17 answers

Stopping to Breastfeed and Cabbage Leaves

It has come time to stop breastfeeding. I have heard that putting cabbage leaves against the breast will make this process go more smoothly and quickly. I read something about leaving the leaf in my bra for 20-30mins. If this is correct would this be every hour or several times a day or should I just leave a leaf in my bra at all times for several day? Does anyone know on average how many days I would do this?

What can I do next?

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I you are going to use the cabbage leaves, out them in the freeze and apply for the whole day. Do not take them off and change them. I made the mistake with my first daughter by changing them every 45 minutes and I became so ingorged that I almost got an infection. Leave them on for 24-48 hrs without removing them. I will tell you another thing that works... take an ace bandage and wrap as tight as possible. Put a smaller sports bra on over top and leave like that for 48hrs. After 48hrs you will be fine. Good luck!

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I you are going to use the cabbage leaves, out them in the freeze and apply for the whole day. Do not take them off and change them. I made the mistake with my first daughter by changing them every 45 minutes and I became so ingorged that I almost got an infection. Leave them on for 24-48 hrs without removing them. I will tell you another thing that works... take an ace bandage and wrap as tight as possible. Put a smaller sports bra on over top and leave like that for 48hrs. After 48hrs you will be fine. Good luck!

when i stopped breast feeding i used the cabbage leaves, but only for a day or two at most. I found the leaves to get hot and uncomfortable really quick. I stored the leaves in the fridge; they would last maybe 30 min once i put them on and then i would throw the leaves away. My breasts also werent too tender after the first day or two anyway. hope this helps you some. good luck

G.,

I had to use cabbage leaves after I found out I could not breastfeed anymore. This is the process I took and it worked.
Wash head of cabbage, peel off the leaves (keeping whole as possible) they should cup over the breast. Bruise the inside of the leaves with a dull knife in order to get the inside of the leave open. (This will pull out the milk from your breast) Keep the leaves cold in the refrigerator. Place enough leaves to cover the breast. I used saran wrap as a barrier to put on top of the leaves to keep them from ruining my bra. Change them every 1-2 hours (during the night try at least to change after 4-5 hours) and keep that up for at least 36 - 48 hours. It took mine three days before I was completely dried up. I had to send my husband to the store several times because one head of cabbage doesn't last. I think we went thru at least 5 or 6 heads.
It did work though and I wasn't uncomfortable. Smelled like slaw for a few days (HA!) but it was worth it.

Good luck!

Actually you want to get to one feeding a day, then when you are ready, nurse one last time, empty both breasts, and PUT A TIGHT SPORTS BRA ON FOR 2 WEEKS. NO BREAST STIMULATION for 2 weeks and all should be fine. The cabbage leaves are for if you get engorged.

If you wean gradually (cut out one feeding at a time, waiting several days to a week to cut out another feeding), you shouldn't have much problem with engorgement.

You don't mention why "it is time" to stop breastfeeding, so I'm not going to get into your business, but just say that there is nothing wrong with continuing to nurse your baby as long as he wants. I stopped nursing my younger son at 22 months, and know several women who have nursed longer than that. Many women are made to feel "weird" for nursing longer than a few months or a year at most. If you need more support in continuing to breastfeed, your local La Leche League can provide that.

For anyone now seeing this thread, do NOT bind breasts with bandages or a very tight bra. This can cause blocked ducts, mastitis, and abscess. A supportive bra will help with comfort (those guys can get heavy and sore) and if you use cabbage leaves, apply them cold and leave them on until they wilt, then replace every two hours or so.

When I was done breastfeeding my 4-year-old, I just put the cabbage leaves in my bra and walked around the house that way for a few days. The darker green leaves are the best, according to my OB doctor. It only took about 3-4 days before I didn't have anymore milk, and I nursed her until she was 18 months old. It was easy, I just didn't like the feeling of the leaves against my skin. Looking back, it was not bad at all, just felt wierd to me. Hope this helps, and good luck!

I remember joking about making lots of coleslaw. ;-)

This is from the LLL site:
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/engorgement.html

* Cabbage Compresses

A popular home remedy for relieving the discomfort of engorgement is cabbage leaf compresses. Rinse the inner leaves of a head of cabbage, remove the hard vein, and crush with a rolling pin (or similar). They can be used refrigerated or at room temperature. Drape leaves directly over breasts, inside the bra. Change when the leaves become wilted, or every two hours. Discontinue use if rash or other signs of allergy occur. There have been anecdotal reports that overuse of cabbage compresses can reduce milk production, therefore some experts suggest mothers discontinue the compresses when the swelling goes down.
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If you follow that logic, continuing to use the cabbage leaves after the swelling goes down should lead to the drying up of milk.

I think it varies from person to person. It took me a long time to wean, with or without cabbage, but I had trouble with engorgement.

Best of luck.

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