Monday, July 29, 2013

How To Stop Nursing

I hope I'm not sharing too much personal information, but I recently stopped nursing.  I don't know how, but somehow I forgot how painful it is to dry up your milk supply.  It was bad - just ask Tim.  For a couple of days I was MEAN.  I had read that I'd be in pain for about 48 hours (which was pretty accurate) so I chose a Saturday and Sunday when I knew Tim would be around to help with the girls, especially Clara.  It was very painful to hold her.  

On Monday, I was feeling much better (not 100% but well enough) so I took the girls to the History Museum for arts and crafts.  Afterwards we went to Ted Drewes and I brought some home for Tim.  He asked if I bought it for him because I'd been so mean to him the past couple of days!  Next time I looked in the freezer I saw this:

That is not my handwriting.  Tim calls this his "Apology Cream".

Anyway, I thought I'd share some tips with you to help ease the pain of drying up your milk supply.  I'm not going to lie to you ladies, it hurts and there's not much you can do about it. You'll likely be in pain for about 48 hours assuming there are no complications.  Here you go:

1.  Ween - Don't just stop cold turkey.  This can lead to complications (see below).
2.  Wear a comfy bra and nursing pads even when sleeping.  You don't want to bind your breasts.  This can also lead to complications (see below).  I wore this nursing bra that I bought at Mimi Maternity through all three of my kids.  I know it's not at all sexy but it's very comfy, especially at night.
3.  Motrin and lots of it.
4.  Warm shower but don't stimulate your milk to let down.  Sometimes I wore my bra in the shower to avoid a let down.
5.  Use a cold compress or frozen vegetables
6.  Drink lots of water. If you become dehydrated, you will actually start producing more milk, and your discomfort will increase.
7.  Sleep with pillow support.  Sleeping is the hardest because no position feels comfortable.  If you use a pillow (or several) you can get some relief.

And these are a couple of unverified home remedies:
1.  Apply cold cabbage leaves to your breast.
2.  Drink sage tea

Possible Complications:
If you start running a fever or have flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor as it may be mastitis or plugged ducts. Mastitis and plugged ducts can be caused by:
- Binding your breasts (wear a comfortable bra)
- Not weaning properly
- Breast infection

Hang in there ladies!

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Anonymous said...

I gradually reduced nursing over a period of months and only had a little pain after the last nursing session. I nursed one more time to relieve the discomfort and that was it...freedom.

Susan V

Cathy said...

That is the smart way to do it. I clearly didn't wean properly. I think I gave it about a week and then stopped cold turkey. It worked, but it was very painful!!

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