Your Cart

How you can Dry Up Breast Milk

Whether or not you’ve got been breastfeeding for months (or years) and are able to wean otherwise you plan to feed your child components from the beginning, it is necessary to know tips on how to dry up breast milk. Suppressing lactation is usually a gradual course of completed over many weeks or it’s possible you’ll search to maneuver the method alongside extra rapidly, significantly should you do not intend to breastfeed or are experiencing engorgement.

How lengthy the method takes varies from individual to individual primarily based on their particular person state of affairs, reminiscent of how lengthy they’ve been producing breast milk. Typically, the longer you’ve got been nursing, the longer it can take to dry up your milk. In actual fact, some breastfeeding mother and father report with the ability to categorical small quantities of breast milk lengthy after their little one has stopped nursing. Strategies for ceasing breast milk manufacturing embrace reducing or avoiding nursing or taking sure medicines.

No matter your causes for suppressing lactation, there are a number of how to successfully and safely dry up your breast milk whereas minimizing the danger of an infection or engorgement. Here is what you might want to find out about drying up your breast milk.

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin  

How you can Dry Up Breast Milk

  • Keep away from nipple or breast stimulation
  • Cease or regularly cut back breastfeeding, pumping, or hand expression
  • Take medicines (underneath your physician’s supervision) which will curtail breast milk manufacturing, reminiscent of contraception drugs containing estrogen or some chilly medicines
  • Strive natural treatments, reminiscent of sage or peppermint teas

How Milk Manufacturing Works

You will start to make a small quantity of breast milk when you’re pregnant. After your child is born, breast milk manufacturing will increase. By the third or fourth day after supply, your milk will “are available.” You’ll most certainly really feel this in your breasts, which might really feel very full or engorged at first.

Breast milk manufacturing works on a provide and demand system. So, the extra you breastfeed, pump, or hand categorical breast milk, the extra will probably be produced. The method works the identical in reverse. When you cease or cut back breastfeeding, pumping, or hand expression, your milk manufacturing will start to decelerate, and ultimately, dry up.

Nonetheless, even should you do not breastfeed in any respect, you make breast milk for not less than a number of weeks after your child is born. When you do not pump or breastfeed, your physique will ultimately cease producing milk, nevertheless it will not occur immediately.

In case you have chosen to not breastfeed, you would possibly marvel if there may be something that you are able to do to forestall lactation. When you find yourself pregnant, you’ll expertise the identical hormonal adjustments (together with people who stimulate milk manufacturing) whether or not you determine to breastfeed or not. There isn’t a strategy to cease this course of.

That stated, after giving start your breast milk will dry up if it isn’t used. Which means the much less you stimulate your nipples or breasts after giving start, the quicker your milk provide will dry up. Nonetheless, how lengthy this takes is totally different for every individual.

When and Why to Begin Drying Up Breastmilk

There are various totally different causes for eager to dry up your breast milk—and simply as many “proper” occasions to do it. New mother and father who select to not breastfeed will dry up their breast milk within the early days after giving start. Some individuals select to pump and donate the breastmilk they make however usually are not planning to make use of. Different mother and father are able to wean.

Dad and mom who expertise the lack of a child could wish to cease producing milk as quickly as attainable. Different mother and father could must cease making milk resulting from going again to work, needing to journey away from their child, or for a medical cause, although the weaning would possibly solely be short-term.

Make sure you seek the advice of with an Worldwide Board Licensed Lactation Marketing consultant (IBCLC) in case you are instructed you might want to wean for a medical cause, as there are sometimes choices that can will let you keep your breast milk provide and proceed breastfeeding afterward.

Moreover, mother and father of infants who’re transitioning to components, cow’s milk (advisable after age 1), and/or stable meals (advisable at 6 months outdated) could wish to begin drying up their milk at varied factors of their child’s improvement. For instance, some mother and father select to cease breastfeeding at 3 months outdated, 6 months outdated, 1 12 months outdated, or at any time earlier than or after. Finally, there is no such thing as a one proper time, simply what works for you and your loved ones.

How you can Dry Up Breastmilk

Making a call about weaning is as much as you and your particular state of affairs. It may possibly assist to debate technique and timing with a lactation counselor or your well being care supplier. After you’ve got made the choice to dry up your breast milk, you may make a plan for which method you’ll take. There are a number of choices, however typically, you’ll be able to select between quicker or extra gradual strategies.

