It is a tough decision for any mother not to feed her own child. Reasons for stopping breast milk production may differ from person to person. However, sometimes, it becomes necessary to dry up breast milk supply after a certain period of time. Usually, one year of lactation is sufficient for a child. Nature itself has made the scenario to suit both, the mother and the child. While the beast milk supply dries up naturally in some women after sometime, when they stop feeding their child, others may face difficulty in bringing a halt to its production. After beginning the weaning process, you might feel uncomfortable and it may take some weeks and even months, at times, to stop the milk supply completely. The process is a little painful but by following the provided tips, you can improve the situation a lot.
How to Dry Up Breast Milk Supply
- When you’ve decided to stop feeding the child, prefer not pumping or expressing breast milk unless you desperately require the relief. More pumping will make your body think that your baby requires milk.
- Wrap ice packs or gel packs in towels and place them over your breasts as cold compresses for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat several times a day to speed up the drying process. This will provide relief from pressure, swelling and pain. Do not place the ice packs directly over your breasts.
- Place chilled green cabbage leaves over your breasts in a comfortable position. This would gradually help dry up the breast milk supply. Replace them with fresh leaves after several hours when they start drooping.
- To speed up the process of drying breast milk, have two to three cups of sage tea every day. Especially if you are producing breast milk in large quantities, sage is highly beneficial for bringing down the level. You can notice a significant difference in the milk production after just two days of consuming sage tea.
- Don’t feed the child more than once during the weaning process. Start slowly with skipping one or two feedings per day. Though the milk production process will be gradual, but this is the safest and most painless way to achieve your target.
- Also, with each feeding session, reduce its length by about five minutes. By extracting just a little milk and leaving the rest inside the breasts will signal your body to reduce its production. Reducing the nursing time will slow down milk production and eventually, stop it completely.
- To deal with the transitory pain and discomfort, you can take pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Drink water as often as you can, since it helps dry up the breast milk supply pretty fast. For, if you reduce the intake of water, you’ll become dehydrated, thereby producing more breast milk and increasing your discomfort.
- Wearing a well-fitted and supportive bra also helps to a great extent. However, make sure that it is not extremely tight, else it can aggravate the situation.
- Avoid stopping breastfeeding suddenly, as it can trigger frustration for your baby and cause extreme discomfort for you. Do so only when it becomes highly necessary.
- Never use heat, in the form of heating pad, running hot shower water or hot water bottle, on swollen / engorged breasts to provide relief. This will, on the contrary, worsen the situation.
- Binding the breasts can add to the pain, with no benefits falling into your kitty. Hence, keep off from this.
- Avert any kind of nipple stimulation because it can resume the milk production.
Unless you signal the message to your body, it will continue producing breast milk. With the correct steps and gradual approach, you can make the weaning process easier for both, you and your child.