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how long before milk supply and swollen boobs go

(6 Posts)
Jane7 Tue 09-Jun-09 17:33:48

My ds is 8 months and I have stopped breast-feeding, more quickly than I intended only because he suddenly decided he prefered formula. He hasn't fed on either breast for a week but my left breast is still swollen and lumpy. I'm scared it'll lead to mastitus. I've tried massaging it and hot compress etc but I'm surprised it's taking this long for my boobs to learn that they don't need to produce milk anymore. Is this normal? At what stage should I go to the doctor if it doesn't go away? It hurts when I pick up ds and he pushes against the breast... I had no idea stopping breast-feeding would be as tricky as starting!

Mij Tue 09-Jun-09 19:32:51

Hi, sorry haven't got concrete answers but as with most things bf related it's wildly variable. As you stopped more abruptly than you expected, it may take a little longer as, amazingly, mums who are totally 'ready' to stop find their supply diminishes more quickly than those who aren't. It would also depend on how much you were feeding before you stopped.

You say you're massaging, but are you expressing too? Yes, it provides a bit of stimulation for milk production but will give a bit of relief and hopefully stop any infection starting. If you try the massaging and some manual expressing under a hot shower, making sure you work all around the breast so you're not missing any bits, that should help a bit.

I'm sure someone else will be around with more qualifications or more personal experience who can help you out!

RosebudIncubator Tue 09-Jun-09 19:41:56

Hi Jane7, did you go from several feeds a day to none? If so that is a big "shock to the system" that nothing is being taken. It can take a while even if you decrease it gradually.
I stopped with DD1 at 9mths, as she was not interested anymore- going from 2 feeds to none, it hurt for a day or 2, though we were on a snowboarding hol at the time and the extra energy needed for that might have helped my body adjust.
With DS2 (8mths) I have stopped 2x now- 1st went from 3 feeds (not full feeds, mind you.) to none. After a couple of days of leaking and feeling sore I resumed the morning feed. Then 2 weeks later as little man was not wanting much of that either I stopped again. That's 2 weeks ago- Not gone lumpy, but do get a bit sore still.
If you get a fever or feel like when your milk came in def go to the doctor.
Hang in there!

RosebudIncubator Tue 09-Jun-09 20:16:59

Mij, Good point about the expressing! Expressing just a little and evenly as you suggested can help relieve the pressure and shouldn't encourage further production coz you're not taking that much out. (It was suggested to me at the b/f clinic when I was overproducing at the begining)

Jane7 Wed 10-Jun-09 10:00:58

Thanks people - glad to hear i can express a bit without stimulating milk production too much as that seems to relieve discomfort. This morning it feels a bit better. Tried to put ds on the sore boob but he wasn't having it. I feel sad. He used to love boobs more than anything in the world. Suppose I should be grateful he was easy to wean.

Mij Wed 10-Jun-09 11:00:58

Jane, any milestone has up sides and down sides. My DD (3 next week) has one feed a day (definitely perpetuated by her - I haven't offered a feed for over a year except when she was sick), and I have been prepared for her to self-wean for months (cos I'm 8 mths pg) but on the one occasion she decided she didn't want any, I felt incredibly emotional. I think we mourn the passing of all sorts of phases (got a little tearful when I got out all my slings and carriers the other day, and realised I hadn't slung DD for several months and that used to be her absolute favourite thing, after boob) even though we know, deep down in the rational bit of us that's still there, that we've ticked that box for them and they're ready to move on. Doesn't mean we're always ready! Feeling sad about it is fine, normal, healthy even. I'm sure you'll find lots of other ways to have snuggle times with books or in the bath or something else you both enjoy smile. I hope you feel proud of yourself too!

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