11 answers

How Do I Get My Breasts to Completely Dry Up?

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?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

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.

More Answers

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!

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.

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!


As a doula, I get this question alot ;)

Here is a great link with tips on how to decrease milk supply:


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.

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!

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.

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!


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.

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.

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.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.