If you are having a baby and not planning to breastfeed, you may be interested in hearing the quickest ways to dry up your breast milk.
Breastfeeding builds your child’s immune system and gives your baby the essential nutrients he or she requires in the first years of life. Breastfeeding your child is a very special experience, but it can be tiresome at times. You have to be careful with what you eat or drink and you cannot leave your baby unless you have expressed enough breast milk for them.
With some women, the breast milk stops naturally. Most of the time, however, this does not happen.It is important you stop slowly, expressing less and less milk each day.You need to be emotionally ready when you stop feeding and understand that you are not doing something wrong. Hormone levels will change drastically as your milk production slows, which will trigger mood swings. Many women feel guilty and sad. Getting through these emotions may be the hardest part of the whole process, but having a good support system will help.
Here are some suggestions that may minimize your discomfort, and avoid potential problems.
Don’t bind your breasts.
This is an old fashioned idea which is no longer recommended because it can make you very uncomfortable, and may cause plugged ducts and mastitis.
Do Not Pump.
If you stop breastfeeding or pumping, the prolactin hormone, which makes breast milk, will turn off. In its place, a prolactin inhibiting factor (PIF) will be released. When PIF is secreted, the brain is told that milk no longer needs to be produced. Slowly, milk production shuts down.If you continue to pump, your body will continue to create breast milk. The more you pump, the more breast milk is created.When you are weaning your baby or when you have completely stopped expressing milk, your breasts will become engorged. It is important not to completely empty your breasts. If you do so, your body will only demand to make more. To relieve yourself of the discomfort, expressing some milk by hand is okay.
Using drugs to “dry up” the milk is also not recommended.
Because they are not very effective, and may cause serious side effects.
Choose clothing that is less likely to show wet spots if you leak, and wear nursing pads to absorb leaking milk. Give your breasts fresh air occasionally. Wear properly. If your nipples are stimulated in any way, this can cause milk production.
Apply cool compress or cabbage to your breasts.
Cabbage leaves work great as they are cool, and there is a component to them that naturally dries up your milk. Wrap around breast and areola, leaving nipple exposed. The leaves fit nicely around the breast, and the cold feels good. Cover entire breast, and if needed, the area under your arms. Change every 30 minutes or sooner if the leaves become wilted. A cool touch can help soothe your engorged breasts. Ice packs, cold compresses or even a frozen bag of peas will work.
Drink lots of water.
If you become dehydrated, you will actually start producing more milk, and your discomfort will increase. One myth that has serious negative impact is that if you reduce your water intake, this will reduce your milk supply. However, if you do not drink water, you will become dehydrated. This will increase the risk of developing not only a breast infection, but a urinary tract infection as well.
Another home remedy that can be used easily is sage tea. Sage contains a form of estrogen, which will help your body dry up the breast milk. Sage tea can be found at any health food store. You can also make it at home if you have the sage spice. Simply rub 1 tsp. of sage into a cup of hot water and let it steep for about 15 minutes. Add some honey or milk to the tea, as sage is very bitter.Drink one cup every six hours; this should help reduce your milk quickly. It is best to use sage tea alongside the cabbage leaves, to give your body comfort while you wait for the milk to dry.An alcohol tincture also helps the milk dry up faster.
Take 200 mg of vitamin B6 each day for 5 days to relieve engorgement.