Have to stop breast feeding!!!!! :(

Kathryn - posted on 01/31/2011 ( 41 moms have responded )

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I am not producing enough for my son and I have to stop nursing! Not happy about this but, we are both miserable since he isnt getting enough. What can I do to relieve the pain in my breasts to help the rest of my milk to dry up!!! I am really in alot of pain!!!

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Nicole - posted on 02/01/2011

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Kathryn, as I said in my earlier post, if you decide to stop breastfeeding, that choice is ultimately up to you, but I wanted to say that I think advising you to continue to nurse part-time is not very good advice. I hope to not offend, but with all of my experience in lactation, this will only cause you more problems and you will be more likely to stop completely than if you just try to fix the breastfeeding problem. My rule of thumb is that you fix breastfeeding problems with breastfeeding not with formula. Generally, the only way formula (supplementing) fixes breastfeeding problems is by inevitably removing breastfeeding from the equation totally and only leaving formula. There. Problem solved. No more breastfeeding problems because you are no longer breastfeeding! I do not think that you have to stop breastfeeding nor do I think that you need formula. You just need some support. If you need anything, please message me. I would love to help!!!

[deleted account]

Kathryn, here is a brilliant video of latching:



As Sarah said, it seems a pity to stop breastfeeding so early, especially if you don't want to. I do, however, disagree with Sarah in that I don't think mixed feeding would necessarily be a good idea.If ther's not a supply problem there soon will be. Mixed feeding is usually helpful when there is a genuine low production issue, and it's possibly too young to determine that. If there is a supply problem (check the nappy count, as I mentioned earlier) it can be fixed. If he's a hungry baby, pumping would be a big job, so why not increase your supply? Just let him feed when he wants to - babies are experts at increasing mum's supply.

All the best - I'm sure you and your baby can sort this.

Nicole - posted on 01/31/2011

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Wow! It sounds like you have been struggling and what an awesome Mommy you are!!! The best way to increase your milk supply is to nurse more often until the supply is adequate. This can happen as early as 24 hours if enough nursing sessions are taking place. It sounds like that is what your son is trying to do. He is a genius little baby! He is trying to tell you that he needs to get your milk to change by nursing more often. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with him or that he just "likes to eat", as his doctor ignorantly suggested (and I just mean that the doc is ignorant about bf, probably smart about many other things). It doesn't matter the size of the baby. My babies were all big boys, too. None of them were ever smaller than the 95th percentile for height and weight and all were around 9+ lbs. at birth and they survived very well on my breast milk. Since you are getting engorged, it sounds like you do not have a low supply, it just sounds like your baby is exhibiting normal infant behaviors. You have to remember that his stomach is very small and it is biologically necessary for infant humans to nurse often in the first few weeks. Not doing so is actually risky to them (that's one reason why formula can be risky).



Take a nursing vacation. I always recommend this when any of my clients are having breastfeeding problems. Get comfortable with your baby and do nothing but rest, practice much needed skin to skin (pretty much all day) and nurse as often as he'll latch and nurse-even if that's every 30 minutes. Then, sleep when he sleeps and do nothing else for at least 24 to 48 hours. Don't worry about household chores. They will still be there when in a day. Only do what's necessary. See if someone will come and help you do the chores for that day or two. The extra nursing will increase your supply (if it needs an increase) and the skin to skin contact will help with your baby's latching. If he still has a hard time latching, try latching him on while both of you are in a warm bath together. The bath can do wonders. Just make sure it's not too hot or too cold. ;o)



If you have given bottles, that could be the culprit for his latch refusal. Avoid the bottles and just offer the breast and use the tips above and that should help.



If you really want to stop bf, that is your choice, but I really don't think you have reached the point of no return with bf, if you really want to give it a go, but you have to do what's best for you. I am pretty confident that you can do it, though. Let us know how it goes...

Aicha - posted on 02/03/2011

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fenugreek seeds there is also a tea in the store called mothers milk it works great tastes good also anise seeds will help I have some that are sugar coated and they taste good I munch on them after meals . Call your local Wic office ( women infants and children ) , http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/ they have free advice and resources to help breastfeeding mothers also la leche league http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html has lots of resources and helpful breastfeeding resources like parent mentoring where a experienced breastfeeding mother helps a mother struggling with breastfeeding issues
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/
http://www.llli.org/WebUS.html

Jannelle - posted on 02/02/2011

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I actually supplemented with formula for my son and was able to exclusively breast feed after. He was little and had a latching problem. I also couldn't pump. I tried different types of pumps and couldnt successfully use one. If you choose to use formula while still trying to breast feed I suggest you breast feed first and then give the baby as much formula as he will take. The goal would be to keep breast feeding longer and longer and going through less formula until you don't need it anymore. Sometimes it takes time for a baby and mommy to get a hang of it. It took my son a while to latch properly but we breast fed until he was around 18 months. I wish you luck with whatever you choose to do!

