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Thread: Long Time EBP, Recurring Plugged Ducts, Want to "Ween"

  1. #1

    Default Long Time EBP, Recurring Plugged Ducts, Want to "Ween"

    I don't think I've ever posted here before, but here goes.

    I have been exclusively pumping for about 2 and a half years for my 2 children. My first child was disabled and never latched until 8 weeks, and then she only infrequently nursed. My second child... never latched at all! Even though it doesn't seem like she is disabled. She is about 9 months.

    I got pregnant with my second child when the first was 9 months. My supply significantly dropped, and I also got sick and stayed sick for 3 months, so my lactation naturally just stopped, I didn't have to try. (I kept trying SO hard to pump but I was making -no-milk once I got pregnant.) The milk came right back easily when I had my second.

    I make copious amounts of milk, supply has never been an issue. Oversupply maybe has been an issue.

    I have been having recurring plugged ducts in the same spot this time around, especially for the past 3 months. I have tried doing some hand expressing lately to help completely empty out the ducts, which seemed like it may have been working, but I may have been squeezing too hard. My boob is SO SORE NOW. And every time the boob fills back up, it feels like a knot in that same place. I keep trying to pump and I can't seem to get the area emptied out. And it is too sore to touch to try to squeeze any out - and I wonder if squeezing was making it bruised/worse.

    So... basically. I am at the point where I am ready to stop pumping and start switching my baby over to formula. I gave it a good 9 months and I'm happy with that. I have a disabled toddler running around and work full time and just can't keep pumping. But I don't actually know how to quit pumping, or how to get rid of this painful plugged duct (or abcess or mastitis? I don't have a fever but I do feel like crap.) Last time my milk just stopped naturally.

    Advice on handling the issue and on how to stop EBPing when you have copious supply that doesn't naturally dwindle? I can still easily pump 30 ounces a day.

    I don't have an OB anymore. If I need to see a doctor in case of possible mastitis or abcess, should I go to a regular practitioner, or find an OB?

    Do cabbage leaves help at all with plugged ducts? I have heard they are good for reducing supply but have never used them.

    Thanks,
    Last edited by @llli*pumpinmamanc; May 19th, 2017 at 10:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Long Time EBP, Recurring Plugged Ducts, Want to "Ween"

    If I need to see a doctor in case of possible mastitis or abcess, should I go to a regular practitioner, or find an OB?
    You can see an internist or GP for this. They can do a breast exam and prescribe anti biotics. Also, as a post partum mom feeling so worn down, you probably want to have a full workup including thyroid function testing. Feeling exhausted and vaguely ill is quite likely because there is actually something wrong, and it may or may not have anything to do with your breasts.

    So... basically. I am at the point where I am ready to stop pumping and start switching my baby over to formula. I gave it a good 9 months and I'm happy with that. I have a disabled toddler running around and work full time and just can't keep pumping. But I don't actually know how to quit pumping, or how to get rid of this painful plugged duct (or abcess or mastitis? I don't have a fever but I do feel like crap.) Last time my milk just stopped naturally.
    Your milk production will reduce when you tell it to reduce, and your can do that by GRADUALLY reducing either how often or how long you pump. (Or probably best, reducing both.)
    It is always best to gradually reduce milk removal. This is what a baby does naturally as they wean- gradually they nurse less and less often, taking less and less milk each time they nurse, as they require less and less milk each day. Over many months or even years this happens. That is how milk production reduces safely and naturally.

    When weaning off pumping, this natural process is what you are going to try to emulate. From what you are saying, I am guessing you probably want to move it along much faster than it would typically happen. Ok, the only problem with that is, since you have the issue with the reoccurring plug as well as a possibly injured breast, that complicates things, because most likely, the faster you wean off pumping, the more likely you will see issues with plugs and/or mastitis. You may want to contact an IBCLC to see if they would be able to help you find a process where you can more safely but more quickly reduce milk production.

    There are herbs and medications that act as anti-galactagogues- milk production reducers. Taking those to help you reduce your milk production more rapidly but still safely may be appropriate, but I would strongly suggest first making sure your overall health is in good shape and then researching those very carefully for side effects, drug interactions etc. before taking anything.

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