If you didn’t already read my last post, I have decided to stop breastfeeding Luke because he is allergic to something in my breast milk. I haven’t fed Luke, or pumped, since Tuesday night……and boy oh boy are my boobs feeling it! They are currently rock hard, about as painful as I think they can get, and have been leaking milk all day.
The decision to stop breastfeeding was not my decision, but how I go about it is. I called today and spoke with an IBCLC about how to go about no longer breastfeeding and got some good pointers. Putting an abrupt stop to breastfeeding is very rarely a good idea, and certainly not recommended in most circumstances. While it may be better to slowly wean, given our circumstances and my mental state, the IBCLC thought it best to put an abrupt end to milk production.
Unfortunately, it isn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be. I am at a pretty high risk of developing an infection, which could turn into mastitis. When I pumped just enough to relieve the pressure, it brought even more milk in because I have a quick letdown. Hand expressing also brings in more milk than I can get rid of. My already engorged breasts became even more engorged each time I tried. Since I can’t remove the milk from my breasts without it bringing in more milk, there is potential for milk ducts to get clogged and become infected.
We also discussed tight compression of the breasts to decrease stimulation. Unfortunately this can go both ways. It can either 1. help stop production of breast milk and dry you up quicker, or 2. the compression can cause blocked ducts which could possibly become infected. The thought of tightly binding my chest for a few weeks does not appeal to me. They are already pretty painful and I couldn’t imagine the pressure on them.
At this point the plan we have come up with, and the plan that I am most comfortable with, is to take Tramadol when the pain becomes unbearable and just ride it out. It could take anywhere from one to a couple of weeks. I am most comfortable letting my body end milk production on its own, rather than attempt to help things along with slowly reducing pumping, compression or cabbage leaves. I don’t know why but I would rather be in pain as the milk production slows and stops than put cabbage in my bra. (Please note that I am not saying that doing so is a bad thing or anything like that, I just personally don’t feel comfortable with doing so)
The IBCLC said that the potential for infection and possible mastitis is pretty high, so I need to watch out for any signs of infection. Signs of infection would be red, swollen, hot to the touch breasts, and flu like symptoms.
I took 2 Tramadol earlier today. I’m sure feeling the effects right now (so sorry if this post doesn’t make sense), but thankfully the pain in my chest has subsided some. I don’t necessarily want to rely on pain meds to help me through this, but I will definitely take some if need be. I still can’t stand for Luke to touch my chest AT ALL, but hopefully it will be better in a few days. He doesn’t seem to want the breasts as much at night anymore, but still tries to get to them every once in awhile.
Today in the tub, I tried to squeeze just enough milk out to relieve the pressure. Luke caught the smell of my milk and tried his hardest to get the milk as it streamed out of my boob…..and even harder to get to my boob.
Hopefully this isn’t as painful tomorrow because it’s Christmas and I don’t want to hurt.