How to Stop Breastmilk
My main function is peddling in the art of How to START Breastfeeding, but on occasion, I help people to stop breastfeeding. Sacre bleu! It’s true. Sometimes we want to stop making the milk for a Variety of Reasons. And really, it’s not my business to justify why you want to stop so you don’t need to tell me about that. Your body and your life and your mature decision making skills. One caveat – if you are deep down in a hole of despair and it’s not working and you just want to give up then slow your roll, don’t read anymore and reach out and make an appointment and if you don’t need fancy one-on-one care in the comfort of your home then reach out to La Leche League or to one of your breastfeeding friends. Sometimes, you just need a simple solution that you haven’t thought of because remember you are down in the Pit of Despair – and no one has any sense when they are dwelling there. If that’s not you, then read on.
Who wants to dry up their breastmilk?
You are done breastfeeding your baby – so I won’t even begin to attach dates, times, parameters to this. You might want to dry up your milk when you are finished breastfeeding. Hopefully this is at your own will and you have mutually agreed with the kid that you two are ready to close this chapter of your relationship.
Examples of reasons people think they have to stop their milk supply, but really don’t
Heart wrenching topic alert about infant loss and if you've lost an infant and are in the New Jersey area check out these beautiful people who want to help you. Pockets of Light in Montclair, NJ and Postpartum Support International New Jersey Chapter
Sensitivity alert – 1 in 5 women lose a baby before that bundle of absolute gorgeousness is born and sometimes it’s a late term loss so that human is going to have some milk that they might want to dry up. 1 in 5 women- stop and do the math – either you know it’s common because you are 1 of the 1s or you didn’t know and now you do and you can re-enter the world with a lot more sensitivity for what some People have been Through.
HOW TO DRY UP YOUR BREASTMILK
First you need to be careful about infection so look for red streaking on the breast, pain, lumps or fever.
Cold is the enemy of breastmilk and is now your friend so you want to use cold compresses in your bra. You can use cold/gel packs or cold compresses (especially after doing warm water activities like a shower).
Make sure that comfortable bra is firmly holding you in day and night, but not tight (we don't want to see impressions from the bra on your skin).
It sounds like an old wive's tale, but it's not - get yourself a cabbage. Take the nice big leaves that fit over your breasts and before you place them on yourself - wash the leaves, pat them dry then use rolling pin to break up the large bumpy veins to release the cabbage juiciness that is your ally in drying up milk. Keep these little wonder leaves in the fridge so they are cold (double bonus on drying activity) and replace them as they get wilted in your bra. Continue this until you stop feeling full of milk and never look at coleslaw the same way - you will have some leftover so you could make some coleslaw.
I can't recommend drugs, but if you can normal take things like Advil or Motrin then you can also take it now to help relieve swelling
You don't need to dehydrate yourself - just drink when you are thirsty.
If you are pumping then you take away one pumping session every 3-5 days and be very mindful of your breasts feeling overly full or any of those warning signs above. Once you get rid of one pumping session, you can start removing the next until you have the number of sessions you want. Slow and steady is the name of the game. Of course, you could just hire me and I would sherpa you through this period.
If baby is of advanced age and doesn't want to quit, La Leche League has a great comforting article about how to deal with weaning. Scroll to the bottom to check out their wise tips.
What else do you want to know? Hit me up in the comments and I'll try my best to be of service, but I don't do mini consults online so don't expect specific answers to your problem. You can hire me and then we have all that HIPPA and compliance and privacy stuff sorted out and I can help you in the high fashion that you deserve. Otherwise, give it a go - speak your truth on the inter webs and contribute your experience or guide my article with your questions.
A Montclair New Jersey IBCLC who has been told that she has a sense of humor, an engaging use of metaphor and likes to live in reality rather than the ethereal clouds of perfection.