What to Expect from Stopping Breastfeeding

Updated on September 22, 2008
C.M. asks from Gurnee, IL
16 answers

What should I expect from my body when I discontinue breastfeeding. I have been weaning my 10 month old very slowly- she seems to be doing well w/it. Today is the last time I will pump/nurse. What should I expect?

C.

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C.

answers from Chicago on

You can expect that you may still need to pump one more time to relieve any congestion. Also, I found myself calling the LeLeche League (very helpful website as well) because I had migraines for almost 2 weeks. I had migraines early in my pregnancy also so expect hormonal changes which may be intense. Lastly, I did feel alittle bit of guilt but ultimately I am glad that I stopped (did so when my baby was 6 months and I worked full-time).

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B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi C.- I weaned all 4 of my kids between 13 and 16 mo. I dropped a feeding every week or 2 weeks and had no issues in regards to engorgement or discomfort. All 4 of my kids also weaned very easily (they led the process). I have heard slow and steady wins the race
Good Luck
Beth

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T.C.

answers from Chicago on

I weaned my son very slowly too...starting around 11mo. and finishing at 13mo. I didn't have any engorgement or leaking issues. I think if you do it slowly it'll be okay. I thought my son might put up a fuss about stopping, but he didn't. We stopped right around the time he started pulling on my shirt to nurse. I wasn't too emotional over it b/c I knew I wanted to go 1 yr. then stop. It was a little sad though. Congrats for going so long!

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C.

answers from Chicago on

You can expect that you may still need to pump one more time to relieve any congestion. Also, I found myself calling the LeLeche League (very helpful website as well) because I had migraines for almost 2 weeks. I had migraines early in my pregnancy also so expect hormonal changes which may be intense. Lastly, I did feel alittle bit of guilt but ultimately I am glad that I stopped (did so when my baby was 6 months and I worked full-time).

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

Get a shot from your dr. to "dry you up". You may need to be in a breast binder for while.

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S.X.

answers from Chicago on

i had no issues/pain. though you are no longer burning extra calories and/or need to eat for them, so if you eat the same and burn less you will gain weight.

J.F.

answers from Chicago on

I just weaned my 10 month old last week! It was tougher with her than my 1st because she was using nursing to fall asleep, but after a few days I think we have turned the corner and it is good. As long as you go slow, pump/express when you need to, it will be fine. I cannot wait to go out and have her go to bed for someone else without all the drama! Good luck.

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

I am weaning right now. My son turne one this Wednesday. At 9 mo...I was nursing 4-5 times. 10mo I was nursing 3 times. 11 mo..2 times a day, and this past week cut it to once a day, and on Wednesday I will be done. Do not just stop all together...wean slowly and there will be no problems. I have experienced no pain or swelling. This is my 3rd child that I have nursed for a year....just be sure to gradually stop.

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M.Y.

answers from Chicago on

I think everyone's body must be different cause I was told that I'd LOSE 10 pounds but instead I GAINED 10 pounds! So don't be surprised... Also, I was slightly engorged but just expressed milk in the shower (the easiest way) and it subsided after a bit. Good luck! You'll love the freedom... : )

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

I started to pump less & less, & for a shorter period of time. I still had to wear very tight (sports bras) & had to self express in a hot shower when I felt really full to not get any clogged ducts. It took about a week to finally feel fine and wear a regular bra. It was uncomfortable but it didnt take long to do, but I didnt stop cold turkey, just weaned down & then stopped.

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M.H.

answers from Chicago on

I am a mother who breastfed until my son was three and since he was older there wasn't much to it. I felt emotional and sad that we had ended something so personal. You will probably just feel sad and your baby (because he or she is still a baby) will probably be upset for a little while. I am not sure why you are weaning but your milk supply is not has much as when they are newborns so you shouldn't feel much physical change. I would recommend finding a book about weaning and your baby. Good luck!

P.S. Oh yeah, I always recommend Le Leche League. Women leading women.

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C.K.

answers from Chicago on

As long as you are weaning slowly you shouldn't have too much pain. I weaned a little too quickly and was in quite a bit of pain for about 3 weeks. I stopped breastfeeding at about 7 and a half months and was actually quite happy to get my body back. I also lost some weight after I stopped. I just didn't feel as hungry after I stopped and I read somewhere that your body holds onto some of that weight while breastfeeding. Good luck!

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D.A.

answers from Chicago on

I didn't really notice much of anything when I stopped nursing/pumping. Except, of course, FREEDOM! I don't really remember any specific physical issues. Good luck.

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M.L.

answers from Chicago on

Hi C.,
If you have been weaning your baby very slowly, you should not experience any problems when she finally stops for good. Perhaps a bit of leaking occasionally, but certainly nothing more. Since I do not know how you define slowly, I can't be more specific. What you think is slow, may, in fact, be more rapid. In that case, I'd be on the lookout for engorgement and treat it immediately - before it becomes more serious - by applying warm compresses and expressing the milk.
M.

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D.L.

answers from Chicago on

I would wait to wean her until 12 months. When I weaned my children I waited until I was doing only 1 feeding a day. I still had a lot of engorgement, blocked milk glands & pain. It lasted about 2 weeks. To help with the blocked glands I would take a really hot shower & work the lumps out by massaging it under the hot water. Also, once you wean expect to gain some weight unless you start exercising. You burn about 400-500 caleries from breat feeding a day.

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M.K.

answers from Chicago on

Since you've been weaning slowly then you shouldn't feel any pain, engorgement issues or leaking. The one thing I wasn't prepared for was how emotional I became after she was weaned. I missed nursing alot more than I thought I would.

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B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi C.- I weaned all 4 of my kids between 13 and 16 mo. I dropped a feeding every week or 2 weeks and had no issues in regards to engorgement or discomfort. All 4 of my kids also weaned very easily (they led the process). I have heard slow and steady wins the race
Good Luck
Beth

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H.J.

answers from Chicago on

I didn't have any issues whatsoever. Like the previous poster, remember that you're burning fewer calories. Just pay attention to your appetite, and maybe step up the intensity of your exercise for a week or so to balance out your appetite and eating habits.

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