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I had to stop breastfeeding cold turkey 6 days ago. I am still EXTREMELY engorged, is this normal?

For personal reasons I had to stop breasfeeding cold turkey last tuesday. Monday night was our last feeding and the engorgement started tuesday night. My son is twelve months old and was still nursing very frequently. It has been 6 days and I'm still SOOOO engorged. Is this normal? I mean they are like huge, soar to touch and extremely firm. I worry about getting clogged ducts or an infection.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:09 PM on Mar. 22, 2009 in Health

Answers (11)
  • Try cold cabbage leaves if you haven't already. Make sure you change them often. I used them with my last one and it worked and felt ohhh so good.


    Answer by Christine0813 at 8:14 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I went through the same thing. To relieve the engorgement I pumped just enough to feel better. I had to do it maybe three times. It's been almost 2 weeks and I still produce a little milk but nothing that doesn't go away on it's own. it can take weeks for your milk to completely dry up. Try pumping just a little. If you don't have a pump, take a warm shower and hand express.

    Answer by VBeachMommy at 8:18 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Yep...I was going to advise the cold cabbage leaves too. It does work. Change them every few hours. Try not to express it will prolong the problem. Motrin for discomfort if needed.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:18 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Want to add what GrnEyed said...

    Don't pump or have your breast under warm water too long. It will just make you produce more and that's why it will take longer for you to "dry" up. I used the cabbage leaves and was not producing anymore after three days.


    Answer by Christine0813 at 8:21 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • It should start to improve soon. Hang in there. You probably won't have any problems. You body just has to be convinced that you are finished breastfeeding.

    Answer by Marwill at 8:23 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Okay, so everyone says cabbage leaves. I will admit I never tried that one. But pumping a little after a warm shower helped relieve the pain and engorgement for me. It might take longer that way but I wasn't in any pain.

    Answer by VBeachMommy at 8:26 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • I agree with pumping just a little. I tried the cabbage leaves and to just let them dry up and I was starting to get hard lumps. My lactation consultant told me to just pump a little so I didn't get an infection. It took a little longer, but it worked. Less pain and no infection.

    Answer by mazonmom at 8:34 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Yes, it's normal to be this engorged. It's why cold turkey is a really bad idea.

    I know you don't want ot get into your reasons...but let me just say that a lot of moms think they MUST wean suddenly for X,Y or Z reason...and they've been misled.

    If you're about to have chemotherapy or radiation treatments or thoracic surgery, you MUST wean. Certain meds...and very few of must wean. Pregnant and at risk for preterm must wean.

    Pretty much everything else becomes mom's choice.

    If you want to discuss it further, in private, feel free to message me....I'm one of the admins on the Breastfeeding Moms group and have seen literally hundreds of moms get misled about why they need to wean.

    Also, the Resources Forum on the Breastfeeding Moms group has a sticky on weaning that can help you with this process if you want to continue it.

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:12 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Totally normal. It gets better over time.

    Answer by Alize26 at 10:00 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Use cold and wear a really tight bra. Dont let them loose and avoid warm and stimulation. Tell your hubby they are off limits for about 2 weeks and after showers put a cold pack on them. Should take about 2-3 weeks. You will still need boobie pads but most of it will reabsorb into your body. Good luck!

    Answer by LovinEveryDay at 10:07 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

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