I need tips on breast pain after baby is no longer nursing.

Apryl - posted on 12/12/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I was advised to suddenly quit breastfeeding "cold turkey" due to the fact that I was repeatedly getting mastitis throughout breastfeeding. My breasts have become extremely engorged and tender, but aren't leaking, how can I ease this pain without pumping or continuing to produce breast milk, bc my baby is already "weaned"?

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Sally - posted on 12/14/2011

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Stopping cold turkey is the fastest easiest way to give yourself mastits. Whoever gave you that advise is an idiot. It would be doing your baby and yourself a big favor to start nursing again.

Lise - posted on 12/12/2011

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YIKES!!! I'm sorry you got such terrible advice. Stopping cold turkey increases your risk for mastitis, plugged ducts and abscess.

http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/brea...

http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mast...

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/...



What you should do is empty your breasts (nursing or pumping) until there are no hard spots and then dry up your milk or wean (slow decrease in milk removal). There are ways you can help your milk dry up, but you can have some serious health problems if you don't take it slowly and if you allow milk to pile up in your breasts.



How long has it been since you nursed/pumped? Who recommended you quit cold turkey (if health care provider, drop them!)?

Tam - posted on 12/15/2011

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I never had mastitis, but I did have to quite cold turkey due to other circumstances. (Infections). It was extremely painful for about three days, followed by gradual lessening of pain for a few more days.

Cool cabbage leaves applied to the breasts are rumored to help with the pain. I don't know if that is true as I never used them. Warm showers helped me as it will make you express naturally, though the sensation of letdown could cause more ache.

Corinne - posted on 12/14/2011

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Please provide 'feedback' about the 'breastfeeding specialist' who gave you the extremely poor advice to stop cold-turkey. Unbelievable! They need more training ASAP to bring them up-to-date. Hopefully you can write a letter or email to her boss or similar at the WIC office. Her information was not evidence-based (that is, backed up by science), as it should be - the knowledge not to stop cold-turkey is so basic.

Timora - posted on 12/14/2011

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That sounds like bad advice. I would seek a 2nd opinion. If you are ready to stop, I would pump and then pump a little less every couple of days to gradually decrease the amount of milk. It's all supply and demand, but your baby has been demanding a lot, so stopping suddenly will be painful.

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13 Comments

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Charitty - posted on 01/02/2012

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You know I had mastitis for a month and not once was I ever told to quit nursing. How odd for someone to tell you that. When I got it again...still not the same answer as you. I am so sorry you received this answer. Nursing is never easy but once you figure out your body it is easier. I know my left breast is the one that has 'changes' when I ovulate and when I am getting ready to start.

Merry - posted on 12/21/2011

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Awful advise. So sorry! I'm a breastfeeding peer counselor atmy counties WIC and I have to say I would never give that advise!
How old is your baby?

Anna - posted on 12/20/2011

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I had mastitis 5 times (only the first time was very severe, second time bad, and the rest just uncomfortable) and I'm still successfully breastfeeding my 20 month old. When you have mastitis, you need to empty out your breasts all the time. Feed on the infected breast first and, if you can hand express or pump, pump out the rest of the milk after feedings. Treat yourself as if you had the flu, drink lots of water and gets lots of rest - bring the baby with you to bed and nurse as much as he's willing.

Erica - posted on 12/14/2011

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www.kellymom.com is an amazing breastfeeding resource. Also, from what I know about mastisis, the only way to rry be rid of it is to nurse it out :(. For weaning, the women in my family swear by putting cold cabbage leaves in your bra. They help with enticement and reduce pain, also has some side effect that helshrink the milk glands. Good lichi!

Apryl - posted on 12/14/2011

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I was told that I was getting mastitis so frequently bc I have a fibrous cyst that has been causing some blockage, but currently, I am unable to get it removed. I have been on antibiotics and the mastitis is almost gone. I have been keeping my ducts unblocked by expressing a little bit of milk everyday. My pain is gone now, and i do not feel lumpy anymore. Thus breastfeeding specialist was at a wic office and I should have never listened to her. I went to my OB and he examined me and told me that I probably should have weaned slower but that I was alright now. Use to, I could feel everytime my breasts were producing milk, but now I don't feel that anymore. Thank you to everyone for all if your advice. Me and baby are doing a lot better.

Vivian - posted on 12/13/2011

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Oh no! I think you ought to get a second opinion. Stopping abruptly will cause a backup in your milk ducts which can then lead to mastitis. I'm curious why you had been getting mastitis frequently during breastfeeding? Did you only nurse on one side? Did you wear an ill-fitting bra? Were you not emptying your breasts completely at every feeding? What did this "breastfeeding specialist" tell you the reason why you were getting infections? I'm glad your comfortable weaning your baby but I think you may have gotten some poor advice. I would encourage you to get a second opinion or maybe even just talk to your OBGyn to get some answers. Good luck!

Apryl - posted on 12/13/2011

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Its only been a few days since I stopped. But I've been expressing a little milk to prevent plugged ducts. I already had mastitis. I have gotten it a number of times during breastfeeding. That's the reason I was told to stop. A breastfeeding specialist is the person who told me to stop suddenly. My daughter transitioned pretty easily. She likes regular milk and table food alot so that part wasn't very hard. Even with expressing some milk, I still have pretty lumpy breasts. So you think I should pump some more until the lumps are gone?

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