Hi, I've recently weaned my 15 month old daughter off the boob, since she was one she only had one feed before bed, it was quite a good big one off each boob, I stopped last Friday night so she hasn't had anything since then. The first couple of days were fine, baby all happy, boobs ok, however the last 3 days my boobs have become so engorged and painful I want to die!! I seriously don't remember this with my first, although it was 7 years ago, They are hard and lumpy all over, doctor says as the lumps are all over I don't have to worry about mastitis plus I don't feel unwell, I just literally can't touch them as they are so painful. It's day 6 now of no breast feeding and just wondering does anyone know when the pain will go?! I darent express any as then I fear I will make more milk and it will become a vicious circle Am living on paracetamol and cabbage leaves but nothing's helping. Please someone tell me the engorgement pisses off on day 7!!
The advice is to cut down gradually to avoid the pain and risk of mastitis. Personally I would be expressing just enough off each breast to ease the discomfort - your breasts make milk according to what is removed and so if you only remove a small amount that is all that they will make. You can gradually decrease the expressing as the discomfort subsides. I'd watch very carefully for signs of mastitis as if you get it you'll want to express regularly until it clears up (which will mean the process of reducing supply will take much longer)
Thank you, the doctor said not to express at all but I think I'm going to have to, I thought that as i was going from literally one feed to none I would be ok but I guess she was having more than I thought... 😕
Not expressing at all will increase the risk of blocked ducts or mastitis. Any lumpy bits are an early indicator of that risk (WTF with the lumps all over is fine comment? That's simply indicative of multiple areas of milk backing up!) The more gradual the reduction, the better from a boob point of view.
Your little one was obviously enjoying a good big feed, so you can use a pump to reduce the volume you take off gradually, since you can hardly go to 2/3 of a feed. Just express enough to feel comfortable (don't worry about how much that is) and you can reduce the volume every 2-3 nights.
That way your breasts have a chance to catch up with the demand.
When my eldest stopped she had dropped to a feed every few days, it was that gradual.
Thank you! I've just pumped 2 ounces out of each boob and I feel like I've died and gone to heaven 😂 They still abit sore but the lumps have gone, I'm gonna express a little bit less each day and hopefully won't take too long to sort it. Yeah the doctor said localized lumps would mean mastistis and all over lumps is just milk! I just had mastitis a couple of months ago from where she had bit me and bacteria got in through the broken skin so I really want to avoid having that again as I felt really crappy. Thanks for your advice, am glad I asked, I feel sooooo much better now
The most common cause of mastitis is blocked ducts, which are caused by slow milk transit. That's why weaning/reducing feeds is a common time to get it, and reputable sources advise against sudden changes.
I'm not sure why one lump is a problem but twenty isn't! Each one is an area where milk is gathering, so a potential blockage. A little bit of pumping, while a PITA, can prevent the awful-ness of mastitis. Keep yourself comfy - life's hard enough with small ones around 😊