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Thread: Help with weaning, possible mastitis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Help with weaning, possible mastitis

    Dear Mamas,

    We are one week away from reaching our goal of EBFing for one year...
    (Many thanks to this amazing resource of a forum and all you moms out there)

    I have been intending to wean DD gently so came up with a plan of dropping 1feeding at a time per week and i started this 3 weeks ago. It was tough of course as she is used to feeding on demand. Sometimes she just lives on my breasts. She also likes to comfort suck throughout the night!

    I will be leaving her 2 weeks from now as I will be going back to work (abroad) so 2 nights ago, my partner and I tried to make her sleep without me beside her for the first since she was born.

    The good news is she slept well... (she took a total of 3 120ml-bottles for the duration of the night.
    The bad news is I couldnt sleep at all... i think it's a combination of worry and separation anxiety so I was up till 11pm while she has been sleeping since 7:30pm.
    At 3:30am I awoke with pain on my left breast.... it was engorged. I noticed the right boob was very normal, not engorged and not painful at all... i realized then that it mustve dried up days ago as DD has been sucking it then starts fussing...
    Nways, needless to say, i couldnt sleep anymore.
    I didnt drink Ibuprofen as i couldnt find any in the house. Throughout the whole day I was feeling a bit off.
    Last night she slept beside me and she nursed only once compared to the usual 3-5 times.
    Today, I feel awful, almost like I will be getting flu or already have it.... sore throat, some coughing, headache, low grade fever, aches and pains all over my body...
    I already drank Ibuprofen and Vit C. Could this be Mastitis? My breasts are no longer painful and I also put cabbage leaves on each breast yesterday.

    Any Mama here with the same experience...? Is it possible to wean in 2weeks time considering i already started dropping feeds since 3 weeks ago?

    Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Help with weaning, possible mastitis

    This is a tough one. If it weren't for the cough and the sore throat, I'd say that this was probably mastitis. You're weaning, you experienced engorgement, you have the chills, aches, and fever... Kind of textbook, YKWIM? But you don't seem to be experiencing breast pain or engorgement at this point, so... I guess I'm going to guess that this is simply the flu. But I do think you need to do a very careful self-examination- make sure there is absolutely NO breast tenderness, no suspicious lumps, and no redness or streaking on the skin of the breast. If you see any of those, then mastitis is a good bet and you should see the doctor for some antibiotics, particularly as you are about to leave on a big overseas trip. In fact, since you're traveling I think it would be smart to have antibiotics in hand, just in case you need them. You don't want to be trying to find urgent care in a strange city... And do bring your pump, just in case a problem crops up. It is definitely possible that you won't need it, but if you do need it, again, you want the thing in hand.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Help with weaning, possible mastitis

    Hi mommal,

    I did feel pain and engorgement on my left breast. But not on the right. I am taking vit. C now and some ibuprofen and also ferrous sulfate for iron.
    DD is also coughing now as well...
    I have let her bf on me a few times during the night last night so pain and engorgement gone now and also i stuffed cabbage leaves on each boob.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Help with weaning, possible mastitis

    Would you be open to nursing her on demand when she's with you? Some moms who work out of town (or even in town) find nursing a wonderful way to reconnect after being away.

    That's good news that your baby did well sleeping without you! You might consider that she'll do fine going back and forth from having nursing mom there and not having you there, that she'll transition just fine. So that's great news.

    This is going to be a little more hard on you while you're away, physically and emotionally. I guarantee it will get easier (it did for me -- I leave my nursling overnight one to three nights a week and it was a lot harder before than it is now). That's just the way it is with emotionally hard things -- they get easier. And they get easier faster when we take care of ourselves, getting rest and exercise and having reasonable expectations of ourselves.

    Sounds like for your physical comfort you may need to pump during the night when you are separated. This probably won't last forever. It's very normal for babies to nurse at night sometimes and NOT nurse at night sometimes, and mothers' bodies adjust. Your making this transition artificially (not baby-led), but it's the same process. You may need to pump once or so during the night when you're away, and then reassess each time you leave her overnight.

    And don't worry too much about your milk supply. It sounds like you have a willing nurser, so when you come home, your milk supply will be low, but your baby can nurse that milk supply back up in a few days' time. That's very normal.

    You could even decide to pump minimally while you're away, then see how she does when you get back. If she wants to nurse (I suspect she will -- babies don't forget the comfort of nursing in two weeks' time), you could decide to go ahead and continue. You don't have to decide now!

    Anyway, I'm sure many will understand why a mom in your position decides to wean entirely. There are just so many advantages to continued nursing that many of us would be anxious to help you find a way to make it work, if that's something you're open to!

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