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Is this normal after stopping breastfeeding?

(11 Posts)
IAmPam Tue 05-May-15 11:29:08

Hi everyone. I stopped breastfeeding my six week old last week. I was gradually cutting down but then my doctor advised I just go cold turkey.

All week my breasts have been getting harder and more painful, and what feels like knotty lumps under the skin (best way I can describe it). No leakage all week however I woke in the night absolutely drenched with them leaking. They are still leaking now today, even more than when I was actually feeding. Pain and hardness has been slightly relieved but not a great deal. Can anyone reassure me that this is all normal or whether I should see doctor? I'm thinking it's not mastitis as no redness and I'm not feeling ill at all. I don't know whether I'm suffering more as I have naturally very large breasts (more tissue=more areas to hurt?!)

girliefriend Tue 05-May-15 11:32:24

No not normal, am surprised the dr said cold turkey.

I would express a little bit but you will need to see a dr, there is a medication you can take which helps to dry the milk up (but can't remember what it is called sorry!)

Did you want to stop completely?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 05-May-15 11:38:19

You sound engorged. This is normal if you go cold turkey but it's not normal to go cold turkey because you get engorged!

You could express a bit off to help or give your baby a feed? Cutting down gradually is much better. Unfortunately your doctor has probably had very little training regarding breastfeeding so probably isn't the best placed to give advice because they are not experts in that area.

NCT and ABM both run free (other than cost of call) helplines. They are probably a better bet than the doctor unless you are showing signs of infection. If you have a temperature or any redness go to the doctor.

IAmPam Tue 05-May-15 11:46:29

Yes I wanted to give up and was gradually cutting down, but I was getting so upset and emotional over it they just advised me to go cold turkey and make the break so to speak. Mentally it was the right thing for me but physically I've suffered.

I was thinking of expressing but was worried in case it causes more milk production? Or will expressing just a small amount not trigger that to happen?

Thank you for your replies.

girliefriend Tue 05-May-15 11:49:10

I think express a small amount of to make yourself comfortable and see a dr.

Would you consider giving the baby expressed milk for a bit? Might make you more comfy and would milk production would gradually go down anyway.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 05-May-15 11:53:43

Expressing a small amount to stop the engorging should help. You can also get drugs to suppress your milk supply. Frankly I'm amazed the GP advised cold turkey without prescribing you something.

I'm not making any judgement but do you definitely want to stop? I only ask because it took me about 7 weeks to start to feel ok with it with my first and I remember it was bloody awful until then but did suddenly get better. Obviously we're all different and you know your own mind but it's just because you mentioned being upset and emotional and I never felt that (just frustration and sore!) so I wondered if there was more to it.

IAmPam Tue 05-May-15 11:59:54

I wanted to stop as I was finding it so difficult looking after my other child too. Baby wanting to suckle all the time plus husband working late was leaving me so stressed trying to look after other little one too. I'm much happier now I've stopped, just fed up of being in pain. I'll dig out my breast pump (though I had hung that up for good!) and express a bit off.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 05-May-15 12:04:30

That's pretty definite then and happier is good smile

You can hand express if you just want to take off a little bit now?

I'd make an appointment to get the drugs too.

IAmPam Tue 05-May-15 12:05:00


girliefriend Tue 05-May-15 19:07:54

You can combine feed as well, with my dd I did a bit of both which I found more manageable and less stressful!!

BertieBotts Tue 05-May-15 19:10:57

Cabbage leaves in the bra is supposed to be very soothing - straight from the fridge smile

I think it's unlikely they will prescribe anything to dry up milk as these can have pretty serious side effects, but anecdotally, you can try any over the counter decongestant (cold and flu tablets), and the herbs parsley and sage.

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