Some individuals determine to take a extra pure method and let their milk dry up by itself. Others use medicines as properly to assist dry up their milk quicker. Select the tactic that works finest for you, however remember to ask your medical practitioner earlier than taking any medicines or herbs to assist dry up your milk provide.

Understanding how the method of weaning works will assist guarantee it goes easily for you. Primarily, to lower your milk provide, you might want to lower the demand. Which means it would be best to categorical your breast milk as little as attainable. Observe the under steps.

Lower or Cease Feedings and Pumping

Cut back the period of time you spend breastfeeding or do not do it in any respect. When you have been beforehand feeding your child or pumping, reducing feedings or pumping classes slowly will trigger you the least discomfort. Keep away from pumping for consolation and any nipple stimulation (which incorporates sexual stimulation). Nonetheless, in case you are experiencing engorgement, temporary intervals of hand expression or pumping can assist to alleviate ache with out overstimulating breast milk manufacturing.

Do not Squeeze

Resist the temptation to squeeze your breasts or nipples to see should you’re nonetheless making breast milk. Stimulating your breasts or nipples whereas they’re drying up may result in the continued manufacturing of a small quantity of breast milk, which prolongs the method.

Keep away from Sizzling Showers

Some individuals discover {that a} sizzling bathe can elicit the milk ejection reflex (generally known as a “let down”). Standing together with your again to the water can hold this from occurring. When you should face the showerhead, strive utilizing a towel draped over your breasts. Nonetheless, a heat tub can assist relieve discomfort whereas additionally not overstimulating breast milk manufacturing.

Pay Consideration to Weight loss plan

Some meals (often called lactogenic meals) could make your physique produce extra breast milk. When you’re making an attempt to dry up your breast milk provide, keep away from consuming lactogenic meals reminiscent of oats, flax, and brewers yeast.

Remedy Choices

Whereas not crucial, along with chopping again or not breastfeeding, there are medicines which will assist curtail your provide. These are medicines that have to be prevented while you’re breastfeeding as a result of they’re identified to lower breast milk provide. So, should you’re making an attempt to dry up your milk provide, your physician would possibly counsel taking these medicines to assist the method alongside.

Nonetheless, in case you are breastfeeding a little bit or saving any breast milk to your child to eat, be certain the treatment is secure to your child earlier than taking it.

Start Management Tablet

The primary treatment mother and father can attempt to assist dry up their milk provide is a mix contraception capsule. This feature requires a prescription, so seek the advice of together with your OB/GYN on if it is a good possibility for you.

In contrast to the mini-pill—which is authorised for breastfeeding mother and father and solely comprises progestin—mixture drugs include estrogen and progestin. It is the estrogen in the capsule which will forestall or cut back the manufacturing of breast milk provide.

Remember that this treatment is a contraceptive. In case you have plans to turn out to be pregnant once more quickly, it may not be the perfect technique for you.


One other class of treatment that’s generally advisable to assist lower breast milk provide is decongestants. These medication are sometimes used when somebody has a chilly, however a attainable aspect impact is decreased breast milk manufacturing.

Pseudoephedrine, generally bought underneath the model title Sudafed, treats chilly signs as a result of it decreases secretions—together with breast milk. In a single examine, a 60-milligram dose of pseudoephedrine decreased milk provide by 24%.

The treatment is often accessible over-the-counter (OTC). Nonetheless, pseudoephedrine is usually used off-label and even illegally, so the flexibility to buy it’s restricted in some states. Even when used appropriately, pseudoephedrine can have critical unwanted effects. Speak to your physician earlier than making an attempt an OTC decongestant to assist dry up your milk provide. That method, if this technique is acceptable for you, you may remember to take the treatment safely,

Medicines No Longer Used

Previously, sure medicines have been generally given to new mother and father within the hospital to dry up their breast milk provide—particularly in the event that they selected to not breastfeed.

Your mother or father or grandparent may need talked about that they acquired a shot within the hospital to cease their milk provide, however this observe is not utilized in america. The medication are not given as a result of many have been discovered to not solely be ineffective but additionally have opposed unwanted effects.

Pyridoxine, Parlodel (bromocriptine), and excessive doses of estrogen have been as soon as used to assist dry up a brand new mother or father’s breast milk provide, however these medication are not given.

Many of those medicines have been discovered to not solely be ineffective at drying up breast milk, however probably harmful.

Natural Choices

If you’re in search of a extra pure method to drying up your milk, there are numerous herbs which were utilized by totally different cultures for hundreds of years. Keep in mind, although, that herbs can act like medicines, which means they’ve dangers and unwanted effects. It is necessary to speak to your well being care supplier earlier than making an attempt any natural complement or treatment.

