Help, I need to stop nursing ASAP

[deleted account] ( 68 moms have responded )

I know that is an odd heading for a breastdeeding group, but give a sec to explain. :)
I have a gorgeous 14 month old daughter who has been exclusiely breastfed and I would love to let her continue and wean at her time like my son did but that is just not possible. I have been fighting frequent and recurring mastitis since January and any of you have had it know how painful it can be. I have tried every treatment, home remedy and med that was recommended to me by my health care provider but it has proven to be an antibiotic resistant case. It has even sent me to the ER with a 106.6 fever.

My lactation consultant and I decided that it was time to wean, even tho it is not recommended to do so with an infection. I have had it for almost 10 months, its not going anywhere, right? Lol. I followed her instructions and cut a feeding, waited 3 days and then cut another...so on and so on until I am down to 2 a day. So far my infection is no worse than it was ...yay!....but I am not producing a single drop less. (I pump so I measure, it is literally not a drop less) I just produce 16-20 oz at each pumping.

Does anyone have any ideas to cut production? I don't want to but I think I can cut myself some slack for enduring mastitis this long, I don't want to have puffy red booby any more and i would like to avoid another flare up. I have had several and those things last at least a couple days and leave me wiped out and running a 103 fever.

Thanks for your time and help, Alaina.

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Aicha - posted on 10/09/2010

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drink sage tea it doesn't taste to good but it is great at making breastmilk dry up to make boil 1 quart of water to 4 tablespoons dry sages leaves boil 5 minutes then cool until can drink sweeten with honey and drink 2 cups in the morning 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening

Karianna - posted on 10/16/2010

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My daughter is 16+mths, also exclusively Br fed, and i am considering weaning also but for different reasons so i appreciate all the above advice. In your case i hope you have had further investigation for your mastitis because it should not be a recurring problem or antibiotic resistant... there has to be an explanation and treatment that is effective aside from cessation of lactation. Do insist on an ultrasound... some cultures to locate the bacteria etc. even if you stop breast feeding.

Shruti - posted on 10/20/2010

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if all else fails there are always meds to stop lactation completely. a close friend of mine just had a baby who is completely lactose intolerant (one of the very rare cases where he is intolerant even to mom's milk). She was given meds to stop lactating. if you intend to stop BFing, then theres no fear of meds being unsafe for baby and it might just solve your problem once and for all. two things you would need to definitely check with your doc first: can the meds be taken when you are already suffering from mastistis? can it have an impact on milk production in any future pregnancies?

Ashley - posted on 10/20/2010

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You may have MRSA instead of regular staph causing infection in your breast which is why it is resisting every treatment. Have you taken Mupirocin to help clear it up?

Kellley - posted on 10/18/2010

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Alaina, I had recurrent mastitis for nearly 13 months, and it turned out that the bacteria was resistant to the antibiotics the doctor was giving me. If he hasn't done so, have your doctor culture your milk and test to see which antibiotics will actually kill the bacteria. If I had weaned my daughter, I would still have had the infection. We are still nursing now at 27 months. Best of luck! -Kelley

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Ashley - posted on 07/30/2013

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Sage tea or capsiules is very good for milk reduction. I also accidently almost dried up by taking dayquil for a cold and my LC said she has weaning mothers take it to dry up.

Sequoia - posted on 07/29/2013

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Pumping does not drain the same as feeding the baby by breast. So hand expressing once you are done pumping it should stop and prevent infections and ect.

Sarah - posted on 11/11/2010

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When I decided to start weaning I cut out pumping at work. I was pumping 2-3 times in an 8 hour period I cut it down to 1 and then eventually only pumped at work for comfort until I was able to handle not pumping at all. Now I breastfeed with my daughter for my own comfort if im full(after a day or 2). I am weaning slowly but it seemed to cut down production really quickley. ALso I dont know your body type but I went on a diet and my boobs went away :( mmeaning im really gonna miss having big boobs. I also had mastitis twice and I know how horrible it is. LOTS of massage and Heat...also wear tight bras/tanks/shirts all day and night that will help stop production...They also have meds that will help dry you up but I think not many reccomend it but it might help you with your mastitis issues. Hope youre doing ok!

