Q: Hi can you give me advice please? I breastfed my daughter for 3 and a half years I recently stopped feeding her about 2 months ago. I still have some milk in my right boob but my left does not have milk but it feels as if it’s a blocked milk duct. Is this normal or should I be worried?
A: Breastfeeding is really an intimate activity for mum and baby and it is not strange to find both of them feeling some sense of loss as this ‘bonding’ activity comes to an end…even when it’s mummy suggesting the change 😀 And for three years?! You deserve an award! :O It is even more important for you to find time to still bond with baby like frequent cuddles, keeping baby close to you, frequent eye contact etc. Generally re-assure your baby that the fact that this activity is coming to an end does not mean you love her any less. For those who are contemplating this, be sure not to introduce this when your baby is going through any major changes like moving house etc. That might convince baby you’ve moved on to other stuff J
Then get to it! 😀 I’m not sure how you did yours, but I’ll tell the newbies how. You can stop gradually over a period of time. Replace some feeds during the day with other foods or even milk (just not from you). Usually the first and last feeds of the day are the most difficult to replace or give up as they are your baby’s sorta emotional anchors 😀 But keep at it over a period of weeks and the breast milk production will gradually ‘dry up’.
The other option is to just stop putting baby to the breast. If your baby feels it’s also a good idea to stop, then you’re good. If not, you may have to be very creative with means and ways of distracting him/her.
In both situations, you may find your breasts engorged, as in this case. If you’re stopping gradually, you may want to express some milk (don’t express until the breast feels empty) and store in the fridge. You could put that in a sippy cup and feed baby later.
If you’re stopping immediately or in your case since this has been over two months, get the right support for your breasts.
In the good old days, mothers would tell their daughters to tie a wrapper tightly across their breasts. This helps. In fact, I believe that this is still being done by lots of people 😀
If you’re more jet age, though wear a tight supportive bra. For the pain, take analgesics and also apply cold packs to your breasts.
Try not to stimulate the nipples during this period. Stimulation of the nipples can occur during sexual foreplay or even pressing the nipple by people who are curious/worried about a nipple discharge or friction between fabric and nipple. This encourages milk production. Hubby should kindly take note.
All the best as you move to a new phase of parenting!
Have a great day y’all 😀