On the milk drying up, it takes about 7-10 days for engorgement etc to stop, though you may be able to squeeze some milk out for up to 20 days. You can speed up the process by drinking sage tea and only expressing off what you need to for comfort (although it sounds as if you are not in this position).
Re the periods, this differs wildly between women. Some EBFers get theirs back at 4 months while feeding every 3 hours, some have to wait until a couple of months after stopping completely. Mine came back at 9 months, I was still feeding but DC1 had really clicked with solid food and his milk intake had gone right down. If you don't get a period within a couple of months of stopping completely it's worth getting checked out.
About 2 weeks after stopping my boobs were milk free (stopped at 11.5 months). Period 7 weeks after stopping. Was starting to wonder about it as thought it would be sooner than that, even did a pregnancy test just to be sure.
I stopped in nov when dd was just over a year. I was very sore and engorged for about 2 weeks- after that I could still feel a few lumps for up to 6 weeks after stopping! But now my boobs feel totally normal again- I had forgotten how soft they would be! I had cut down v gradually and just been feeding first thing in the morning for about 3 weeks and twice a day for about 3 months before that.
Thanks everyone for your replies! After saying I have no ache, I have started to get some. Ouch! I feel quite full. I will also report back when my boobs "empty" and when my periods start if that's useful for people...
Bambinibop, that's a great question and I'd like to hear more about that too... I have been feeding my 11-month-old DS formula, but have been told that in a few weeks he can go to cow's milk. Feels quite sudden! Not sure what to do!
We switched ds to cows milk a couple of weeks before his first birthday (so we didn't have to take f to our families when we went to stay). I thought of doing it gradually, so adding a couple of oz into his normal bottle. Then I thought, sod it and just gave him a full bottle of cows milk. He was fine, even slept a bit better. Oh and you don't have to sterilize any more so that's good too.
I started back at work at 7.5 months and opted for formula at nursery instead of expressing. My period came back at 8 months and obliterated my supply and gave me terrible nursing aversion. After going through this twice - I decided to just call it a day. DS is perfectly happy with formula and I'm going to start with a little cows milk soon just to get him used to it as formula is a bit of a faff.
I stopped breastfeeding my 10 month old 2 weeks ago. My boobs stopped being painful/uncomfortable after 4 days. I've just tried squeezing and I still have milk though! But absolutely no engorgemnent or discomfort.
No sign of a period, but I found out a couple of days ago that I'm pregnant! So it must have happened while I was breastfeeding.
Re Bambini's question- I still give DS milk, but not much. He has about 10oz a day. Sometimes formula, sometimes cows (depends if I forget to make up the formula)
My periods came back while I was still breastfeeding both times (before I'd even introduced solids with DS2), I feel slightly hard done by. First period back was pretty full-on - REALLY bad PMT, very heavy - though went back to normal fairly quickly.
Still BF my 15 month old but only morning and evening since 11months. Had a missed miscarriage about the same time (not connected) so would have started periods when he was around 10months. Just had second period so BF not necessarily connected