Weaning from Breastfeeding - Fayetteville,NC

Updated on September 30, 2009
J.F. asks from Raeford, NC
16 answers

My daughter will be 2 in a month. I've breastfed solely the entire time. I'd like to have her weaned by the time she turns 2. I've been slowly taking her off of feedings, one here and one there. It's working out great, we've recently been able to stop all but one breastfeeding. I am so sore and engorged. What can I do to help with the pain? PLEASE help! I can't lay down. It hurts so badly to put on a bra, that I only take it off to shower. Any suggestions??

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So What Happened?

Well, she did really well. The weaning process was about 4 weeks in all. It was worse because I got mastitis, but she's weaned and I'm not hurting anymore.

More Answers



answers from Huntington on

I'm so proud of you for giving your dd best best nurtition possible for so long!
Having a long hx with breastfeeding, I have several thoughts
1. have you ruled out the possibility that you are sore 'cause you are pregnant? weaning is a good way to get pregnant again. Anything that cuts down on sucking time can foster up enough hormones to let you ovulate, even without having a period first. This sounds like the most likely cause, since you do seem to be weaning gradually.
2. pump just enough to relieve engorgement
3. hot showers
4. cabbage leaves in your bra
5. sprinkle ginger, sage &/or cinnamon liberally on your food, or in capsule form, both these tend to dry up milk supply.
6. remember this too shall pass!

I too used a birthday as a marker for weaning, except I used their 3rd birthday, not 2nd. I knew in the Bible everywhere it talks of eaning, it happens in the 3rd yr. I figured by 3 they would be old enough to understand better. So, I started about a week before their birthday telling them how grown up they would be, and named some things that would be new priveleges for them, (such as go from the toddler to the regular swing, and wear big girl(or boy) undies). After they were feeling good about being so grown up, I told them as they got to do more big girl (or boy) things, they would be too big to do some "baby" things, (like wear diapers ad nurse) They were dissapointed at first, but got over it quickly, as they were reminded how big they were now. I don't know if those tactics would work as well at 2, but it should still help.

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answers from Nashville on

You are engorged because you are weaning too quickly. Take it a little slower and it should get better. It's OK if you wean her by two years and a month instead of two years. It also helps to drink less fluids when you are weaning. If you have less fluids in your body then your body cannot produce as much milk.



answers from Greenville on

First of all, congratulations for breastfeeding your daughter from newborn to toddler! Now about the side effect of engorgement...Have you tried cold packs on your chest? Just like in the beginning days of nursing, you can use frozen packs of veggies on your chest to relieve pain. Be sure you're not getting any clogged milk ducts which could lead to mastisis (infection with fever). If you do begin to feel hard lumps then take care right awya to use warm compresses to allow for milk let down and gently stroke the milk ducts down toward your nipples and express milk to get the clog out.
Dried sage is good for decreasing your milk supply and relieving engorgement:
(Salvia officinalis) for reducing milk supply, take 1/4 teaspoon of sage 3x per day for 1-3 days. You can mix the sage in vegetable juice (for example, V-8), but it won't mix well into other juices. You can also mix it into other foods. If you don't like the taste of sage, try putting it into a tiny piece of sandwich and swallowing it whole - peanut butter or something else a bit sticky seems to work best for holding the sage in place. Tear off the corner of the sandwich containing the sage (it should be a very small section) and swallow it without chewing (that's why you need a very small section).
Sage Tea: infuse 1 tablespoon of dried sage in 1 cup of boiling water (or 20g dried sage in 50 ml boiling water). Steep for 5-15 minutes. Drink 1 cup, 2 - 6 times per day.
Dried Sage: take 1/4 teaspoon of sage 3x per day for 1-3 days. You can mix the sage in vegetable juice (for example, V-8), but it won't mix well into other juices. You can also mix it into other foods. If you don't like the taste of sage, try putting it into a tiny piece of sandwich and swallowing it whole - peanut butter or something else a bit sticky seems to work best for holding the sage in place. Tear off the corner of the sandwich containing the sage (it should be a very small section) and swallow it without chewing (that's why you need a very small section).



answers from Knoxville on

Congratulations on breastfeeding as long as you have! I too am a breastfeeding MOM. I am sure you already know that breast milk is a supply and demand thing. As your daughter demands less the supply will lessen. In the meantime you can try pumping enough milk to relieve the pain. A warm-hot shower usually helped me also. Try not to empty your breast completely, because your body will mistake that for supply and make more milk. If the supply has not lessened by the time you totally wean your daughter talk to your OB/GYN. I know they give new mothers a pill to dry up the milk supply if they use formula.



answers from Memphis on

It sounds like you're trying to wean too quickly, or cutting out too many nursings at once. You can either let her nurse a bit more, or you should pump or hand-express to get some relief, and to make sure you don't get mastitis. You don't want to pump a *lot* of milk, because that will just encourage your body to make more; but you should pump enough to relieve discomfort.

