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Thread: breast cancer brought about sudden weaning

  1. #1

    Default breast cancer brought about sudden weaning

    I just learned I have breast cancer.I just had an MRI and did'nt know before hand that I would'nt be able to nurse for 48 hours because of the contrast dye- and am suddenly weaning because in the next couple of weeks I'll be having surgery, removing both breasts.It's been the most difficult thing I've had to do. Rather than nursing after the 48 hours to continue nursing for 2 more weeks, I committed to weaning.
    My question is- how long can I expect engorgement? I am not pumping- just leaking sometimes.To help with the pain I'm using cabbage leaves- drinking sage tea every couple of hours and taking inbuprofen. I know engorgement can lead to mastitis-so I'm concerned with this as well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,175

    Default Re: breast cancer brought about sudden weaning

    Oh Mama, I am truly sorry. What bad news.

    Okay, so the last thing you want right now, right before major surgery, is mastitis. If you're weaning so rapidly that you're getting engorged, that's a real possibility. Ideally, weaning is a slow process, taking weeks, months, or even years to complete. You drop one feeding, wait a bit, then drop another. This sort of gradual weaning gives your body plenty of time to reduce supply while the milk is continuing to flow.

    I encourage you to get out the pump or at least hand express and relieve the engorgement. You don't need to empty the breast. The more full you leave the breast, the sooner your body will detect that there is excess milk being made and the more it will decrease production. So just take enough to relieve the discomfort. Your supply will still decrease, albeit slower than if you simply put up with the engorgement. But you will also reduce your risk of plugged ducts and mastitis, which I think is a reasonable exchange.

    The engorgement phase is generally short-lived. But how long it lasts is different for all moms.

    Are your doctors experienced with working on lactating breasts? Many women continue to produce a small quantity of milk for months or even years after complete weaning. I was able to express milk for several months in between my first child weaning and getting pregnant with my second. So I'd want to make sure that the doctors know that and can assure you that continuing to produce a small amount of milk won't change any outcomes.

    Good luck, Mama. Please check in with us and let us know how things go!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,882

    Default Re: breast cancer brought about sudden weaning

    Oh, how heartbreaking! Mommal's advice is great. Best wishes for these very rough next few months ...
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: breast cancer brought about sudden weaning

    Hi momma, I'm so sorry for this terrible news. I was diagnosed with bc at 30. If you need any btdt support from other young mamas please check out www.youngsurvival.org - you will find others who had to wean ASAP and also tips for carrying and caring for baby post-mast.

    The beginning is the worst. But it does get better.

    Feel free to message me for anything
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: breast cancer brought about sudden weaning

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*vivsmaman View Post
    Hi momma, I'm so sorry for this terrible news. I was diagnosed with bc at 30. If you need any btdt support from other young mamas please check out www.youngsurvival.org - you will find others who had to wean ASAP and also tips for carrying and caring for baby post-mast.

    The beginning is the worst. But it does get better.

    Feel free to message me for anything
    Just reading this post and I'm going to share this website (youngsurvival)with a dear friend who just had to wean her youngest to start chemo for breast cancer. Thanks for sharing.
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

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