Christabel - posted on 10/31/2010

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oh, and you should also consider binding your breasts (pressure will cause less lactation)

Christabel - posted on 10/31/2010

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how long do you pump for? do you pump a set amout of time? i have yet to wean/stop pumping, but i think the way is to reduce the amount you pump - so if you do 20 oz per pump then you reduce to 16 (then just stop pumping) for 3-4 days, then reduce to 14, etc etc etc

Amanda - posted on 10/24/2010

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Have you tried acupuncture? It sounds like you have had really rough time. I also had lots of problems with mastitis. I am not sure if you are interested in trying something new, but I found that acupuncture was very quick at sorting it out.

Diane - posted on 10/23/2010

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Cabbage leaves applied to breast can reduce production as well as eating cabbage I believe, also antihistamines like benadryl that dry up your mucous membranes can decrease your supply but I don't think it's safe to nurse your baby with benadryl in your system. Good luck.

[deleted account]

Thank you all so much for all of your two cents. Through implementing several of your suggestions I am down to 24 oz a day (less than a third of my normal production) in 2 15 minute pumpings, no bf. 75% of the mastitis symptoms have totally evaporated! The swelling, pain, etc has cut down so much that I am encouraged to continue lactating, tho I am still cautious, knowing that it could flare up again. To those that have expressed curiousity about any possible infection being the cause of health issues with my daughter, thank you for your concern. She has been tested for several bacteria and fungul infections literally all her life and so far, all clear. Her issues are minor, but her doc and I are keeping a keen eye on her.

Again, thank you all for your encouragement and advice.

Sarah - posted on 10/23/2010

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I heard sage and mint both decrease breastmilk supply, so maybe try boiling them and drinking them as tea... I didn't know about the mint and for a couple weeks I was drinking mint with my tea quite often and i noticed my supply was decreasing... I then read about mint online and stopped adding it to flavor my tea, and boiled some funugreek to drink insteads to INCREASE my production, and now I'm fine. So try the mint and sage.
Also as some advice to stop your daughter from nurseing, what my mom did for us was before sitting down to nurse she would put some lemon juice on her nipples, then when we would nurse it would taste bad and we'd pull away.. and my mom would tell us that because we were big now the mill became bad so we should stop nursing, lol and it worked every time!

Talia - posted on 10/22/2010

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pumping creates the demand as much as bf-ing does... supply follows the demand, so you'll have to cut down the pumping!

CJ - posted on 10/22/2010

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I had the same problem, and can appreciate how you are feeling. My only suggestion is to also cut your pumping time. We cut feeding, but at the same time I started shortening my pumping time in 5 min increments every 7 days. It took me 2-3 months to completely dry out. Hope you get relief soon, and Congratulations for nursing through all that pain.

RACHAEL - posted on 10/22/2010

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Sounds like you may need a Japanese breast massage to help clear your ducts. There are some lactation specialists who do it, or recommend it. It is not as popular in the US as in other countries, but it TOTALLY works. I happen to live in Honolulu, where many Eastern medicines are accepted. There is one lactation specialist in particular here who use to be a midwife in the UK, who is now here only as a lac consultant, who also skilled and uses Japanese breast massage in her practice. Many of the milk ducts in the deeper tissues of the breast often are not drained of milk, and the milk in them can easily become hot and a breeding ground for bacteria; hence, a severe on-going case of mastitis. I would also ask the doc to do a culture for the type of bacteria causing the mastitis, and then also check your 14 mo for the same bacteria. It could very well be that it keeps being passed back and forth between the two of you. But, overall, it sounds like you really need to clear the ducts completely of all "stale milk", and neither pumping or nursing will do that. Good luck, and keep us posted!