You don't say why you want to wean your daughter, but if there is no reason other than "I don't want her to nurse after two" you may want to re-think that goal, and extend it another month or so. If you're weaning merely because of pressure to conform to societal norms, perhaps you can find other like-minded mamas who practice extended breastfeeding, so you don't feel like an odd-ball. I felt a little odd for b/f as long as I did, and my circle of friends are very pro-b/f, but I still got some "you're **still** b/f???" looks/comments. If that's the case, tell 'em to go jump! :-)



answers from Huntington on

Hi J., I can feel your pain! I breatfed 3 of my 4 children, 2 of which are twins, and drying up is the worst part! I found relief with warm towells. Get them as warm as you can stand them, without burning yourself of course, and just lay them over your breasts. A heating pad may work as well, I never tried one. I found that the hot towells eased the tight, gorged feeling. I wish you the best of luck and may God bless you.



answers from Johnson City on

Only pump enough for relief. The more you pump the more milk you make. It will get easier and easier as you go along. Hang in there. I didn't have alot of problem when I stopped breast feeding... I had more problems when I took my daughter's bottle :)



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Fayetteville on

GOOD FOR YOU for putting your baby's health first!! Wow! As for the pain, try using a warm compress. To get both breasts at one time, try dunking a bath towel in really warm water and holding it to your chest for at least 10 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Try popping some Tylenol, too.



answers from Louisville on

A friend of mine told me that she was told by the hospital nurse to put cabbage leaves on your breasts when you want to get relief. I know it sounds crazy but when I was trying to wean my son I experienced painful engourgment and this definitely did the trick. I put the leaves in my bra and went to bed. It draws the milk out slowly and gives relief.



answers from Jacksonville on

I've nursed 5 kids now and have had horrible pain from mastitis. If you have any red spots on your breasts or start to get a fever, I'd go to the doctor's right away. That milk can build up and become infected, and you can feel horrible from it. An antibiotic can help with it pretty quickly.

If it isn't mastitis, I've been told that wetting a diaper, freezing it, and then putting it on your breasts is a huge help for relieving the pain from weaning.



answers from Nashville on

Ah, the memories! I also breastfed my 2 babies (now 5 and 3) and I remember having this trouble with my first. Have you tried expressing some milk by hand or with a pump? Just enough to give you relief from the soreness and engorgement. What worked really well for me was to hand express in a warm shower. But remember you only want to express just enough for relief - not to empty your breast, because then your body will just produce more milk.

You have also gotten some great advice from others as well. I am sure you can find something that will help, if not do not hesitate to call a lactation consultant.
Hope you find some relief soon! ~ M.



answers from Raleigh on

express some milk (pump or by hand) but not the entire amount from each side. over the course of a day or two, your body will take the hint that you don't need as much milk.



answers from Lexington on

I've always heard to used cold compresses. They say a bag of frozen peas works really well. But if I were you I would take a more gradual route to weaning. I think I would remove one feeding a week until you are down to just one and then you can slowly phase that feeding out. I breastfed both of my children. My oldest did not fully wean until a few months before turning 3. For many months nursing was a comfort thing only at night. My second child weaned herself much earlier she quit asking before she turned 2. In both cases it was a gradual process. In our country, breastfeeding can be somewhat taboo especially the older the child. There is nothing wrong with nursing a two year old. Don't let anyone pressure you to feel guilty for continuing to nurse. Breastfeeding is an agreement between mother and child. As children grow they eventually get too busy to want to take time to nurse. Although, now that your child has not nursed in a few days she may have lost interest. You might also talk to your doctor if this is the case. If your breast get too swollen they can get infected and you might need to take some antibiotics.



answers from Raleigh on

Stuff some cabbage leaves in your bra (it really works) and incorporate more sage and peppermint into your diet. Also, not the advice of experts, but you can kinda dehydrate yourself by taking benedryl before bed. You really want to fix the engorgement before you suffer from clogged ducts and mastitis. (really painful)

With my son we slowly daytimed weaned starting around 17 months using don't offer, don't refuse. He was only nursing at bed and twice during the night then. (no biggie his crib was set up as a co-sleeper) I got down to once a night, then once every few nights over the next few months. This is when I dealt with engorgement. I hand expressed in the showers and one a week for the next 3 weeks I had to pump. Weaning a child doesn't mean the milk vanishes as quickly as it came. At 21 months I nursed him for the last time and I did have some milk for the next 6 months.



answers from Louisville on

buy a head of cabbage and keep it in your freezer tear off pieces and put them im your bra. I was changing mine every hour for the first few days b/c the cold felt sooo good. sounds weird i know but it really works. also get the tightest fitting bra you can it doesnt feel so swell at first but it helps very fast

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