How Do I Get My Breasts to Completely Dry Up?

Updated on April 25, 2007
D.S. asks from Chandler, AZ
11 answers

I have finally given up on breast feeding after 6 months. I was hoping to go for a year but my milk production has been steadily tapering off and the last couple weeks I have gotten less than two ounces a day total when pumping. I stopped pumping completely two days ago, but can feel my breasts still filling up. How am I supposed to get rid of the milk that is left without encouraging more production by pumping?

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J.H.

answers from Phoenix on

What I did was only pumped a little to stop engorgement. It took a week to not feel full anymore, but 3 weeks to loose all traces of milk.

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K.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear D.,
the first thing that came to mind was ice packs! Believe it or not my obgyn suggested it when i started to dry up. She actually gave me a special designed ice pack..but a bag of frozen peas is also perfect. Just lay on your back at nap or night and place the cold pack on them and try not to stimulate your breasts in any way: i.e. Keep them away from shower water, dont let shirt rub them, dont let husband play w/ them etc. I hope this helps.
-K.

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M.W.

answers from Phoenix on

When i was breast feeding or lets say trying to. I got one of those horable infections about 3 weeks in.The Dr said i needed to stop and let them dry up. Now these are some crazy things to do, but this is coming from the doctor: She said i could try cabbage leaves on my breasts. You put a whole leaf inside your bra on each breast and something in it draws the milk out and helps soothe and dry them out.I know its crazy but it worked. i did it with both my kids and it was the fastest way. The other thing is to wrap your breast tightly(but not too tightly)with and ace bandage and ice them so the swelling of the milk glands will go down . This way takes longer, but if already arent getting much out it may work for you.

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C.A.

answers from Tucson on

I wore a very tight sports bra day and night. Also ace bandages wound around your chest can help. I didnt breastfeed my daughter but became engorged after the milk came in. If nothing else helps talk to your docter. There are things that can be given to help it.

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S.

answers from Phoenix on

I have heard that putting Cabbage in your bra works but is very smelly and gross. What I did with both of my kids is this:

1) empty yourself out completely (pump or breastfeed one last time)
2) once empty, wrap two ace bangages around your breasts as tightly as possible. You are binging yourself.
3) Keep yourself wrapped up as tightly as possible for 2.5 days. Keep the bandages on day and night for that time and you should not have any pain and the milk will be gone.

My sister in-law used this method and I Just told a friend the same method. It worked great for all of us. Good luck!

Steph

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J.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

IF you pump you will encourage more production, however when you're wanting to dry up and you get engorged, to avoid mastitis you're gonna have to releave a little pressure. Try pumping only half as long as you normally would, this will provide a little releaf, but not encourage as much production. Another thing that might be helpful is to buy a large ace bandage and have someone wrap it around your breasts, besure to hold some nursing pads in place b/c you will leak. If you can keep yourself wraped for a couple days you should be on your way to all dried up. If you try to express milk even weeks from now you'll probably get a little out, because it takes a long time to fully dry up.

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D.H.

answers from Phoenix on

When I had my second child, I did not want to breast feed - the hospital told me to use (I swear I'm not making this up) cabbage leaves! I was told to wear a snug fitting sports bra and stuff it with cabbage leaves - there is an enzyme in them that dries up your milk. Now, it took a couple of days and I did become a little engorged, but it worked like a charm!

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J.H.

answers from Phoenix on

What I did was only pumped a little to stop engorgement. It took a week to not feel full anymore, but 3 weeks to loose all traces of milk.

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S.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi! Nursing is all about supply and demand, When your son was first born, he was supposed to nurse about every 2 hours (both to eat, and to help you gain a supply). Then as he grew, your body adjusted to "feed" his needs. When he nursed more, less, and so on. So, now that you are done, your body is just trying to figure out whats up, and they will dry out on their own. I have also heard that consuming cabbage, and putting cabbage leaves in your bra to help with soreness, and to make the milk go away. There is a chemical in the cabbage that does it. I hope I was able to help! Best wishes!

~S.

G.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi D.,
Stop the pumping, and stop the breast feeding all together and eventually your milk ducks will dry up. For each woman, the time it takes for this to happen will vary. You can talk with your doctor and may be he/she can advise you also on other methods to try. Best wishes,G.

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A.M.

answers from Albuquerque on

I had to stop nursing due to a really bad infection I developed. What I did is I would gradually decrease the amount of pumping time everyday. I did that over about 4-5 days and before you know it I was dried up. It wasn't painful AT ALL! It is much better than stopping "cold turkey"..lol. Good luck and I hope it works!

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