Advice on stopping breastfeeding please!!

(20 Posts)
HabitualLurker Mon 17-Feb-14 13:49:06

I decided last night to stop breastfeeding my nearly 17 month old. I've been dithering about it for ages and I think the time has finally come. I've been back at work full time for nearly 6 months now and am (was!) down to a couple of feeds a day. One at bedtime (when I'm there) and then once or so at night and/or in the morning. Seems reasonable on the fact of it, but it's been quite problematic for me for various reasons:

I have a ridiculous supply so skipping feeds is still quite uncomfortable; I recently turned down a work trip that I really should have gone on because I couldn't face engorgement/possible mastitis whilst away, and a lovely night away with friends was made slightly less fun by only being able to sleep on my back cos my boobs hurt so much. There's some medication I'd like to go on for a non-serious complaint which I can't take whilst breastfeeding. Oh, and I'm hoping (probably mis-guidedly!) that he might tend to sleep through if there's no promise of a breastfeed in the night!

The poor kid is teething his canines at the moment and has been refusing the breast (and most other food/drink sad ) for the past few days, so I thought I'd capitalise on the situation and stop now.

Anyway, enough of the ramble - I'm now sitting here in in considerable discomfort and am wondering if there's anything I can do to help myself. I'm wearing two bras and have bought some decongestent and ibruprofen from the chemists. What else can I do to ease the pain? I've had mastitis and blocked ducts 4 or 5 times and really don't want to end up with it again. Any advice would be very gratefully received!

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 17-Feb-14 13:52:07

I found cabbage leaves in my bra helped!
And kellymom has good advice.
I think if you feel really awful, expressing a little should relieve you without creating 'demand' that boosts supply.

HabitualLurker Mon 17-Feb-14 13:58:06

Thanks Miffy.
How long did it take to feel normal again?
I'll give the cabbage a go, but I'm at work at the moment and feel it's probably not office-appropriate! wink

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 17-Feb-14 18:14:44

What's normal? I've forgotten!
But sore boobs were a week max for me I think, plus hormonalness. I was down to a short bedtime feed and I ached at bedtime!
I think I still have milk though...I weaned a few weeks ago.

HabitualLurker Mon 17-Feb-14 21:04:41

Just had a very sad bedtime, sad

Normally I do bath and bed when I get in from work. Am way too sore to pick ds up or hold him, so he put him to bed tonight. Data was wailing once he realised I wouldn't be cuddling him for bed. Waaa, I want to wail too.

Am sitting here now with the suggested cabbage leaves. Breasts are very swollen and uncomfortable. Am dreading tonight. Oh well, no going back. I'll be very relieved when this week (or so) is up.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 17-Feb-14 21:20:27

Aw it is rough, isn't it? I cried - I was so hormonal.

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 17-Feb-14 21:22:48

I am afraid I was utterly delighted when I stopped breastfeeding- not a twinge of sadness.

HabitualLurker Mon 17-Feb-14 21:35:23

Yup miffy definitely rough! Physically and mentally. But I'm pleased to be doing it at last. Not sure I can quite stretch to delighted atthestroke, but I am very happy to be getting my body back.

DoItTooJulia Mon 17-Feb-14 21:45:06

I was like you. Lots of milk, discomfort if I missed a feed, engorgement if I missed a feed.

It was hard to stop. I went to see my GP for advice and she said its just a case of being firm. Cabbage leaves, ibuprofen, hot showers (or expressing a tiny amount for relief) and determination.

I had a week of discomfort, but that was it. I was quite surprised, I thought it would be longer.

Good luck OP.

MissSmiley Mon 17-Feb-14 23:18:02

No one ever tells you about stopping when you're busy getting established with bf. I found I couldn't stop completely as I got mastitis when I tried with ds1. By the time I had dc5 I found that hand expressing was just enough to ease the pain but didn't stimulate more milk - it helped to keep things from getting clogged up. Sitting in the bath was the best way. Warm water and less messy.

atthestrokeoftwelve Tue 18-Feb-14 06:48:40

i allowed my children to self wean- it was such a gradual process that I didn't have any discomfortt at all- my milk just slowed down and eventually stopped.
Despite the fact i had breastfed for over seven years without a break- more than one child- i found the emotional side easy too.

