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Some moms experience breast pain even after they stop nursing. As sudden weaning leads to problems like plugged ducts, engorgement, and mastitis, we recommend that you go for gradual weaning. But first, let’s look at some common reasons moms stop breastfeeding.
Common Reasons for Stopping Breastfeeding
Some reasons which make moms give up breastfeeding are:
1. Sore or Painful Breasts
First-timers find breastfeeding uncomfortable, and as a result, suffer from cracked nipples and painful breasts. This pain makes them stop breastfeeding.
2. Not Enough Milk
Some mothers worry that the milk they’re producing isn’t enough for their baby’s needs. So, they put their babies on formula milk.
New moms who wish to rejoin work immediately after childbirth may have no option than to stop breastfeeding. Expressing milk at work or before leaving home may not always be possible.
4. Grown-up Baby
Breast milk is a baby’s only source of nutrition for the first six months. When their babies reach this milestone, moms may want to introduce them to solid foods.
What Causes Breast Pain After You Stop Nursing?
A breastfeeding mom’s body continues to formulate milk until a few weeks after stopping nursing. Breastfeeding moms who produce more milk or pump often may keep on making milk even after weaning. This milk results in plugged ducts. Plugged ducts further lead to a painful condition called mastitis wherein the breasts become inflamed. Abrupt weaning can make the breasts engorged and trigger pain in them.
Symptoms That Accompany Breast Pain After Weaning
The symptoms you may experience along with breast pain are:
- Pain in the areolas
- Recurring pain in either or both the breasts
- Acute pain in the initial days of weaning, which slowly lessens with time
- Enlarged, lumpy or hard breasts
- Heaviness or tightness in the breasts
- Flu-like symptoms which include shivers and chills, fatigue, high fever, anxiety, and a feeling of malaise
- Red nipples
- Milk leaking from the nipples due to friction
- If breast pain is due to mastitis, the affected breast may feel hot, swollen, and hard accompanied by a burning sensation.
For How Long Does Breast Pain Last After Discontinuing Breastfeeding?
Breast pain can last for several days or weeks. Most women experience severe pain during the initial days of weaning. Breast pain should reduce or disappear with time. However, if the pain in the breasts doesn’t decrease even after many days, seek help from a gynaecologist or lactation expert.
Remedies for Breast Pain After Stopping Breastfeeding
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you’d like to know how to relieve breast pain after stopping breastfeeding. Here are some useful home remedies:
1. Take a Warm Bath
Taking a warm shower or soaking yourself in a tub of warm water can make the breast tissues supple, easing the flow of accumulated milk from them. A hot compress can also give relief from pain.
2. Use a Breast Pump
You can also use a breast pump if your breasts feel too full.
3. Massage Your Breasts
If you don’t want to use a breast pump, lightly press your breasts to release the milk. You can ask your gynaecologist or lactation expert for the right method to do this. This can give you some respite from breast pain. You can also massage your breast gently while taking a warm shower.
4. Apply a Cold Pack
Applying ice packs to the breasts reduces the swelling and pain.
5. Increase Your Fluid Intake
Drink water and increase your intake of fluids to prevent dehydration and fever.
6. Try OTC Medication
You can go for painkillers like acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce the pain and swelling in your breasts. However, consult your doctor before taking any medication.
7. Drink Sage Tea
You can also get relief by drinking sage tea twice a day.
8. Place Cabbage Leaves Over Your Breasts
Placing fresh and cold cabbage leaves over your breasts is a useful remedy for breast pain. Make sure you replace the leaves when they wilt.
9. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Eat a balanced diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Consume prenatal vitamins to help your body adjust to the new routine.
10. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is when the body heals itself. So, don’t compromise on a good night’s sleep.
11. Connect With Other Moms
If you’re experiencing problems that you can’t share with family members, try seeking the help of other moms who’ve been through this phase.
Tips To Stop Breastfeeding Without Pain
These tips will help you stop breastfeeding without pain:
- Reduce the number of breastfeeding sessions per day slowly.
- Pump out the milk from your breasts until the discomfort reduces. Forcing out all the milk in one go may increase the milk production instead of reducing it.
- A tight bra can plug the milk ducts and cause swollen breasts. Opt for a nursing bra that provides adequate support and comfort.
- You can also reduce milk production with tablets. Consult your doctor regarding this.
Stopping breastfeeding is a psychological and physical challenge for both the mother and the baby. Be patient while trying to wean your child as it takes time and considerable efforts by both. Your baby may have a lot of trouble adjusting to the new foods and may still demand breast milk. Take it slow and give your body the time it needs to cope with the changes.
Also Read: Ways to Stop Breastmilk Production