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Thread: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

  1. #1
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    Default Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    I have had a miserable experience breastfeeding due to plugged ducts. As in, multiple plugged ducts a week. I've had over 30 in the last 10 weeks. I have tried EVERYthing I can to get them to stop. If you would like to help me out in that way, please refer to this thread: http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ed-nipple-pore where I talk about everything I have done. I know the first response for all of you will be suggestions to prevent the plugged ducts, so please read through my other thread before offering suggestions (because trust me, I've heard it all and tried it all. Nothing you say will be new).

    I'm not 100% sold on weaning. But after days of sobbing due to painful plugs, I just can't live like this anymore. But I need advice. Because since I struggle with plugged ducts so badly, I don't even know how I could wean!

    What do I do? How would I start? How would I avoid getting plugged if I were to wean? I just feel at such a loss right now. I'm miserable breastfeeding, I feel like I'll go through misery to wean, and the thought of not breastfeeding is both exhilarating and heartbreaking to me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    And just reading that subject made me so depressed. 3.5 months is so young to wean. I'm so jealous of all of you moms who have been able to nurse and enjoy it. I keep thinking I'll get there soon. And then soon never shows up

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    Mama, please don't get so sad. If you decide that you've reached the end, then so be it. It's your decision.

    I think that you have identified the central difficulty here: the best way to treat plugs, and to keep them from turning into mastitis, is to drain the breast. And draining the breast works contrary to weaning.

    Moms who wean when their babies are still nursing a lot need to go slow. They are generally advised to drop 1 feeding, replace it with a bottle, wait a few days, and then drop another feeding, replace with a bottle, wait, etc. Eventually all the feedings are gone and the milk is gone, too, or so diminished that it's not problematic. If you do decide to wean, I think you need to go really, really, slow, and to expect some setbacks- days when you need to increase pumping or nursing in order to get those %#\% plugs out. But as long as the overall trend is for decreased nursing and decreased stimulation to and milk removal from the breast, you are in the weaning process.

    Peppermint and sage are two herbs which are often recommended to moms who need to decrease supply. They may also be worth a try.
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    there may also be stronger drugs that will dry up your milk fast - if you decide to go this route you might check with your doc about it - i know they were common in earlier generations. but likely more permanent than a gradual weaning. i didnt read your other thread, but meeting with an ibclc might help, too (with either direction).
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    Auderey, what do you think- should a mom go the drug route as a first choice, or only if the regular weaning advice wasn't working? My inclination is to try the natural first, but maybe that's not the right approach?
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    well, i haven't read the other thread on the plugs, but numbersgirl08 sounds pretty miserable, and like she's had a highly unusually hard time. so if i were in her place and made the decision to wean, i might want it to happen faster rather than slower, because it sounds like it could take another couple months to wean slowly enough, and that means another couple months of plugs! natural weaning by definition is slower, right, and if the whole reason to wean is to stop the plugs, then i'd probably want to get it over with. that's a really hard decision, though. i don't envy it. peppermint and sage will definitely help too.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*auderey View Post
    well, i haven't read the other thread on the plugs, but numbersgirl08 sounds pretty miserable, and like she's had a highly unusually hard time. so if i were in her place and made the decision to wean, i might want it to happen faster rather than slower, because it sounds like it could take another couple months to wean slowly enough, and that means another couple months of plugs! natural weaning by definition is slower, right, and if the whole reason to wean is to stop the plugs, then i'd probably want to get it over with. that's a really hard decision, though. i don't envy it. peppermint and sage will definitely help too.
    When you talk about medicine being more permanent, do you mean permanent for this baby or permanent for any babies in the future? I don't want to jeopardize future nursing relationships with my future kids.

    I'm going to hold off on making any decision just quite yet. It is hard. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'd give anything to be able to keep nursing, but this has been killing me. And I know it wouldn't be easy to even get free! I'm starting my last effort this weekend of pumping at night to keep the milk flowing more and see if that helps.

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*numbersgirl08 View Post
    When you talk about medicine being more permanent, do you mean permanent for this baby or permanent for any babies in the future? I don't want to jeopardize future nursing relationships with my future kids.
    i' should think just for this baby - hard to get supply back once it's gone - but i actually have no idea even what meds would be given. something to ask the doc about if you do decide to investigate.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    I can't imagine anything you would take would affect future breastfeeding attempts, but definitely check with your doctor, and/or InfantRisk, www.infantrisk.com.

    I have issues with plugged ducts too, but NOWHERE near as bad you do. Based on my experience if you go the natural route, it's going to have to be REALLY REALLY slowly. Like dropping a feeding every few days sounds like it may be too fast - of course you'll have to see how it goes. I work full-time so when I pump weaned I spent MONTHS trying to decrease my pumping - and I still got a lot of plugged ducts after I stopped pumping (at a year), to the point that I had to go back to the pumping for a while. Fortunately I've been able to stop pumping again, and I've been mostly plug-free (though I did have one last weekend, fortunately it was a Sunday so my LO could nurse a lot and get it out by the end of the day). Anyway, plugged ducts are a big pain, I really feel for you.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need help weaning 3.5 month old

    I don't think those drugs are permanent. Definitely discuss them in detail with your health care provider- as far as I know, there are actually valid health reasons why those drugs are no longer handed out as freely as they were in our mothers' day, though I am not sure what exactly those reasons are.

    2 drugs that can reduce supply are estrogen- like the combination birth control pill- and also Sudafed.

    Totally okay to hold off on the decision. As Auderey said, it's easier to keep supply going than to get it back. And I know you don't necessarily want to hear this, but you really never know when you're going to turn the corner. I remember nursing on horrible, horrible cracks, and thinking, okay, fine, these things will never heal. I'll just grit my teeth for the next 7 months. And then, right when I had given up... The healing began and within a week it was complete.
    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!"

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