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Thread: Engorgement while weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Question Engorgement while weaning

    I've been weaning my daughter for a month now, and we are ready to stop completely--she was nursing only once at night, and I was pumping once during the day. My milk supply is down, but not gone. Since I started antibiotics yesterday we skipped last night's nursing. Now my breasts are becoming engorged. I'm not in pain yet, just uncomfortable! So, do I pump or not? I don't know how to let my body know it's time to stop. I had a terrible case of mastitis that abcessed a few months ago, and I don't want to go through that again (I still have visible damage). Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Engorgement while weaning

    Ouch! I'm so sorry you went through that!

    Are you ready to completely wean? If so, you might pump or hand express *just enough* for comfort. Keeping your breast full will increase your chances of developing plugged ducts or mastitis, and pumping off just enough for comfort will not prevent your milk supply from decreasing.

    If your breasts are really uncomfortable, you might try cabbage compresses. Take some clean green cabbage leaves (cold or room temp, cold might feel best), and stuff inside bra. Leave on until they wilt, and replace as needed. NOTE: If you are NOT trying to *decrease* supply (in other words, you wish to continue nursing), only apply between nursing sessions and leave on for no longer than 20 minutes at a time.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Engorgement while weaning

    I just went through this as I've weaned my daughter over the past week. We, too, weren't nursing much at all... pretty much morning and night only during the week. I was actually in the hospital with mastitis and pumping only about 6 oz a day while there, so I know my supply was waaaay down.

    For me, the worst was about 48 hrs in - I was leaking a fair amount and was quite uncomfy. (I wasn't concerned about mastitis too much because I was on IV antibiotics FOR mastitis.... My docs felt that since I was pumping so little I was ok to cold turkey it). I ended up hand expressing once and then pumping juuuust enough to feel more comfortable (about 20 cc's). I felt much better almost immediately. Once I got through day 3 of no nursing, my body seemed to regulate and I literally went to bed engorged and woke up fine. No problems since.

    Good luck!!!!!!!! And sorry about the absess. Having just spent 5 nights in the hospital (but fortunately without an absess) I know how much you want to avoid mastitis!!!


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