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Drying Up Breast Milk

Drying Up Breast Milk

Sometimes, a mother has to wean her child from breast milk for various reasons. Drying up the breast milk, hence, becomes important.
AptParenting Staff
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2017
After breastfeeding a child, the mother has to wean her child from breast milk for one or more reasons. However, there are also mothers who are not able to breastfeed their child, due to the medications that they are on. At such times, these new mothers have to take measures to dry up milk, as it becomes a necessity.

When a mother is trying to dry up breast milk, it is not important, how long has the mother been breastfeeding her child. The techniques for drying up breasts after breastfeeding are the same throughout. The most important tip to remember, when a mother wants to dry up breast milk, is to wean the body gradually. It is not advisable to accelerate the process, for it can have adverse effect on the body.

The most important point to note is that, express minimal amount of milk, if the need be. Expressing a lot of milk, acts as a signal to the body for increasing milk supply. Hence, it is important that you do not express too much of milk, in order to quickly dry up breast milk. Make sure, that there is no nipple stimulation. It can reactivate milk production. At the same time, use of pumps is better avoided to express milk.

When there is swelling, we often use hot packs, to relieve ourselves of the discomfort. Do not use the same remedy on your breasts, if you have swelling, engorgement, pressure, or discomfort. It would start to increase the milk supply rather than decrease it. Also, avoid hot shower, especially on the front side of the body. Ice packs of frozen vegetables can also be used as cold compresses. Use this compress for a couple of times a days, minimum. A tip before you use ice packs - never place ice packs directly on the skin. Make use of a towel in between the pack and skin. You can also use pain killers to relieve yourself of the discomfort. Anti-inflammatory medicines can also be taken but after consulting your doctor.

  • It is said, that cabbage leaves helps to stop production of milk in breasts. For this, you will have to place some cabbage leaves on your breasts. Another option, which you could opt for, is to place the leaves in your bra. Replace the leaves only when the leaves wilt.
  • It is often observed, that women reduce their water consumption, in order to dry up breast milk. However, this assumption is false. It will not only refrain you from relieving of engorgement, but at the same time, it can also cause dehydration. Therefore, do not try any such tricks. As a matter of fact, water helps in drying up of milk.
  • Sage tea has properties in it, which inhibit production of milk. You can drink a couple or more cups of sage tea to derive benefits of sage tea.
  • Use a snug fitting bra. It can help in relieving engorgement, and depleting breast milk.
A new mother undergoes certain physiological changes, that sustain themselves even after a few months of the baby being born, such as the continual supply of milk even after baby feeding stops, that is, some time after the baby switches on to a more solid form of food. When you are in the process of drying up breast milk, it is important that you keep checking your breasts for abscess, blocked ducts or potential mastitis. If you have any questions in regards to shriveling up breast milk, or lactation always talk to your doctor. The period for depleting the milk is approximately a week to ten days. The production of milk decreases initially to stopping completely later.