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41 Comments

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Shaketa - posted on 12/13/2012

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my daughter is 20months and i will like to know have to stop breastfeeding her.....

Tara - posted on 02/05/2011

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Such a good point Katie. I too thought I wasn't producing enough milk because my daughter was constantly nursing, but it turned out to be a growth spurt, and boy are there lots of them especially at first. I felt like there was only like a week between the growth spurts and there are very exhausting and hard to get through... but you can do it!! :) I gave up with my first baby and looking back now I wish I would have kept at it. Breastfeeding has so many benefits and you won't find any better milk to supplement with :) Keep up the hard work it will all pay off! Good Luck!

Katie - posted on 02/05/2011

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When I was trying to build up my supply so that I would have enough milk to pump to build up my supply in the freezer, I used Mothers Milk Tea. I bought mine at GNC. That worked great. Plus it tasted good. Don't give up. A lot of women wonder if they're producing enough milk for their baby, but the truth is, very few women don't produce enough for their babies. To build up your supple nurse, nurse, nurse. Keep working on the latch. It takes time. For some babies it takes more time than for others. He might be going through a growth spurt, so he might seem hungry all the time, and it has nothing to do with your supply.

Katie - posted on 02/05/2011

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My Son had latch issues too. After consulting with a lactation nurse, we decided that he needed to use a nipple
shield until his mouth/jaw developed more (he had a recessed chin). The day he turned 4 months old I tried him without it and it worked great. We never looked back. Then of course my nipples had to get used to him all over again because they didn't have the protection of the shield.
There are also things that you can do to boost your supply. Remember, it's a supply and demand function. Demand more and you'll make more. You can try pumping several times a day. There are also some medications that your doctor can prescribe for you to increase your supply.
I feel your pain hun, we've had a lot of road blocks ourselves, but 14 months later he's still nursing! He of course mostly has solids and also now drinks cows milk, but before bed, naps, & first thing in the morning he nurses. He also still has one night feeding that he refuses to let go of! Lol. And sometimes he will nurse more if he's not feeling well.
Good luck with whatever you do!

Aicha - posted on 02/05/2011

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Any amount is better than none keep up the good work I know breastfeeding is hard at times but it is worth it

Christan - posted on 02/04/2011

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If you have tried a lactation consultant before and it hasn't helped you might just not have the right one. I had lactation consultants that were terrible with my other 3 babies but I FINALLY got a good one and it makes a difference if the lady knows what she's talking about. I hope everything works out for you and your little boy.

Nichole - posted on 02/04/2011

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i breastfeed and formula feed my son. He is 4 mo old now. He does great with the mix. Im a working mom and I produce enough but I dont respond well to the pump, so when I am away he get 3-4 oz of breastmilk per feeding and the rest is supplemented with formula. I figure any amount of breastmilk is better than none, so i pump what I can and he is still a thriving, chubby little boy.

Dulce - posted on 02/04/2011

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you dont have to stop if you give him fornula the baby may get sick my son is 6 months and i dont have alot of milk ethier but i still nurse him for i can get alot more

Charlotte - posted on 02/03/2011

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if i didn't know as much as i did about breastfeeding i would say that i didn't make enough milk. yet my daughter continues to be a little fatty! and if i miss a feed my previously normal boobs suddenly look as though i've had a boob job! i defo agree with what other people have said... if you are in that much pain then you probably have enough milk. i'm not sure as to whether its because your baby is crying after a feed or not putting on weight that you think he is not getting enough. please keep going, when women supplement with formula their milk supply decreases. i'm curious as to how old baby is... i'm thinking quite young? for me breastfeeding seemed to encompass everything at the begning, and i must admit i did worry about things. but for nine months your body nurtered that baby, you birthed your baby... why would you body "fail" (i am in no means calling you a failure!!!) you all of a sudden at the last hurdle? i would say that so long as your baby is maintaing a steady weight gain then you are producing enough milk. i know of mothers that have said they dont produce enough milk for baby as an excuse to give formula because thye think bottle feeding will be easier (i.e. baby will sleepthrough night, mumma can have time away from baby) and so it puts that worry into the head of other mothers who DO want to nurse but are new to it. its only natural to worry but your body is VERY clever and is in sync with your body. just nurse as often as possible have LOTS of skin on skin, drink plenty of water and take fenugreek and try not to worry because stress will play a part in a decreasing of milk supply. well done, breastfeeding isn't always easy but in a few months down the line you will be wondering what all the fuss is about as it really does just become second nature. good luck honey, and please let us know how you are getting on.

