I don't remember exactly how long..but it took me a while. I know I was back at work and still having a little bit of leakage at night....so after 8 weeks that would have been. SORRY!
If they have a red area or one area is very painful, you could have an infected milk gland and you should see a doctor.
If they are just generally tender and swollen, it may take a couple more weeks to go away. You can help this by wearing a very tight bra or binding your breasts 24 hours a day (or as close as you can stand). Do not manipulate or stimulate your breasts. Do not try to squeeze out milk to make them feel better. Don't even let the warm shower water beat down on your breasts. All these things stimulate milk production.
A tight bra or ace bandage worn constantly is the best thing. You can also put cold packs on them.
I tried all the 'wives tales' and they did not work. The only thing that can be done, that actually works but is a little painful is to bind your breast by either wearing a very tight sports bra or using an ace bandage (which is what I did). You can slowly stop the production of breast milk by compressing the breast tissue tightly and I mean tightly. It does not happen quickly but it will speed along the process. Do not stimulate your breasts and or your nipples in any way as that will continue to stimulate milk production.
Good luck, I know it can be very painful and remember, no matter how baddly they swell and hurt, you will only prolong the drying process if you pump to help the pain. If I got to a point when I was in terrible pain because my breeasts were so engorged I would barely squeeze a small amount out just to help a little.
Try cabbage leaves...put them in the fridge and then apply the cold leaves to your breasts inside your bra...they stink I know but they did the trick for me. It takes time..and is so painful, I'm not looking forward to that part again! Don't stimulate the breasts at all and wear a tight bra or wrap ace bandages around them tightly. Good luck!
Thanks, everyone! I will try these suggestions!
OMG, I feel your pain. Nothing helped my pain, mine was so bad I would cry if someone barely touched them and to put the baby on my shoulder to burp her really made me cry. i tried the ace bandage and bought a tight sports bra but it didn't help. the bra was too little, I am 42 DD so you can imagine how big they were when they was engorged, anyway the ace bandage wasn't really big enough so i just let them go. I took stuff for the pain and I think it took about 2 weeks for the pain to go away all the way. Good luck and I hope some of these ideas help you but note that they might not help.