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Thread: Owww... Weaned, but unsure if I should pump

  1. #1

    Default Owww... Weaned, but unsure if I should pump

    I had to wean my almost eleven-month-old boy so I can undergo some cancer treatment (yay). I took it easy (so I thought) and dropped one feeding per week. The last time I nursed him was 10 days ago.

    Now, my breasts are definitely engorged, and hard and lumpy in places. I have been drinking tons of sage extract, putting cabbage leaves in my bra, and hand expressing a little bit in the shower every few days. I cannot take decongestant due to hypertension (thanks, childbirth).

    It's just uncomfortable, not PAINFUL, but I feel like I want to pump to avoid getting mastitis. It's becoming more uncomfortable with each day. Just when I think I've softened my breasts well in the shower, there are new, hard sections the next day when I wake up.

    Have you been there? Should I avoid pumping because it will keep the milk coming? Or is it OK to pump a little bit every so often to ease the pressure?

    I just don't know what to do!

    I need my milk to be completely dried up for the treatment, so I don't want to prolong the milk being there.
    Last edited by @llli*quiqui; December 10th, 2014 at 11:57 AM. Reason: added detail about decongestant

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,746

    Default Re: Owww... Weaned, but unsure if I should pump

    Generally speaking, when a child has weaned and mom is experiencing this, I see no reason to not pump a little simply to get that milk out. In fact it is probably a good idea, as you certainly do not want to be engorged and risk plugs and mastitis. Obviously just watch that you don't pump more than needed. Keep sessions short and infrequent.

    But my understanding is that a mother may lactate for months after weaning, even if milk is no longer removed ever. ... How are you supposed to prove you are 'completely dried up' in order to be treated? I hate to see treatment delayed when it may not be necessary.

    I would strongly suggest talking to your doctors and maybe a lactation consultant about how to best approach this situation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,911

    Default Re: Owww... Weaned, but unsure if I should pump

    I am assuming that the cancer treatment is for cancer in the breast? If not, I don't see why milk production would be a problem. If so, I don't think delaying treatment makes sense when it can take up to a year- yes, really!- for the breast to completely stop producing milk.

    Would it be possible for you to take a hormonal contraception for a short period of time? Combination estrogen-progesterone pills can decrease milk supply.

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