Weaning your child off breast milk means feeding him from the breast less often. However, you body continues to produce as much milk as it did before you began weaning. This excess milk production causes engorged breasts, which can be extremely painful. You can relieve engorged breasts from weaning in a number of different ways that will also provide relief from pain and tenderness.
Things you need
- Cold compress
- Breast pump
- Sports bra
- Sage tea
- Nursing pads
Begin weaning gradually. When you first begin weaning, replace one or two breast feedings per week with a bottle. This allows your body to slowly reduce milk production and also helps to prevent your breasts from becoming too painfully engorged.
Continue to increase bottle feeds. Week by week replace an additional one or two breast feedings with a bottle. This causes your milk production to reduce even further, resulting in fewer instances of painful engorgement.
Apply cold compresses. The coolness of the compresses helps to reduce swelling of engorgement in the breast. Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool them down, then place the compresses on the breasts for 10 to 15 minutes immediately after feeding.
Put on a sports bra. Sports bras offer more support than regular bras and nursing bras. This added support helps reduce pain and tenderness caused by engorgement.
Drink 240 ml (8 fl oz) of sage tea two to three times a day. Sage contains phytoestrogen, a natural form of oestrogen that helps to reduce your body's milk supply.
Tips and warnings
- Always store your cold compresses in the fridge. This way, they are ready to use when needed.
- Always use nursing pads. Your breasts continue to leak milk during weaning. After putting on a sports bra, place nursing pads over the nipples to absorb any leaking breast milk.
- Never ignore a fever. If you have engorged breasts coupled with a fever of over 38.3 degrees C (101F), this may be an indication of an infection, and you need to seek medical attention.
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