27 answers

Feeling Engorged After Weaning

Hi Moms,
So I just weaned my 19 mo old about 4 days ago and now my breasts are engorged and really painful. Does anyone have any advice on how to relieve this? I have tried hot showers and a heating pad to get the milk to flow, but no luck. I haven't tried pumping because I'm afraid that will lead to more milk production. I don't remember going through this when I weaned my first and I would love any advice. My breasts are so painful they keep me awake at night and I cringe everytime I pick up my daughter because the tiniest bump causes pain.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I used cabbage leaves when I weaned both of my kids. It works and the cool leaves feel good actually. Good luck!

I would hand express a little, just enough to ease the engorgement. You don't want to end up with an infection.

More Answers

Hi N. -

Do you like to drink tea? If so, you can use sage or lemon balm. Buy herbs that were organically grown or wild crafted. Mix about 1T of dried herb per cup of tea. You can drink 2-6 cups of tea per day.

When making a tea with dried herbs, bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add the dried herbs - 1 Tablespoon per cup of water - cover the pot and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the herbs and enjoy your nice relaxing cup of tea.

The tea can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator if you want to make a quart or 2 at a time.

If your breasts are sore, you can place chilled cabbage leaves in your bra. I know it sounds funny but it really helps relieve the sore/tender feeling. Remove the leaf when it warms up and replace with another.

If you are in Payson, stop into Chakra Botanika to get your herbs.


M. M. Ernsberger
Certified Clinical Herbalist
Certified Master Hypnotherapist
Square-foot Gardening Specialist

1 mom found this helpful

Try cabbage leaves in your bra. I know it sounds funny, but it supposedly helps with engorgement. Also, pump a little bit. I was afraid too, but my breasts would get so rock hard and painful, that I needed to, barely any milk would release, but it would help.

The same thing happened to me when I weaned my 16-month-old. I was worried that if I nursed, my milk production would increase rather than stop, but the opposite happened. 3 days after the "last" nursing, I was so uncomfortable that I broke down and nursed him. I expected that my breasts would fill up again, but they never did and that was truly our last feeding. Besides relieving the discomfort, it was nice to have the nursing bond with my son one last time. Good luck!

Oh yeah, I also used Sage Tincture (you can get it at the Herb Store) to help stop my milk production. You can also take dried sage from your kitchen and have a couple of tablespoons a day.

I just read about a product called "No More Milk Tea" by Earth Mama Angel Baby. It has sage & parsley and a few other herbs that help to dry up milk supply. I haven't tried it because I was always pregnant again while I was weaning. Anyway, there are a couple stores in the valley that carry this brand, you can find them on the website.

In the meantime, get some relief by expressing or pumping a little & using cold packs. It usually doesn't take too long for your body to adjust the supply. But you don't want to get plugged ducts in the meeantime. Good luck!

I am surprised that they are so full at 19 months! Cabbage leaves are worth a try, wear them in a bra till they are warm, then repeat. Also it might sound weird but have you tried taking something like sudafed. It dries up your nose, and your breasts. It worked for me when I did not want it too. Good luck

Go ahead and try pumping if you want... I wasn't very successful with that, I just took weaning really slowly.. like once a day, then every other day, every few days... I was never painfully engorged.

Congratulations on nursing for so long! :) I would pump just a small amount to relieve some pressure. Your body will get used to it and not make as much. I nursed mine from 9-26 months (all four different times) and I would slowly take the amount they nursed down so I never felt engorged. If you do that with the pump, just take a small amount off, it might help. Good luck!

This sounds weird, but wear a snug sports bra and put cabbage leaves over your breasts, inside the bra. It takes a day or so, but it really works! Once the leaves wilt in your bra, replace them with fresh ones. Just do that over and over, and your milk production will stop. This is what I had to do when I came home from the hospital with my second child (I didn't want to breastfeed).

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