HabitualLurker Tue 18-Feb-14 08:42:50

Night 1 over. It could've been worse I suppose. He woke at about 11 and I went in with a bottle of milk. He was upset for a bit, but then took a few glugs and went back to sleep. The wake up this morning was a bit miserable though. When it became clear I wasn't offering breast milk he got very cross indeed and we had about 10 minutes of wailing. Ah well.

atthestroke, thanks that's nice to know. Ideally I would've let him self wean. Obviously I'm only upset because I know he wants to continue to breastfeed and I'm preventing it. But I can't keep dodging work trips, it's starting to hold me back.

Onwards..

BadPenny Tue 18-Feb-14 10:08:40

Well, 12, that's nice for you, but it comes across a bit like "if you want to wean early then you must just expect to suffer!"

OP, weaning can be tricky - especially if you're prone to mastitis. Don't be afraid to hand express to comfort; it's best to avoid engorgement even if it means you have to do this for a couple of weeks. Don't tolerate the pain, it's a warning sign!

Good luck...

BadPenny Tue 18-Feb-14 10:13:40

Oh, and if you change your mind and decide not to wean after all, you could call the helpline for drugs and breastfeeding because actually most are safe or have a safe alternative. But check for a second opinion because most health professionals don't really know as it's a specialised area, and so they go by the leaflet which generally just says no if it hasn't actually been tested officially. Makes it sound like you're taking a risk but there are rules about what gets into the milk, and how much, and what's safe depending on the age of the baby too!

HabitualLurker Tue 18-Feb-14 10:48:14

Thanks BadPenny. I've decided to take atthestrokeof12's comments with good humour ;)

I figured most drug advice is a case of the manufacturers covering their backs, but I think that now I've decided to go for it I will stick with that decision. I am in quite a bit of discomfort though. Had a hot shower this morning and hand expressed a little, but it's pretty hard to get any milk out when I'm so engorged. DS has always been the most efficient milk-removal method!

Spindelina Tue 18-Feb-14 11:45:12

We weaned at 18 mo a month ago.

Didn't have the physical problems you are having - my supply was never tremendous - but absolutely identify with the emotional side. But glad we've done it for various practical reasons. DD is fine, and hasn't asked for a few weeks.

HabitualLurker Tue 18-Feb-14 20:52:22

I'm feeling really relieved - just managed to put DS to bed without a breastfeed for pretty much the first time ever. Still got boobs like rocks, but you can't have it all.

The breastfeeding malarky is a funny old thing.. I hadn't appreciated how much it would tie me physically to my baby. I do feel sad to be losing that tie, but definitely liberated too.

BadPenny Tue 18-Feb-14 22:37:57

Good work lurker! Look after yourself... hope you're back to normal soon and ready for the next phase with your DC.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Wed 19-Feb-14 05:20:49

Boobs like rocks don't sound good - what steps are you taking for physical relief?
Emotionally, you're descibing how I felt so well!
Doing bedtime on the second night is great! I tried to get DP to do bedtime for as long as possible so I could avoid milk cries.

HabitualLurker Wed 19-Feb-14 08:45:35

It's nice to see some messages this morning - thanks Penny and Miffy. I'm finding this thread really helpful in keeping me 'to task'. I was muttering about stopping for quite a while before actually doing it. I'm a master at talking the talk but not walking the walk, so I've surprised myself by actually managing this!

The putting to bed wasn't really by choice. DP was out last night so it was me or nothing. But sadly this morning was much worse than bedtime. We used to have lovely breastfeeds in the morning. We'd make each other laugh, play games with our hands and generally smile and mug at each other. Poor DS was obviously really hoping for that this morning and was really angry and upset to only be offered a cuddle and a bottle. He wailed and growled and thrashed about for a good 15 minutes. And then snapped out of it and was all smiles and laughter. I told DP he's on morning duty tomorrow!

The boobs are deflating a little now. They're still rather large (I'm usually not at all large!) but don't hurt now. I hand expressed a bit in the bath last night and am taking decongestents and ibruprofen. I think I'm over the worst of it physically now though. I'm interested to see how they'll look at the end of this!

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