For FTMs: FYI: If you're not nursing

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
For FTMs: FYI: If you're not nursing
4
Wed, 05-11-2011 - 12:46pm

The "what are you bringing to the hospital" thread made me remember this.

Bring really tight sports bras to the hospital, lik 2 sizes too small for you or they will bind you with ace bandages which don't really stay in place. Also, take advantage of their formula as long as you can, most hospitals have many varities in the pre-filled bottles. Save yourself some money :)

Also for you FTMs, some thigs they don't tell you about your boobs: they will hurt a LOT for about a week, they will be flat, uneven and completely hard, totally deformed. They say cabbage leaves in the sports bra helps but it really doesnt... you just have to deal.

wish someone had told me this stuff :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Wed, 05-11-2011 - 1:07pm
There is actually quite a bit of debate about whether a non-nursing mom's breasts should be bound at all - most research says no. The milk comes in regardless of binding (it's hormonally driven). Binding / sports bras can actually increase the chance of infection.

The milk will disappear on its own - how long it takes varies from person to person. Limiting stimulation to the breasts will decrease the amount of time it takes to get the milk to go away (while it's initially hormonally driven, milk supply is ultimately based on supply / demand - if you don't stimulate the nipples, the breasts see this as no demand and reduce the amount of milk made until it is gone).

I'm sorry you didn't find any relief from cold cabbage leaves in your bra ... many women DO find relief from the cabbage (even nursing moms find cabbage leaves helpful for dealing with discomfort from engorgement). They should be changed frequently - as they begin to wilt, apply new ones. This is a PAIN RELIEF measure - not sure that it's designed to actually dry up your milk.

If you're willing to go an herbal route, sage actually is good for drying milk.

But if you want a more medicinal approach, you have two options:

1) sudafed (the original formula) - will dry up milk.

2) if you plan to go on birth control following the birth, you can actually request a depo shot, which I've heard can stop milk from coming in.

Here's some reading on drying milk for anyone planning to formula feed from the beginning:
http://www.lactationconsultant.info/dryup.html

Good luck guys!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
Wed, 05-11-2011 - 4:04pm
I never had an infection and I was told if I didn't use the binding my milk would not go away for a long time and the engorgement would be a lot worse
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2007
Wed, 05-11-2011 - 4:24pm
Sorry, gotta agree with tlg-b :) I've done many, many hours of research on lactation... I'm working on my MSN in women's health education and lactation counseling, so honestly, I've read everything I can get my hands on pertaining to current research and women's health topics. Many healthcare professionals have opinions on breastfeeding, weaning, and drying up milk. Unless they have done training by a reputable company, I would get the second opinion of someone who has, like a board certified lactation consultant :) They spend years and years studying lactation and offer the best research based evidence and interventions to help us :) Please use their expertise no matter how you are planning on feeding your baby. If you want to check out an awesome website- check out www.kellymom.com. She offers easy to understand advice on both breastfeeding & drying up the milk. I also have "liked" Kelly Mom and the ILBLC on facebook and they post current and new research on breastfeeding all the time for anyone interested in more information. But you are right- regardless if you breastfeed or not, you will still make milk. It changes your breast composition when the milk comes in. Our bodies are made to produce milk, just like we are made to eat and pee :) There isn't much we can do about it besides wait it out. Warm & cold compresses can also help, along with motrin. The thing I found to relieve pain the most in the first weeks was to hand express the extra milk I had first thing in the morning with a hot shower :)
~Andrea~ IMG_1563
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Wed, 05-11-2011 - 4:32pm
I really don't have a lot of personal experience with this since my path is almost the exact opposite of not nursing (I actually have nursed both my kids past their 3rd birthday via child-led weaning). And I've lucky to not ever really deal with engorgement - I nurse frequently in the early days which helps baby grow and reduces chance of engorgement (and since I typically don't receive IV fluids in labor or after - which is actually one of the big causes of engorgement). So I can't personally vouch for the cabbage - as I've never tried it. Only heard from friends about it's amazing powers.

I only know that I've read / been told by lactation consultants that newer research shows this recommendation to be fairly outdated and possibly very ill-advised. I am a nursing mom, and I happen to produce above average amounts of milk. I didn't develop any infections with baby #1, but having had mastitis with baby #2, I can tell you how absolutely miserable it is (you feel like you have the flu - without the coughing - essentially like you've been run over by a truck).

I do know that I've read a good supportive bra is helpful - and a sports bra - not one too tight but still tighter than a normal bra - is preferred to binding.

I would just really hate for anyone to get mastitis. It is easily resolved with antibiotics (whether you're nursing or not). But it is miserable and who wants to feel so sick when you have a teeny, tiny baby at home to take care of?!

I don't really have any more advice on the subject? But the hospital lactation consultants are typically good for answering these kinds of questions as well - they're just generally more knowledgable on breast health than most docs / nurses because of their extensive training. Most people only call them when they're having nursing problems, but they can also help a non-nursing mom figure out the best way to remain comfortable until her body realizes she won't be needing any of that milk it is making.

Again, good luck!