Weaning and how it affects your breasts
Weaning from breastfeeding can take quite a toll on your breasts. Learn how to ease some of the discomfort you may experience while weaning
Weaning and your breasts

The most common problems that occur during weaning are engorgement and leaking.


To ease the discomfort that comes with over-full breasts, make sure you always wear a supportive bra while you wean (even at night).

Although you don't want to express your breast milk as it encourages more milk production. If you are unbearably engorged, pump a little milk out just to relieve the pressure. 

Apply cold packs or cabbage leaves to your breasts and maybe even try taking some paracetamol if you get too uncomfortable.

Check your breasts for lumps – if you find any, try to massage them away. If you find tenderness, redness or heat under the skin, you may be developing mastitis which you should have checked out by your GP. There is also medication available to dry milk up but it does have side effects.


You will need to wear breast pads while you wean as leaking is very common. Once your breasts are less engorged the leaking will stop.

After weaning

It is likely that your breasts will not return to their pre-baby shape and position, but they've been doing some hard work so cut them some slack.Your breasts may still contain some milk, even though they feel soft and empty, and they may do so for months after weaning.



This article was written by Ella Walsh and adapted for Kidspot, New Zealand's favourite parenting resource for Early Life Nutrition.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breast milk. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health care professional for advice about feeding your baby. This post is part of the Early Life Nutrition story.
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