If you are a mother who is trying to find how to dry up breast milk, then read on. We will give some useful information here. Mothers, drying up milk supply, do it for many reasons. Some of them are:
- Beginning some medication
- Breastfeeding is already very uncomfortable.
- Going back to work.
- Trying to get pregnant.
- The baby is not satisfied or is not interested in milk anymore.
The reasons can be many, but it is necessary for a woman to do it the right way. This will be good for the mother physically and emotionally as well.
How Much Time Does it Take for Breast Milk to Dry Up?
Every mother will have a different experience. If there is a question in your head like “what can I take to dry up breast milk? We will answer it. Once a woman stops breastfeeding, it will usually take between a few days and a week or two complete drying up. It will depend on things like:
- How much quantity you were making.
- Another pregnancy
- How old is your baby?
Different Methods of Drying Up Breast Milk
There are so many ways and things to help to dry up breast milk! Some will sound ridiculous, but they work well. The best thing is to find ways which are the best for you. We will list out some methods worth trying:
This is the best and most gentle way. What really helps to dry up breast milk is gradual weaning. Cut down feeds for days and then bring it down to one feed a day before cutting it off.
Express with hand
If you have decided to stop breastfeeding, then hand an express a little bit when you feel uncomfortable. It will relieve heaviness, and yet the supply will dwindle. You can feed your baby with this milk if you wish.
Take the Pill
Pills have the hormone Estrogen, which can reduce milk supply. For this, you must consult a doctor to find out whether it is suitable for you or not.
Tea, especially, peppermint and sage, produce high levels of estrogen, which will reduce the lactation. Many women use this method and find it very convenient and helpful.
It is probably one of the oldest tricks that women have used. Cool cabbage leaves help in decreasing the supply and also with the swelling of breasts. Leaves must be cold, and you should change them frequently.
There are certain medicines like dry up breast milk pill which you can take. You must be careful because these medicines can have side effects and you should always consult your doctor before taking them.
Foods Which Can Help in Drying Up of Breast Milk
There are some foods which will help during this period. Try to read and talk to people and gather more information. We asked a lot of women, researched thoroughly and came up with a list of foods that can help in drying up breast milk. Let us tell what you can take to dry up breast milk.
- Parsley: eating in small quantities won’t have much effect. You will have to consume large amounts of parsley for results.
- Thyme: it is a commonly used herb with medicinal properties, and if used in your food can give the desired effect.
- Sage and oregano: if you only use a few leaves in your pasta, it will be of no use. Try to make some infused tea and drink it throughout a day. Tea is an easy way to dry up breast milk.
- Peppermint and spearmint: you can use these for beverages. There are many sweets and candies available with these flavors, and they can be a good substitute.
- Cabbage Leaves: you don’t have to eat cabbage but keep them under your bra. Cabbage leaves are very helpful with engorged and heavy breasts.
Herbs Which Help in Drying Up of Breast Milk
A breastfeeding mother is vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. Any small problem can lead to a bigger one. If you are a mother, who is wondering, ” what to take to dry up breast milk?” You should try out some herbal remedies. These will not have any side effects and not be harsh on your system.
You can use it to make some infused tea for drying up breast milk. Dried sage is also effective and easy to use with other food. You can mix it with juices or soups, sprinkle it on top of the food you are going to eat. Use it in sandwiches and salads.
Crush fresh jasmine flowers and apply them to breasts; this way, the flow will decrease. Jasmine tea is also good for soothing nerves. It has excellent relaxing properties. You can drink tea to dry breast milk.
Apart from these, the following are some other herbs which are good for drying up breast milk:
- Peppermint and Spearmint
- Black Walnut
You can use oil which has the infusion of sage, peppermint, lemon balm, cabbage leaves, oregano for massages as well.
How to Stop Breastfeeding Cold Turkey?
Even if you are in a big hurry, remember that weaning a baby and drying breast milk is always better when done gradually. However, there may be circumstances that make it necessary to stop breastfeeding suddenly. You can stop breastfeeding with the help of cold turkey. It also has some risks, but it will be different for different women. If you have decided to stop breastfeeding with a cold turkey, you can do some things to make it a more comfortable and easy process. Try to dry breastfeeding milk by doing this.
- Breast milk works on the supply and demand theory. Pump only minimal milk to give your breasts some relief. Pumping more can stimulate more production and cause more discomfort.
- Gently massage your breasts with infused oils. If there are clogs in the duct, massage will reduce or remove them. This will also lessen the chances of any infection.
- Take medicines after your doctor’s approval. Drugs will stop lactation and also give relief from pain.
- Be ready emotionally. Many mothers feel bad because the bond with their child is very strong. When you stop cold turkey, you are physically in pain, and emotionally, you are vulnerable.
Stopping breast milk without getting Mastitis
Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue. If a breast doesn’t empty, it can clog your milk ducts. This clogging can lead to infections. When a mother is trying to dry up her breast milk, mastitis is very probable. You can try some things to avoid getting mastitis.
- If you have time, then naturally dry up breast milk. It will be good for both mother and baby.
- Drink a lot of fluids including tea with infusions of sage or peppermint.
- Wear a bra which gives ample support to your breasts. Also, wear loose cotton or comfortable, breathable clothes.
- Put cabbage leaves in your bra. After every two hours or so replace with fresh leaves.
- Gentle massages can unclog the milk ducts and reduce the pain and inflammation.
- Consult your doctor and follow the advice. Take medication to dry up breast milk under a doctor’s supervision.
- If your baby is at least one year old. Some babies stop earlier, but that could be temporary weaning because of illness or teething. Breastfeeding after milk dries up can be difficult for the mother.
- If your child is slowly cutting back on the number of nursing sessions, then it is a clear sign that the baby is ready to wean. He/she can drink from a cup or a bottle. Get the best baby bottle warmer for your baby.
- If you find that you don’t want to breastfeed anymore, then you should stop. A baby may go on for a couple of years, but you as the mother should be able to stop when your heart is not into it.
- If you are constantly tired and overworked, breastfeeding may make you resentful. It is better to stop breastfeeding rather than go through it just because people around want you to.
- If you have any serious medical issues which require a lot of medication and even a hospital stay. Your doctor will advise stopping breastfeeding.
How do I Know When to Stop Breastfeeding?
It is fully up to you and your baby to decide when is the right time to stop breastfeeding. It is the process of weaning. Normally it is a good idea to stop breastfeeding gradually and simultaneously introducing new foods to the baby. You will know when to stop by seeing these signs:
We hope the information given here is of some help to you. Do share it with other mothers who are having the same problem. Remember sharing is caring.