Breastfeeding is one of the most emotional and sentimental experiences that a woman goes through. It allows a mother to bond with her baby. Not only is breastfeeding recommended for this purpose, but also because of the fact that breast milk contains certain nutrients that lead to strengthening of the immune system of the child and keeps him/her healthy.
Usually, breastfeeding is carried through for about a year after the baby is born, after which, it is recommended that the mother begin to wean the baby so that solids can be introduced into his/her diet. The simple math you'd like to go with is that once you stop breastfeeding, the milk will dry up on its own. But weaning the baby away is not easy and the process of drying the milk can be painful and can take some months to happen. That is why an understanding of how to dry up breast milk fast will really help. In this AptParenting article, we will look through some of the ways in which breast milk can be dried faster and less painfully.
Methods of Drying Up Breast Milk
One golden rule that you need to remember and keep in mind is that for the milk to dry completely, it will take some time and it might be painful as well. Be patient during this time, wear dark clothes to camouflage leaks, and use these methods on how to dry up breast milk supply with minimal pain and trouble.
The main thing to keep in mind? If you stimulate the breasts in any way, it'll give a signal to your body that the baby needs milk and therefore there will be more production of milk. To prevent this, it is important that you don't stimulate the nipples and do not pump the milk out.
It is important that you support your breast during this time or it can lead to sagging. Wear a good sports bra that will support the breasts well. But make sure that it is not excessively tight and confining. If this is done, it can lead to the development of breast abscess or mastitis or blocked ducts. Wear a breast pad so that the excess milk can be soaked in.
Cabbage leaves have been known to relieve engorgement of breasts. Have a hot shower and place two refrigerated cabbage leaves inside each bra cup. Let these be in place till they wilt. Once that happens, you replace them with new ones. Continue doing this for 3-4 days. This is known to speed the process of drying up breast milk.
Ice and Hot Packs
Pain is known to develop during this process. For the pain, the best method is said to be that of alternating between cold and hot packs. When one uses ice packs though, the pack should not be placed directly on to the breasts, but should be buffered with a cloth. This will prevent the blood vessels from bursting and causing more complications. After the ice pack, one can use the hot pack on the breasts for relief.
The consumption of sage tea is known to relieve milk production and lead to drying of breast milk faster. Have a cup full after every 6 hours for a week.
Consult a doctor to use over-the-counter medication forms to relieve the pain and soreness that this whole process can lead to. These will also help speed the process of dry milk.
The time period as to how long it takes for the breast milk to dry up differs for every woman. But bringing these methods into practice will definitely speed the process and make it less painful.
Disclaimer - This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.