Kristin - posted on 10/22/2010

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Hi there,
I used to take Lecithin supplements when I struggled with Mastitis. And I used Earth Mama Angel Baby's Bosom Buddies herbal compresses. I would sleep with them on at night...they have to be wet of course...and put a plastic bag over them, a towel, and a heating pad on low. They contain dried cabbage leaves and black tea, among other things, so I eventually made my own similar concoction. I can't believe you have endured it this long!! I know how awful it can be!! Best of luck to you and way to go for hanging in there for so long!

[deleted account]

Start taking benadryl as directed on the package even though you dont have allergie symptoms. This wil promote drying up your milk. Our sinuses and mammory glands are the same. So the use of anthistamines and decongestions are not recommend while breatfeeding as it will dry up your supply.

Rachel - posted on 10/21/2010

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I stopped nursing my son suddenly at 13 months (long story), and I was engorged and in pain. I tried the cabbage leaves and it didn't really work. I suffered for a couple weeks and then I went on birth control. The very next day I had NO milk. I didn't realize that it would work that way. But it does.

Kinga - posted on 10/21/2010

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You should try not pumping so much...best way would be to pump just enough to feel comfortable...after a few days it will get better...but you should be okay just feeding your child twice daily and not pumping at all the rest of the day/night! It works

[deleted account]

I still suggest you check with your breastfeeding association. People may mean well but may accidentally give you dodgy advice.

[deleted account]

@ Ashley No I have not tried that one. I have however heard of MRSA and it sounds rather unpleasant. The more that I learn about the possible underlying issues or causes of my infection the more I wonder if my daughters sensitive digestion system are connected to it. It is something that I have spoken to her pediatrician about several times and there is yet no diagnosis for what causes her reactions tho she has been tested and examined.

Brooke - posted on 10/20/2010

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I heard that pseudofed works?? I know this because I DIDN'T take it for fear of reducing my milk supply bc that is a side effect.

Rebecca - posted on 10/20/2010

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There are a number of medications that help you dry out.Your GP should be able to advise you. Any allergy medication helps as well as wrapping boiled cabbage leaves around your breasts. Kudo's to you for making the right choice, for you. Best wishes for drier days!

Jessica - posted on 10/20/2010

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I fought off something similar to what you described, unbelievably in the end i had thrush of the milk duct which caused the blockage, its not a well documented issue and my general doctor had never heard of it, it was only through breastfeeding group i found out about it. I drank a probiotic yogurt twice a day for about 3 wks and it cleared up. I drank them for a while after to be on the safe side. It was terribly painful at the time.. good luck x

Natasha - posted on 10/19/2010

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Cabbage leaves! If you take a couple of cabbage leaves and place them in your bra, over your breasts, it will help the milk dry up.

[deleted account]

Ask your breastfeeding association for the best suggestions. In Australia, it's the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). Over in the U.S., it's La Leche League, I think. If I was ever wanting to wean, I'd ask them as you don't want further problems.
The ABA ask you if you want to wean and how you feel about it. If you say you want to, they'll tell you how without judging you. That's why I love them!

Loes - posted on 10/19/2010

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hi
as a lactation consultant, i agree, would be hard to wean your baby before it is her time, but I also believe that recurring mastitis must have an underlying cause...
if you can look in this book, would be very helpful:
breastfeeding, naturally, by Hanna Lottrop
she is into natural remedies and homeopathics
good luck!

Eve - posted on 10/19/2010

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I would pump ONLY enough to relieve discomfort. Also, if you aren't already on hormonal birth control, my OB said going back on combined birth control (Nuva Ring) would probably dry up my remaining supply.

Tamara - posted on 10/19/2010

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Just start gradually pumping 10-15 minutes further apart from the last & a few minutes less... Its supply & demand, so you have to cut the "demand" to lessen the supply... I have also heard that if you put raw cabbage leaves in your bra it will help your milk dry up.

Sophia - posted on 10/19/2010

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sage has been known to dry up milk production. you can gradually add it to your savory food like chicken, potatoes, find a recipe you like.

