23 answers

Dry up Milk Supply

I have stopped breastfeeding and I am wondering the best way to dry up my milk supply. I am VERY engorged and it is painful. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Please don't leave a reply if you are criticizing my decision to stop nursing. Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I quit by cutting out 1 feeling at a time, but you're right, it can be very painful. I put ice packs on at night and it was gone in a couple of days.

I know that a lot of people recommend sudafed to dry up milk. It has to be pseudoephedrine (I think thats what its called) not phenylephrine.

More Answers

My first of 5 children I stopped nursing cold turkey and became ingorged, later learning we shouldn't do it that way.
With the others I cut back on the number of feedings and did it slowly over a few weeks. If you some reason you do not want to nurse at all, I would manually express milk as if weaning, and gradually the supply will cut back as the supply and demand response kicks in.

I stopped cold turkey with my daughter and it hurt sooo bad! I looked like my boobs were deformed they were so huge. It took about 4 days of being morbidly engorged before I even started to dry up. I would express some milk in the shower and took tylenol for the pain, I also used the cabbage leaves and they did help.

I stopped gradually with my son and there was no pain or engorgement. If you have time and patience and want to pump to relieve the pain, you could just pump enough to relieve the engorgement,(and feed your child this) just dont not pump till you are empty. Pump for a week or so, start with 4 times per day, then gradually decrease a pumping session and it should slow the production so you are not engorged.

Good luck and good job nursing for any period of time.

Check with a lactation consultant. Mine told me that a tincture of sage is often used to dry up milk. I don't know how to make a tincture, but I imagine making something yummy with lots of sage in it might do the trick! Good luck!

Decongestants help! And the cabbage leaves really do work!

Wean off breastfeeding...you gotta train your breasts to stop producing and to slow down then you won't have so many issues with engorgement.

I stopped pumping 6mos. ago and I can still get milk out if needed, I don't leak or anything but it's still there it takes along time to be completely dried up.

You got great advice. I will just add that I haven't breastfed in 12 months, and I still produce milk. I'm not engorged, I don't leak, but when I go to manually express, some milk squirts out. (I check every month or so, just out of curiousity.)

I asked my Nurse Practitioner about this, and she said it is completely normal. It means that I am fertile and my body is ready to have another baby (even if I'm not--LOL). At my annual exam, we did check my thyroid and prolactin levels just to be safe--if they are off, it can cause milk production.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention this so you aren't freaked out or frustrated if you still have milk for months and months.

And I'll add GREAT JOB on breastfeeding at all! Pat yourself on the back--any breastmilk is great for your baby.

I stopped gradually with the help of pumping. For about 2 days I pumped every 4 hrs, next 2 days every 6 hrs, next 2 days in the morning and evening and next 2 days just in the mornings. It really worked great - no pain, no discomfort.
Hope that helps.

You can put fresh cabbage leaves on your breasts. I also heard that it helps to eat cabbage. Sage is supposed to help dry up breast milk. Many other herbs/spices are known to have drying effects: peppermint, oregano, thyme, etc. Hope that helps.

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