Sue - posted on 02/02/2011

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If you're in pain from your milk being present then it sounds like there is enough to feed your baby. My guess is a doctor or nurse told you to stop nursing or they instructed you to nurse initially where you time how many minutes he's on each side, which would limit how much of the fatty milk he's getting. The hind milk is what they get AFTER nursing on one side for so long and that has more of the fat that they need for energy and growth. Don't listen tot he so called "experts" about nursing on one side for 20 minutes and then the other for 20 minutes. As long as the baby is content on the one side let him stay there. Babies will let us know when that side is empty because they'll stop nursing and fuss. That's when we switch sides.
It could also be if you're consuming ANY caffein products that will decrease your milk production. This includes coffe, black teas, green tea, white tea, chocolate, sodas, cold medicines, etc.
I'm not there to see exactly what's happening in your situation, but my guess is it has to do with one of the two things I've mentioned or both. Women were created naturally to feed their own children, so for our bodies to not produce enough milk means there is an influence or something else in our environment causing the issues. Since it sounds like you really do want to nurse your baby PLEASE at least consider what I've mentioned. Also, stress can be a major factor in reduction of how much milk our bodies produce.
There is a tea called Mother's Milk that I bought at the health food store when my girls were younger and i was still nursing them(and i nursed both at the same time and they were three yearts apart.) If you can't find that, at least lok for red raspberry leaf tea. That helps with milk production.

Selia - posted on 02/02/2011

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If you are concerned about supply after reading the great advice, you can safely take fenugreek. It is a seed easiest to take in pill form. Take enough so that your urine or sweat smells sweet (usually 9 pills a day) and it will definitely boost your supply. Also tons of water makes an enormous difference.

Nicole - posted on 02/02/2011

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Janelle, actually you only shared your experience. Which is fine. I supplemented my eldest child, as well. Although, my experience didn't turn out as well as yours and studies show that often my results are usually what happens when formula is introduced to the breastfeeding relationship-breastfeeding usually ends.

I think your comments were fine. Actually, I think they were more supportive than anything, because you are showing that getting back to the breast is not impossible and that can be encouraging. I meant that it's not appropriate to say things like "just give formula", "try formula", "if you have a low supply, give formula", etc. Since this mom did not say that she was already giving formula, it can be recommending or suggesting it to an already struggling breastfeeding mom and that's not very breastfeeding supportive on a breastfeeding community. Only her doctor/child's doctor and, preferably, a Lactation Consultant should recommend formula after they have fully evaluated the breastfeeding relationship. We can not do that here with what we know.

Sorry, I should have been clear about what recommending formula means. Talking about formula or relating experiences is not off limits. You didn't recommend, you just stated that it's possible to come back. ;o)

Jannelle - posted on 02/02/2011

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Sorry Nicole, I was just simply stating that I was able to supplement successfully and then wean my son off the formula. Only knowing my own experience I didn't know that supplementing w/ formula resulted in not being able to breastfeed.

Jenni - posted on 02/02/2011

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Are you sure it's not a growth spurt? Are you sure there isn't another cause of the crying or fussiness. You probably are producing plenty of milk for you son. Low supply is extremely rare especially in the first couple months when you are a milk producing machine. I really doubt it's an issue of supply.
More details needed though.

Merry - posted on 02/02/2011

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I agree, this defiantly sounds fixable!
Bottles, formula, pacifiers, these will just prolong the problem.
If your boobs are painful, then they are full!
There is milk, and your baby needs it!
Update us with ANY more questions.
There is alot of ways you can fix this and go on to have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship with your little baby!

Nicole - posted on 02/02/2011

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Alright ladies, just a reminder. As thoughtful as your comments have been, I have to remind you of the guidelines of this community. Recommending formula to a bf mom is against the guidelines of this community. I know that your intentions are for the best, and I agree that any breastfeeding is better than none, but we shouldn't be recommending formula to fix a breastfeeding problem. It almost always does the opposite and creates MORE problems. I suspect that the introduction of bottles may have been Kathryn's breastfeeding problem to begin with.



Please refrain from recommending formula in this community. Although, formula feeding moms are more than welcome here, this is not the place to suggest formula, though.



Thank you for your cooperation,

Nicole, Moderator

Stephanie - posted on 02/02/2011

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I wouldn't stop because of this- my son fell off the growth curve (he was a preemie) when he was 6 months. He started on a mix of carnation at 12 months and has gained 1 1/2 lbs. I wouldn't say to stop cold turkey either (I did that with my first and it was the worst boob pain ever!) If you would like to know how I did it, message me, if not, best of luck to you!!

