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If you stop breast-feeding suddenly, your breasts may become full and sore and may leak milk. This is called breast engorgement. Many women have only mild symptoms that can be treated at home. But it can lead to more serious problems.
It's best to stop breast-feeding gradually, if you can. If you have to stop breast-feeding suddenly, you can use a breast pump to remove the milk and slowly reduce your milk supply. A lactation consultant or other breast-feeding expert can help you choose a breast pump and teach you how to use it.
To help prevent engorgement:
At present, there is no approved medicine that will reduce your milk supply and prevent engorgement.
Many women have only mild symptoms that can be treated at home. If your breasts become engorged, use one or more of the following methods:
Breast engorgement will go away as your breasts stop making milk. Pain and discomfort should go away in 1 to 5 days.
In some cases, breast engorgement may become severe, which can lead to a blocked milk duct or breast infection. For more information, see the topic Breast Engorgement.
Current as of:
June 4, 2014
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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