb-13 20:36:12

Agree that cold cabbage leaves in bra really does help

JeffFaFa Sun 17-Feb-13 20:37:37

I didnt BF but when my milk came in after the birth ds2 like you i was in AGONY they were swollen from collar bone to my ribs!, rock solid, hot, red and i couldnt breath without wincing, i seen 3 midwifes who were shocked at how engorged i was but i wasnt infected and i was told NOT to express any off as it would make it worse, they were so bad i had to shower in my bra as too painful to remove, when i tried to i noticed my breasts were more square than rounded and lumpy as the massive bra was still cutting in (ive kept the bra it fits over my head) applying cold compresses really helped and was allowed although they seemed to warm instantly i was told to NOT apply warm as it would stimulate milk. After about 4-5 days they started to go down.

Angelico Sun 17-Feb-13 20:37:51

Kellymom website on weaning / drying up milk recommends expressing as little as possible, cabbage leaves in bra for a couple of hours then replace with fresh ones. BUT another tip from site - take sudafed. Apparently just a couple of doses can reduce milk which is why they advise you not to take it when Bfing. Haven't tried any of this yet myself, am hoping that when DD weans milk will sort of reduce gradually...

aldiwhore Sun 17-Feb-13 20:42:34

I just dropped feeds gradually so I'm guessing that would have the same affect as expressing a little? I could never express...

Don't suffer. If expressing gives you some relief, go for it.

I THINK it took me about 2 weeks of cutting down a little everyday before my boobs got the message.. I felt 'full' but not uncomfortably so.

Good luck smile

I felt really awful emotionally. Could be hormones, or simply the decision to move onto the next phase in your child's life? I STILL ocassionally feel like snatching up my 5 year old and giving him a boob... not sure he'd appreciate that though.

diddl Sun 17-Feb-13 20:44:55

I also gradually dropped feeds, so I would think that mimicking that is the way to go.

WilsonFrickett Sun 17-Feb-13 20:48:51

another one for the cold savoy cabbages - send DP out for two and get them in the fridge. Also ibruprofen. And it does pass. But it's awful while you're waiting for it to pass.

DameFanny Sun 17-Feb-13 20:49:32

I had to go cold turkey with ds at 6 months as I was going back to work and he wasn't taking bottles during the day even though he would at night. However - and it's a big however - bf was giving me 2 migraines a week and my flow was shrinking with every migraine.

So I cut off the bf and took a Triptan for the next migraine and that stopped me being tempted to bf.

Which probably doesn't help you much.

Agree though that savoy cabbage leaves work marvels, and should you be in the bath or shower long enough to leak you'll feel better for it.

Spice17 Sun 17-Feb-13 20:56:36

Thank you all, so, so much. WTAF was I thinking doing cold turkey? Expressed for about 4 mins and boobs feel still full but markedly better - I've had a personality transplant since, felt really low today, now feeling much better.

I'm not fliching every time DH comes near me now (was panicking he would knock into me!) And could pick up DD for a cuddle smile so even though I'm still sad about stopping, I do feel happier.

Now, is my plan to do 4-5 mins a day and then stop? Was doing 4 long expresses per 24 hours before. I guess I'll see how I am in the morning....

MNetters are then best!

Matildaduck Sun 17-Feb-13 20:59:15

I cut down feeds gradualy, i don't remember much pain with the first. The second child was agony, i hand expressed a bit to relieve the agony and hot showers, cold towels to relieve the pain.

It's a shock, you don't expect the pain, a bit like your milk coming in :-)

It will pass.

Spice17 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:01:49

The best not reiterating, though you are all fab, just correcting spelling mistake!

PS Going to buy some 36E shaped cabbage leaves tomorrow - shall I try them on in the shop!

DameFanny Sun 17-Feb-13 21:03:06

I couldn't cut down gradually if ds was about, hence the cold turkey. Just express for a short while when you absolutely have to.

DameFanny Sun 17-Feb-13 21:04:02

By which I mean - don't set a routine because your breasts will learn it and produce for that time.

Express just enough to relieve the pain. No more than that.

You feel rubbish because of the hormone change. It will get better!

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