Deana M. - posted on 02/02/2011

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I agree...dont give up just yet, mom! try supplementing with formula if you feel he isnt getting enough. You could also contact la leche league....not sure if you have heard of them but its a breast feeding organization and theyhave TONS of info and you can actually call and speak to a lactation consultant. Im not sure of the number butit should come up if you google it. Asfr as the pain in your breasts goes, it defiinitely stinks to go through that. gerber makes these special packs that you can warm in the microwave...they actually help the milk flow or for the pain, you could put them in the fridge. Good luck!

Jessie - posted on 02/01/2011

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I would continue to partially nurse. there is no need to stop as you obviously have plenty of milk if you are in pain. supplement what you need to and feed when you are together as often as you can. otherwise I have heard that restricting your breasts tightly can help dry them up. I weaned very gradually over about 6 months so there wasn't a problem with engorgment

Savona - posted on 02/01/2011

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have you tried a few other options to produce more for your son? They have a certain tea you can get from your nutritional store that helps with your milk supply, theres also fenugreek which helped wonders for me during my first childs BF time, and then theres the natural way of drinking more water which helps your body stay hydrated and such, In my Best Babies group we were speaking about still taking the pre-natal viatmins after baby is born to help replenish all the nutrients we lose during BF and with the replenishing it helps maintain your milk supply aswell. Aswell as the other natural method of supply and demand. The more he/she suckles even if theres nothing there the more your body will produce.
It would be ashame if you dont continue with the BF, perhaps try some other options like mix feeding like sarah suggested.
To answer your question though about helping ease the pain to your breasts, let them swell and then have a hot shower, it may cause let down to release a good amount while still not enough to mind trigger yourself about supply and demand and whatnot. >.> Best of luck to you =)

Nicole - posted on 02/01/2011

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Sorry you are having so much difficulty. I think everyone gave GREAT advice! I would look for a Laleche league meeting or contact a lactation consultant. They can help with the latch and are full of helpful advice.
Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Drink lots of water and rest! Good Luck!

Merry - posted on 02/01/2011

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Try to fix his latch first, but if you are still having problems you could use a nipple shield, target sells them for 5$ or so, it's just a soft silicone shield you put over the nipple and he sucks that. It's a short term fix, cuz you really want him on your skin, but for me it was the life saver!

Eric had a small mouth, and I was so engorged, and I was in pain, and he got frustrated, and for us the shield helped me cuz one nipple was flat.

After a few weeks, he was off it entirely and breastfed perfectly straight on me!

I simply tried latching him on me every feeding, and if it didn't work I used the shield, and soon enough here and there he latched without it, and eventually he never needed it!

Watch the video, try to go to la leche league, the leader could even help you position him better, a lactation consultant can do this even better, but they usually charge a fee, so try the la lech league meeting first!

Avoid pacifiers as well as bottles too.these will just keep confusing him since he isn't mastered the breast yet.



Keep confident!

You are a woman, who carried a baby through pregnancy, gave birth to a healthy boy, and now you have to have some confidence your body can handle feeding this baby it created!

With some good information, and some help and encouragement I'm sure you can keep breastfeeding.

You won't regret trying longer, you don't want to have 'what if' moments and wonder if you stopped too easily.

You can do it! Keep us posted we will help as long as you need it!

Sarh - posted on 02/01/2011

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Eat oatmeal daily, worked amazing for us!! Drinks lots of water and other healthy fluids, being dehydrated will cause your supply to diminish. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and eating 3 meals a day. I have no appetite and I'm never hungry. My fiancee yells at me day and night to EAT! I have noticed that I become engorged (engorged for me at least) when I eat breakfast, if I eat 3 meals a day then I'm really engorged and I have to pump before bed other wise the bed will be soaked.
Good luck! Don't give up! About the latch, the hospital you delivered at should have a lactation nurse you could possibly go back and talk to her and see if she could help you and your bubby figure it out.
Also, after I had my son, I also thought that I had to supplement with formula, but I really just had to let me milk come in... took about a month or so for mine to come in.

Jennifer - posted on 02/01/2011

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Why do you have to stop nursing if you're not producing enough? Even if you need to supplement, any breastmilk your son is getting is better than nothing. There are also ways to increase your supply if that's what you're wanting to do. Drink more water, eat oatmeal, pump between feeds, take fenugreek supplements... it's definitely not all or nothing.

