How to Stop Lactation:
For Moms Who Express Breastmilk
For moms who cannot be with their baby all the time, and even for some stay at home moms who express milk in order for them to attend to their other domestic duties aside from looking after the new baby, expressing milk gives them the option to provide their baby with the benefits of breast milk.
When you decide to stop breast pumping, the consequences are similar to that of stopping breastfeeding. If done abruptly, it will cause pain and engorgement of the breasts, even fever and infection in some women.
To stop lactation or milk production, here are some things you can do (or take) so you can feel better while safely and slowly reducing your milk supply:
Gradually eliminate one pumping session at a time. Express milk only to relieve engorgement, but do not empty them of milk. This will signal to your body to reduce its milk production and eventually, to stop lactation. This will also give your body a chance to adjust to the slow but eventual cessation of your milk production.
Do not bind your breasts. This is a very out-of-date practice which shouldn’t be done. Preventing milk from naturally coming out of your breast will clog your milk ducts. If it does so, the trapped milk will calcify and it may cause mastitis. Wear a nursing bra that offers ample support, is comfortable and made from cotton to let blood circulate freely in your breasts.
Make tea from herbs. Teas and some herbs are reportedly effective in reducing milk production. Sage should be taken 2 to 6 times a day in order to stop lactation. A tablespoon of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water should do the trick. If you’re not into sage, try having spearmint and peppermint in your diet as the taste is more tolerable. Chickweed, lemon balm, oregano, sorrel and yarrow are not just used for stopping lactation – these also have oils that can be used to massage the breasts and relieve the soreness and hardness of them.
Breast milk is fortified with essential nutrients to help nourish and strengthen your baby’s immune system. It is best for babies at any age. There is no age limit for it. Offer breast milk for as long as you can. If you have to stop, consult a doctor on what formula and other foods you can give your baby to meet her nutritional needs. After all, your child’s nutritional health and emotional well-being is a priority.