Julie - posted on 10/19/2010

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you might wnat to have your dr take a skin strep test to see if you have skin strep it can occure after a bought of strep throut and last for months i had it for four months it mocks mastitis and can be very uncomfortable and painful my dr decided to check me for it after i had it for my sons 2, 4 and 6 checkups he put me on atibiotics and it cleared up within the week :) now we are happy nursers at almost 9 months

April - posted on 10/18/2010

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When I had a cold, I was to that if I took cold meds it could cause my milk to dry up. I would check with your dr. first, but this is all I can think of with the large amount you seem to be producing.

Shruti - posted on 10/17/2010

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Hi Lainie.... you will need to gradually cut back on the no. of times you pump. Pumping means your body is still counting that as a feeding session.

Jennifer - posted on 10/17/2010

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Earth Mama Angel Baby makes an organic tea called No More Milk tea. Sage is the first ingredient so it may not be any more effective than what you are using. I can't vouch for it myself except I love every other EMAB product I've tried. Good luck! Mastitis is absolutely no fun. I had several cases myself despite my best efforts so I can't even imagine how you have gone this long!

Lisa - posted on 10/17/2010

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There is a herb you can drink..........hope another mother knows the name I forgot .......sorry.

Tina - posted on 10/17/2010

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depending on how you feel about it, you can take your strong antibiotics while not nursing and still pump and dumpp, then after going through the course you can continue breastfeeding again. You might not want to stop cold turkey while taking a stronger antibiotics because it will cause clotting. I had to sit with warm compresses for quite a few months to avoid clotting. (ziplock with a wet dish towel folded up in it-put two of them in the microwave for thirty seconds or more and then leave them inside your bra (if not too hot) five or ten minutes before nursing. .This will loosen any clottingn that might have occurred. Good luck

Cameryn_nc - posted on 10/17/2010

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Can you stop pumping after the first letdown? Like you, I pump everything (my preemie had an NG tube too long and needed bottles to deliver meds). I get @3 letdowns per pump. If you stopped sooner in the session, that might help.

[deleted account]

Thanks agian ladies. Perhaps i should clarify. I do not breast feed directly, I pump and then feed it to my kiddo, she does not feed diectly at all. So when i say that i am pumping twise a day, that is the only milk that is collected at all. I was adviced to pump every two hours for the mastitis by my LC and DR and have cut it down from that to twice a day. I am now cutting it down to half the time I pump but the girls just dont want to quit producing. I am making almost the same amount in a day as before.

[deleted account]

Oil of oregano taken internally can also help you dry up and it works to fight against infections! Just don't use it topically as its not good for your baby to get in that kind of strength. Also don't use it if you're preggo as it increases blood flow. Hope you get better soon!!

Inga (Uttara) - posted on 10/17/2010

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Try massage your breasts with warm Castor oil.Avoid getting Castor oil on your nipples or you clean them after massage. Otherwise your baby will get diarrhea. It will take care of your mastitis.

Danielle - posted on 10/17/2010

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try cutting down your pumping as well as your feeding. your body will cut down on production once you require less of it.

Rachel - posted on 10/17/2010

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this may not be helpful, but are you absolutely sure its not an intraductal yeast infection? I suffered with one of those for eight months with my second baby and went to eight different doctors before i found one who would give me appropriate medication. (a systemic antifungal- fluconazole or diflucan, of which i had to take a high dosage of for about six weeks to clear it out) if you have yeast it would actually be made worse by the antibiotics. just a thought. with mastitis you would have hot deep pain, usually in one area or one breast, but with intraductal yeast you can have shooting pain deep in the breast tissue, but also very itchy puffy red raw on the surface, there can actually be a raw ring around the nipple) I dont know about how to stop nursing but i think you probably have to stop[ pumping if you want to stop producing? but i never used a pump, so not sure. just be sure you are getting appropriate diagnosis and treatment. in my experience - i was shocked and disappointed to discover how most of the health care professionals were pretty ignorant when it came to breastfeeding problems. I pretty much had to figure out what the problem was by doing my own lots of research and then finding a "prescriber" who was willing to give the proper script. good luck.

