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Why Women Stop Breastfeeding How to Stop Lactation Weaning from Breastfeeding
0 to 6 mos.
Weaning from Breastfeeding
6 to 12 mos.
How to Wean Your Toddler

How To Stop Lactation

Most mothers enjoy the benefits breastfeeding gives. The baby is given a sense of security that the mother will always be there to protect her. The mother on the other hand, feels that the little one she holds in her arms trusts her, cementing their bond and giving both a unique attachment that no person can sever.

All moms want what’s best for their baby. However, there are cases where a mom is unable to breastfeed her baby and opts to use formula. The modern mom has a lot of roles to fill and finding the time to fill in all these roles can be a challenge, especially if you need to be with your baby all the time.

Breast milk is ALWAYS best for baby, no matter what the age, as this gives nutrients sufficient to ward off and prevent certain illnesses and allergies. But if you have already decided to stop breastfeeding, then here are some suggestions on what to do and what not to do to help you stop lactation painlessly:

  • Do not bind your breasts. The elderly may say that it works, but medically, it isn’t a sound practice. This may cause mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissues) and breast abscess as milk is trapped within the milk ducts where they calcify (harden).

  • Do not take “drying-up milk” medicine. These are usually not very effective as this may lead to mastitis due to calcified milk in the milk ducts where they “dry-up”. They may also cause serious side effects.

  • Cut down on salt intake. Salt causes your body to retain fluids; breast milk is no exception.

  • Wear a support bra. This should not be too tight, with enough space to put in nursing pads to absorb any leaks. Cotton bras are recommended as this also allows your breasts to breathe.

  • Take a mild pain reliever if in pain. Some women experience severe pain that a pain reliever is necessary for them to be able to function properly. Before taking one however, it is always best to consult your doctor so as not to affect your breast milk (if you are still breastfeeding or expressing milk for your child).

  • Vitamin B6. This helps in relieving engorgement of the breasts. Take 200 milligrams of B6 for 5 days.

  • Chilled green cabbage leaves. An old-fashioned remedy that most doctors also recommend since this really works to relieve the pain and lessening milk production (for those who are weaning). You could use the whole leaf to cover the breast or you could cut it in small pieces and cover the breast little by little, leaving the nipple exposed. Take note that although chilled green cabbage leaves are effective, manufactured cabbage extract creams do not work.

  • Express some milk. Express just a little to relieve discomfort. If you want to stop breastfeeding but continue giving breast milk by expressing some, then you can empty the breasts of milk. However, if you plan on stopping lactation completely, then express milk just a little at a time, just enough so your breasts will not get engorged. This sends your body a signal which would gradually decrease your milk production. Taking a warm shower stimulates milk production and also relieves the pain from engorged breasts.

  • Herbs. Sage tea is efficient in decreasing milk supply. Take a teaspoon of sage with a cup of hot (preferably just boiled) water, and let it stand for at least 15 minutes. You can add milk or honey if you can’t take the taste (it is bitter). Take it 3 to 4 times a day to decrease your milk quickly.

These are mere suggestions to stop lactation. However, there may be some women who will claim that some of these don’t work on them. It is always best to consult with your doctor or health care provider, especially if you are considering taking medicine.

More Tips on How to Stop Lactation
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Further Reading:

When to Stop Breastfeeding
Tips on Weaning Breastfeeding Toddler
How to Stop Lactation for Moms Who Express Breastmilk



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Recommended Reading

ebook hello milk bye bye milk an expert mom's ultimate guide to breastfeeding and weaning


Going back to work soon? Planning to wean your baby? Introducing solids? Expressing milk? Bothered by weaning problems such as painful breast engorgement? These and more are discussed in this comprehensive guide that is a must read for all breastfeeding moms. Click here to learn more about this amazing book!


Collection of Articles

Weaning from Breastfeeding
(Babies 0 to 6 months)

Weaning from Breastfeeding
(Babies 6 to 12 months)

Weaning from Breastfeeding (Toddlers)

How to Stop Lactation