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how long does it take for milk to dry up?

hi ladies,

baby is 6 days old and im doing both breast and bottle.... but to be honest I think bottle feeding is the way forward for me, she so hungry all the time and although breastfeeding is gettin easier i find it so demanding and am thinking of giving up - not totally convinced yet tho...

So i just want to know how long it takes for the milk to dry up and what to expect when it is drying im guessing it will be quite painful? not sure... any advice would be great.


DB and Dixie Lola 6 days XX


  • While it is your decision, think carefully about giving up as you dont sound convinced.

    I fed for 8 weeks, and was feeding 2 babies, so my experience probably wont help, but I was up regularly for a few nights expressing at 4am as this was when I was at my fullest and I was in agony! I was fine after about a week, but I did give up gradually.

    Good Luck whatever you decide...and love the name!
  • thanks gemmiebaby your right im not totally convinced..... i just dont know what to do i cant exclusively BF as she is a right guzzle guts and it makes me too sore but i do like it when she is feeding and her little face looks up at me and she rests her hand on my boob... sometimes a bottle seeems so much easier tho esp as she lasts for longer too - 4 hrs with a bottle and 2hrs with breast....

    ooooo i dont know what to do.... dont want to decide ok im not bf and then my milk to dry up and I cant do it......

    and thanks for the compliment on her name i love it xxx

    [Modified by: designerbump on June 28, 2010 09:22 PM]

  • I agree with Gemmiebaby, please make sure you're certain about the decision I'd hate for you to regret it. If you want help/advice/support, I'm sure there are lots of people on here as well as your HV if you need them.
    With regard to milk drying up, I stopped 6 weeks ago and if (not to sound too crude!) squeeze my nipples just to see, I still have milk even now.
    I also mix fed and to be honest, don't think my LO was actually taking a whole lot from me. I gradually reduced the amount of time I BF for and then started dropping the feeds. To start with I felt nothing, no pain or swelling or leaks. But after 3 or 4 days they were pretty hard and mildly painful with leaks at night. I'm sure if you're BFing more then it may be different when you stop though.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  • hi designer bump,

    i'm bottle feeding and have done from the start. it was painful when my milk came in for a few days a hot shower and a towel soaked in hot water and placed over my boobs helped to relieve the pain. it took approx 2 1/2 weeks for my milk to dry up, they seemed to be uncomfortable/ leak when bella was upset and lying on my chest. my boobs are about the size that they where pre pregnancy now.

    nessie and Isabella 22days
  • I breast fed for 4 days, expressed for a week, stopped for 5 weeks and am now nearly back to EBF after a gruelling 3 weeks relactating because I wish I hadn't given up! I'm using a supplemental feeder now, but slowly weaning off it. My milk had not dried up after 5 weeks hence I'm nearly EBF now, so I really think it ranges from person to person.

    Be sure before you give up! If it's sore, it could be your latch needs attention.... Now I have Lucas latching well, I love it! So much easier than waiting for a bottle to warm and endless sterilising etc...

    Totally your decision, but if you can, keep it up, I wish I'd never stopped, the last 3 weeks have been hideous!


  • Hi, it will take quite a while for your milk to completely dry up, but you should only get that painful engorgement for a day or 2. Warm flannels, paracetamol and expressing a bit of will all help. And what is really gross-sounding, but works like magic, is putting a savoy cabbage leaf in you bra for 20mins. Works like magic to relieve the pain of engorgement. Put in the fridge first.

    Do be sure you want to give up first - bf'ing is hard work to begin with, but gets sooo much easier as time goes on. I read a lot of posts on here from girls who regret giving up early.

    Renri, well done on re-lactating! Good for you hun.
  • Hi there

    I'd agree with the others re it can take a while for milk to dry up completely. I'd say mine took at least 6-8 weeks when I stopped breast feeding.

    Would also say it definitely does get easier. If you're not wild about BFing how about mixed feeding? I mix fed DD for a while giving her a bottles at:

    - 9/10am (so I could get a shower while hubby fed her)
    - 12pm if we were out as didn't really want to BF in public and
    - 10pm and 12am so that I could sleep from 9pm to 2am while hubby did his shift.

    Worked well for us for a while (until she got frustrated that my boobs weren't as quick as her bottle...) but did give me the time and space to make sure I really understood how I felt about giving up BFing....


    MN and DD 19+6
  • Hi there hunni I'm a first time mum too n I was all for exclusively breastfeeding my baby but when reality hit I found I had work with the constant demand so I've compromised as didn't want to stop breast feeding all together so what I've started to do is give my little girl breast with a bottle in morning which helps her stay relaxed n not stressing throughout day for constant feeds n again at nite before bed give her both breast and bottle which now at 9weeks old it's helped her get in to a great routine of sleeping a full 8hours which makes day time feeding demands a lot more easier to handle and more enjoyable for both me and my girl hope this advice from what I've experienced being first time mum too has helped and with this I know my baby is getting best chance for healthy start as she still gets plenty of breast as I'm not so tired during day with make me want to feed muddle her so much more throughout the day. 

    Good luck and all the best in future which ever option you choose to take you know what is right for you and your baby as its called mothers instinct. And we all know mum knows best. 

    Take care hugs n dribbles from me n little miss xx 

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