Heidi - posted on 10/17/2010

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No advice, but having had mastitis once, I can't believe you have managed to keep going with it for 10 months! I hope you feel better soon and also hope you are proud of yourself for breastfeeding this long (especially through such a dreadful infection). Best of luck!

[deleted account]

why are you pumping? it helps keep your production high. cut down on the pumping and you will cut down on the milk.

Darcie - posted on 10/16/2010

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If you are pumping, can't you just pump a bit less each day? 16 oz one day, 15 oz the next, etc. You have to tell your body to produce less milk and you do that by leaving some milk leftover, i.e. not draining it when you pump. What does your LC say?

Gwynne - posted on 10/16/2010

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Maybe it would help to decrease the pump strength at each pumping as well...if that is possible. I could do this with my playtex pump when I weened my daughter. This way you still relieve some pressure but not all of it. Gradually your body will adjust.

[deleted account]

@ Anne and Courtney, thank you somuch for your info and concern. I did some research and will make sure to check it out. To the rest of you, thank you for your input and help. I have found the sage and cabbage to be helpful and surprisingly the mastitis has eased the less milk that I produce. I was told by doctors, nurses and lactation consultants that with mastitis you have to keep the breast as empty as possible to keep the infection from worsening, but I am noticing that now that I am only getting 30 oz or less a day it is improving. (Previously I was producing enough for my daughter, my 2 year old son and at least a bag in the freezer per day, sometimes 2.) Fingers crossed, and by all means if you think of anything else, please pass it on. Thanks again. :)

[deleted account]

Oh, Alaina. . . I wouldn't know what to say perhaps the following article will help. Cabbage leaves really do help! I had the lumps even under my arm pit and once I had to put a sanitary pad in my bra to stop the milk from one breast that was pouring out milk and the size of my baby's head! Good luck! :)
ips to Help You Feel Better
(And Reduce Your Milk Supply)

1. Eliminate one pumping session each three to four days. Express only enough milk as needed for comfort. This gradual weaning from the pump gives your body a chance to adjust to the decrease in stimulation.

2. Apply cold cabbage compresses. Placing "compresses" inside each cup of your bra will also help to make you more comfortable. Reapply refrigerated cabbage leaves about every two hours, or as they wilt, until your milk supply slows. This is a good treatment for severe engorgement. Often moms feel relief in as little as two hours (Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, Ruth Lawrence, MD, 1994). You can continue this treatment as needed.

3. Do not bind your breasts. This is an outdated practice, can be very uncomfortable and may lead to a plugged duct or even a breast infection. Wear a comfortable, but supportive all-cotton bra that won't restrict your circulation. A sports bra may be perfect for you at this time, but be sure it isn't uncomfortably snug.

4. Take something for the pain. Try a pain reliever that is compatible with nursing. Get the okay from your care provider before using acetominophen or ibuprofen.

5. Try ice. Ice can help to reduce swelling and may help you to remain more comfortable as your milk supply is decreasing. A bag of frozen peas for each breast works well (but don't eat the peas, since you will be defrosting and refreezing.) Ice your breasts for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, at least four times each day, or as needed for comfort.

Anne - posted on 10/16/2010

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After Courtney Johnson posted about inflammatory breast cancer, I was curious, so I looked it up. http://www.ibcresearch.org/files/present... which has a slide that says it masquerades as mastitis and that in the majority of cases, there are no lumps to be found because this particular one grows in sheets and webs. Please get it ruled out.

Didi - posted on 10/16/2010

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@ Amra The WHO actually recommends that you nurse until age 2 and then to continue as long as you and your baby want.

[deleted account]

Anti-histamines, like sudafed will help dry you up. Also Cabbage leaves in you bra - against the skin cause dry up. I say make sure to give the little one lots of hugs while weaning so she knows you aren't taking away love, just milk.

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