There comes a time after having a baby, either from circumstances you cant control or baby is just getting older, that you will have to stop breastfeeding. If the though has crossed your mind or you have discussed it with other mothers the topic of pain and discomfort always creeps in.
If you have recently stopped breastfeeding without pain, you are one of the fortunate few. Pain and discomfort does not happen for all mothers, but a relatively large amount of mothers weaning their babies will suffer from some form of pain or discomfort. If you are looking at how to stop breastfeeding without pain you might be saddened to know there is no magic cure, but there are a number of ways to limit the pain of weaning.
One of the most common conditions related to weaning is engorgement. This is natural, your body has been frantically producing mill for little one and all of a sudden he is not using it up. The milk has no place to go and pressure builds up. For many weaning mothers the use of cabbage leaves placed wither on the breasts when undressed or inside the bra has helped a great deal. It is not known why it works but from all the remedies cabbage leaves is the most popular.
Another condition that is encountered often by weaning mums in Mastitis. The main different between Mastitis and engorgement is the severity. What might start as a slight discomfort may grow into severely painful Mastitis. If this is the case, medical treatment may be required. A trip to your family doctor for advice and possibly medication such as oral antibiotics will be prescribed.
There are fortunately a few things you can do to avoid Mastitis. Many suffering mothers have found a cold compress helps greatly. This not only soothes the pain for immediate relief, but also reduces swelling which is the actual cause of the discomfort. A cold compress is something that can easily be applied at home, and if you do not have a cold compress a cold damp towel works wonders too.
A more direct immediate approach to engorgement or Mastitis could be pumping. Reducing the amount of milk inside the breast definitely will reduce the pain once you have stopped breastfeeding, although it is counter productive as this will trigger your body to create more milk (the let down reflex is triggered). This should obviously be avoided as far as possible.
If you have any other advice on how to stop breastfeeding without pain please leave a comment below as other weaning mums may find your take on the situation helpful.