Engorgement, pain, and discomfort. Three words I’ve heard and experienced when chatting with mommas about weaning. It was actually shocking to find out how much milk my body was producing while weaning my first daughter. Over a year old, I didn’t think she was drinking much as my breasts never felt very full. But the day she cut a few feedings out, ouch! I felt stretched to the max and on the verge of tears.
For one reason or another, nursing moms eventually wean their babies/toddlers. Sometimes it is expected or maybe even scheduled. Other times, weaning can happen unexpected and suddenly. I have experienced both and would love to share three tips that helped me through this transition.
- Run to the shower when you have a few minutes and let some warm to hot water run on your breasts. I noticed almost immediate relief when doing this. The other benefit to the warm water, for me, allowed a small amount of breastmilk to leak out alleviating some of the pressure.
- Don’t be afraid to pump or hand express. I had read and been told that pumping will make it take longer to dry up and the best thing to do is “tough it out.” Well, I wimped out and pumped after spending a whole miserable day with engorged painful breasts. It was the most amazing feeling to be pain free again! I only pumped enough to alleviate the pressure. If it were up to me, I would tack on an extra week of pumping if it meant I would be pain-free. Just make sure you are not pumping until your breasts are empty as that will signal your body to continue producing more milk.
- Wear a supportive bra. When your breasts are fuller than they’ve ever been, your body can use some extra support. A good bra can help your back from feeling the added weight. Sometimes it can simply just be uncomfortable trying to go about your day or complete your exercise routine. Trust me, I learned the hard way!
Nursing is beautiful through each and every transition. This stage of the breastfeeding cycle shouldn’t be painful and unbearable. You are still a momma and your kiddo needs you in top condition and feeling good! We all know they need us. The next adventure is right around the corner, literally!
Welcome to Mom Monday, I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m Emily and currently chasing after a rambunctious 2-year-old, Elsy, and a sweet spirited 6-month-old, Avenly. Hopefully the information shared here will help fill you with as much joy on your nursing journey as I have received in mine.