Sage and peppermint are sometimes advisable to assist lower breast milk manufacturing. Sage will be discovered at well being meals shops in tincture, capsule, or tea kind, Peppermint is usually consumed as a tea. In response to the La Leche League USA, many individuals discover that consuming secure or peppermint tea helps to dry up breastmilk.

Herbalists typically advocate consuming a number of cups of natural teas all through the day to assist dry up breast milk. Corporations have even created tea blends particularly for this objective, such because the No Extra Milk Tea by Earth Mama Angel Child. Nonetheless, word that natural and dietary dietary supplements usually are not as rigorously examined as medicines are for security or efficacy. So, the guarantees on the labels might not be correct.

Short-term Weaning

In case you have been suggested to briefly wean your child from breast milk, you may want to grasp why weaning is critical earlier than you decide a technique of drying up your milk (even briefly).

For instance, in case you are having a medical process that requires you to take a medicine, it’d must clear out of your breast milk earlier than you’ll feed your child. On this state of affairs, you would want to observe totally different procedures than in case your child merely wanted to go with out breast milk for a short while to have a medical take a look at.

The important thing to short-term weaning is sustaining your breast milk provide. Speak to a lactation guide about provide upkeep, as there are totally different methods you need to use. You will probably want to make use of a breast pump or hand expression to imitate your child’s pure feeding schedule as carefully as attainable. It will show you how to be ready to rapidly return to feeding your child on the breast with the least disruption.

If the explanation for short-term weaning doesn’t contain any medicines passing into your breast milk, you could possibly merely pump or manually categorical milk till you’ll be able to breastfeed once more. If desired, you’ll be able to retailer the breast milk to make use of at a later time.

Minimizing Discomfort

Chances are you’ll expertise some discomfort through the weaning course of. It’s normal to expertise some engorgement. Listed below are some tricks to reduce any ache related to drying up your milk provide.

Assist Your Breasts

Be certain that your bra matches correctly. A bra that’s barely too tight could cause ache and will enhance the danger of plugged milk ducts or mastitis.

Chilly compresses can ease ache and likewise cut back swelling. Whereas it was as soon as advisable to place cabbage leaves in your bra to supply reduction, some analysis has discovered no distinction in consolation between those that used cabbage leaves in comparison with different chilly compresses. Nonetheless, many individuals discover cabbage leaves to be a useful and handy possibility.

Take Ache Remedy

Take an over-the-counter ache reliever like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen) to assist with any ache and stress you expertise.

Keep away from Warmth

Restrict sizzling showers and do not use heat compresses in your breasts. Very heat or sizzling water can stimulate breast milk manufacturing.

Use Breast Pads

Your breasts would possibly leak breast milk after they turn out to be full or when you concentrate on your child or hear them cry. Sporting breast pads inside your bra can absorb sudden leaks.

Decrease Breast Stimulation

If you’re in excessive discomfort, you would possibly must take away a little bit little bit of milk out of your breasts for consolation. Don’t empty your entire breast—solely categorical sufficient milk to alleviate ache and stress. Pumping and hand expressing, or emptying the breast fully, alerts your physique to maintain making breastmilk.

Weaning and Mastitis Threat

When you attempt to cease making breast milk too abruptly, it may well put you at increased danger for plugged milk ducts and an an infection known as mastitis. Signs of a breast an infection embrace the next:

  • Breast ache
  • Breasts that really feel heat to the contact
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • “Flu-like” signs
  • Laborious lumps in your breast (together with different signs)
  • Crimson streaks in your breast
  • Sweating

Gradual weaning will assist forestall engorgement and plugged milk ducts, which might result in an infection. If indicators of an infection develop, contact your physician immediately, as you may remedy to clear the an infection.

A Phrase From Verywell

Drying up your breast milk is a course of that may take time. Whether or not you’ve got breastfed earlier than or not, endurance, treatment, and some methods can assist you cut back your milk provide with much less discomfort. Gradual weaning can even assist forestall painful breast infections like mastitis.

By no means hesitate to succeed in out to a medical skilled, like your physician or a lactation guide, in case you have questions or issues about weaning or drying up your breast milk.

Asking for assist will probably be particularly necessary if you might want to briefly lower your milk provide for a medical cause, reminiscent of taking a medicine that should clear your breast milk earlier than nursing your little one, or in case your child must cease feeding to have a medical take a look at.

× WhatsApp