Nadia - posted on 01/31/2011

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don't give up!!!! i gave up with my first and i've regretted it for the last 5 years. have you talked to your doc about medications??? i'm not sure, but i think there is something you can take to increase your supply. also, now with my second, i have so many times thought i was not producing enough. he could be going through a growth spurt. count diapers. best of luck to you! i really hope it works especially since you want to bf so badly... i know that feeling.

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2011

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You don't necessarily have to stop feeding. The #1 reason women stop is PERCEIVED lack of supply, but in reality is not true. Eventually the oversupply stops and you don't get the engorged feeling anymore, it doesn't mean you don't have enough milk. If the baby is swallowing, gaining weight and peeing, your supply is fine. They also will go through growth spurts and feed more often in order to increase supply - this is normal.If you do insist on stopping though, put cabbage leaves in your bra - it works miracles.

[deleted account]

If you're in pain because you're engorged then you have plenty of milk. Keep working on your latch, it takes weeks to get it right. The video Kathy posted is great. I agree that finding a lactation consultant or La Leche League group would be very helpful. Here's some info on supply that might help you:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-su...
Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2011

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Oh i meant mixed feeding if she already has a low supply, while trying to build it up, rather than stopping all together, or if theres a medical reason she can't ever produce enough milk, mixed is better than none at all :)

But yeah if the supply is fine, and can be built up if need be then theres no reason for formula at all (providing thats what you want Kathryn)



Edited to add: Every mother i know has had some kind of breastfeeding problem, from low supply to blocked milk ducts. I've had both lol. The mums who decided to stop have babies with more colds and ear infections and other illnesses. Those of us who persevered have generally healthier babies. :)

Jennifer - posted on 01/31/2011

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Yes I think you probably have lots of milk. That is why you are hurting. I did mothers milk tea to help get my milk going. Any breast milk is good for your little one! you dont have to just breast feed. you can pump even 3 times a day and give him that. and after a while your supply will go down enough to not hurt that bad. If you want to stop.
Have you been to a Le Leche League meeting? They changed my life when I was BFing. It was great to talk to other moms and EVERYONE has problems!! It was great to see that I was not the only one. I was not so hard on myself. I was also just told at my last meeting that adrenalin and oxitocin (the hormone that causes let down) compete and if your stressed or your adrenalin is flowing it is had for you to let your milk down. just in case you are stressing about nursing. that could be a factor too. I hope you don't give up, but don't stress about it if you do. it really is the hardest thing I ever had to do! :)

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2011

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it sounds like mix feeding would be benificial to you both :) and if you have seen a lactation consultant and they have no advice for you then you could bottle feed him the breast milk :)
lactation consultants are usually brilliant though :)
most newborn babies struggle to latch on properly, it is fixable :)
it just seems a shame to stop breastfeeding so early, especially when you don't want to stop :(

Kathryn - posted on 01/31/2011

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he is 3 weeks old. he doesnt latch onto me the right way i have tried everything possible. I had the same issues with my 2nd child also and also not producing enough milk for her either. so i am pumping and his dr told me its goin to be hard because he is such a big boy and likes to eat.

[deleted account]

Kathryn how old is your son? Many things are age-related with babies.
How did you decide you're not producing enough milk? . The best way to tell if your little boy is getting enough is the nappy count - if he's having 6-8 wet nappies per day, and a pooey one at least once a fortnight, he's getting plenty. Even if your supply is dropping, you can increase it by feeding and expressing often., so there’s no need to finish breastfeeding if you don’t want to.
The fact that you have the pain in your breasts suggests that you do have milk, so you can keep breastfeeding if that is what you want to do.
There may be other reasons why your little boy is unhappy – teeth? overtired? ear infection? Incorrect latching can make babies unhappy, and it also means your milk supply mechanism is not being stimulated, so check your latch.
If you have decided that you don’t want to continue breastfeeding, you’ll need to deal with the pain, perhaps an over-the-counter painkiller, and by expressing a bit of milk, occasionally, just enough to relieve the pressure. Manual expression is best for this. Refrigerated cabbage leaves, placed inside your bra can help with the pain. Many mums also feel they can help dry up the milk.

All the best.

Sarah - posted on 01/31/2011

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you shouldn't have to stop nursing because of your supply. you could mix feed if you don't want to give it up so your son still gets the nutrition from your breast milk and enough milk from the formula. There are supply boosting meds you can get and you can express after every feed and the best one is making cookies with brewers yeast in them :)
I had pretty much no milk when my daughter was born, it didn't come in til long after we were home from hospital but i did all that and built my supply up so i never even had to use formula :)

if all that fails start taking cold and flu pills to dry up your supply. it works a treat apparently :D

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