Breast Relief When You Suddenly Wean

Sudden weaning involves quickly stopping breastfeeding. It can cause various symptoms whether or not the mother does it on purpose. Breast relief should include managing engorgement.


About 80% of US mothers start breastfeeding at birth. When breastfeeding stops suddenly it’s known as “sudden weaning.” Sometimes the mother does this intentionally and other times it’s due to biological changes. What steps can effectively with breast relief when you suddenly wean? If you stop breastfeeding for whatever reason it’s important to deal with it effectively to minimize unwanted symptoms.

There are various possible results you can experience after sudden weaning. They include ones like pain, leaking, and “milk flu.” These can be difficult symptoms to deal with due to breastfeeding stopping suddenly. These are all symptoms you might experience due to engorgement. If you stop breastfeeding this can result in various issues related to milk buildup in the breasts. It’s important to know how to deal with this situation to help minimize health issues. In fact, besides the physical effects of breastfeeding stopping suddenly it could also cause mental/emotional effects like depression. These can also be tough to deal with.

What Exactly Is Sudden Weaning?

This is the process of quickly ending breastfeeding and is also known as “abrupt weaning.” There are various reasons why this happens. Sometimes there’s a medical emergency that requires the end of breastfeeding. In other cases, there’s an unexpected situation.  

Another cause is that the mother wants to stop breastfeeding based on a particular date. For example, this could be when the infant is 6 months or one year old, for example. Health experts often recommend that only breastfeeding be done until the baby is 6 months old.

It might be surprised how many ways this situation can affect the mother and baby. The main factor is how quickly the breastfeeding is stopped. When it happens suddenly it will likely make it tougher to deal with the physical/emotional changes that will happen. It not only can make the situation tougher but also more painful.

“Gradual weaning” is the opposite of sudden weaning. Then the process happens slowly there’s a gradual transition to other nutrition sources like baby food. Many health experts suggest gradual weaning when it’s possible.

The main reason is gradual reasoning is easier on the mother and baby. For example, you might avoid certain issues that happen from sudden weaning. Another main benefit of gradual weaning is it’s easier for the baby. That’s because they’ll have more time to get used to not consuming mother’s milk.

There are various reasons why women pick sudden weaning. Situations like medical emergencies require this. Meanwhile, in other cases, it’s possible to avoid sudden weaning. In this situation, you’re able to wean but don’t wish you should talk to an expert. They can help provide other options if they’re available.  

It’s important to note that weaning has various effects on mothers. They include physical/emotional/hormonal. When weaning gradually there’s more control of the situation. This lets you prepare/adjust to changes as time passes.

Breast Relief When Weaning Suddenly  

There are various changes a woman can experience when she experiences sudden weaning. One of the main ones is breast engorgement. This involves an over-supply of breast milk, which can cause swollen/painful breasts.

There are various symptoms a nursing mother may experience. They include infection, breast growth, and blocked milk ducts. These are all major issues that can affect breasts and breastfeeding.

The mother might also experience something called “milk fever.” This is a flu-like condition that causes various symptoms like chills, fever, and weak muscles. Typically this just lasts a couple of days.

It’s also possible for the breasts to keep making/leaking breast milk. The breasts might not dry up totally until several months later. After breastfeeding ends and the hormones are balanced this will cause the period/fertility to return. This change causes a bigger chance that you’ll get pregnant again.

Depression is another common cause of sudden weaning. This is especially true if it’s an event that isn’t planned. It can cause various emotions like sadness, guilt, and anger. This might even be the case if the mother was actually waiting to stop breastfeeding.

It can be depressing if the situation happens suddenly. This might be more serious for women who experienced depression in the past. In that situation, it can be even tougher to deal with sudden weaning.

There are various ways to deal with sudden weaning:

  • Use breast pads when necessary
  • Remove some breast milk to boost comfort
  • Add a cold compress to the breasts
  • Get support from friends and family
  • Talk to your doctor if you’ve had depression before
  • Reduce milk with parsley, peppermint, and safe
  • Use a breast pump
  • Wear a supportive bra that’s not tight
  • Deal with the pain using effective pain relievers

It’s important to note that your baby might also be affected by sudden weaning. That’s because the baby stops getting comfort/security from breastfeeding.

Common Reasons to Stop Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding problems

Sometimes the problems are related more to the baby than the mother. In some cases, the little one has problems with breastfeeding for whatever reason. If that happens then it might be more practical to go with options like milk formula. In terms of nutrition, it’s not the best option since mother’s milk is the best option. However, there are various milk formulas on the market that have a similar nutritional value.

Milk production

One of the main reasons women decide to stop breastfeeding is simply low milk production. There are actually several causes for this happening. What’s most important is to keep in mind that if you take steps that don’t boost milk production you should consider other options like milk formula. 

The main issue is that your baby needs to get all the nutrients he/she needs. If you can’t produce enough milk then it’s important to consider other options. The main goal should be to provide your baby with the best nutrition possible.

Baby stops breastfeeding

This could result from a wide range of issues. What’s most critical is that the baby doesn’t like breast milk for whatever reason. It could be linked to the taste and other matters. In this case, it’s a good idea to consider other options like baby formula.

There are several products on the market that are quite close to mother’s milk in terms of nutrition. So it’s mostly a matter of finding the best options.

Nipple issues

Sometimes women have issues like sore nipples. This can make it very difficult to breastfeed. There are various causes for these symptoms when breastfeeding. However, it’s uncomfortable/painful to do breastfeeding because of this situation then you should certainly think about stopping as a means of breast relief.

Breast Relief When You Suddenly Wean

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