5 Ways To To Stop Milk Production If Not Breastfeeding
One of the universe's greatest wonders is the ability of a mother's body to provide all the nutrients that a baby needs to live and grow during the earliest stages of life. Breastfeeding is ecstatic to every mother. It allows for an inseparable connection to be fostered between a mother and a child.
However, there is a cornucopia of reasons a woman wants to stop milk production. Whether it is because you have decided to wean your baby off breastmilk or a medical reason that demands you to stop breastfeeding, lactation suppression isn't going to happen overnight. Your milk supply will take some time to dry up.
We know you are anxious to know what can pace up the process. To help you with that, we have listed a few methods to stop milk production if not breastfeeding. Hope you will get your answers here.
1.No, Pumping Won't Help
Whether it's the final nursing session with your baby that you have dropped in the capping episode of weaning, or you have decided to discontinue breastfeeding for some other reason, your milk supply is not going to run out in the wink of an eye.
Your breasts will take some time to process the message that the demand has ceased. Till that happens, your breasts will keep producing milk. We know not expressing that milk can make you feel utterly uncomfortable. The fullness of the engorged breasts is a bit too much.
You will have the urge to squeeze out a few drops of milk. Nowadays, with super comfortable, wearable breast pumps at your disposal, expressing a little bit of milk to release the tension from your breasts is almost irresistible. Though that can provide temporary relief, your long-term goal will suffer. Pumping will signal your breasts that milk is still in demand.
Though it's the last thing you want to hear, we need to tell you that the more you pump, the longer it will take to dry up your milk supply. You will continue to produce small amounts of milk until your breasts get the memo that no more milk is needed.
2. Say Hi To Herbs
These wonder plants have countless benefits for our health. In addition, they can be a woman's best friend in the lactation suppression process. Some herbs have been found to be very effective in drying up the milk supply.
One of the most common herbs that can help you stop milk production if not breastfeeding is sage. Studies show that sage helps reduce lactation during weaning and in cases where there is an overabundance of milk.
Other herbs that are commonly used to help dry up milk supply are oregano, spearmint, peppermint, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. Some of these herbs can be toxic for your baby.
If you are not breastfeeding, this warning doesn't make its way to the list of things you should worry about. However, we recommend you talk to your doctor or lactation consultant before consuming any of these.
3. Birth Control Pills Are Not Just For Contraception
According to studies, birth control pills are effective in helping you stop milk production if not breastfeeding. Before the birth of a child, estrogen and progesterone block prolactin and inhibit milk production. If you are wondering what prolactin is, it is the hormone responsible for synthesizing milk in your mammary glands.
After delivery, a drop in those hormones' levels allows prolactin to take charge and start milk production. Birth control pills containing estrogen have been found to be successful in lactation suppression. However, those with prolactin have no effect on milk supply and have instead been found to increase it.
Though using estrogen-based contraceptives to dry up milk supply is a reasonably safe method, it has not yet been approved by the FDA. So make sure to take your doctor's advice on this.
4. Have You Heard of Sudafed?
Sudafed is a brand name for a class of drugs called pseudoephedrine used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion during a cold. This drug opens up the nasal passage by constricting the blood vessels.
It has a similar effect on other blood vessels too. This reduces blood flow in the breasts, hampering the milk supply. In addition, Sudafed was associated with reduced serum prolactin in lactating mothers during a study. Therefore, it is often used as a medication to stop milk production.
5. Try Vitamin B
This is for women who are at the earliest stages of their lactation journey. Those who haven't started producing enough milk or are yet to feed their infants for the first time can take vitamin B to suppress milk production. However, it is advisable to speak with your doctor before using vitamin B as a medication to stop milk production to rule out the risks of possible side effects.
It Might Get Painful; Here's How You Can Soothe Your Breasts
You might have to spend some days in physical discomfort when trying to stop milk production. Not expressing the milk produced in your breasts can lead to engorgement, where you feel an uncomfortable tightness in your breasts.
Sometimes this can progress into a condition called mastitis, where your milk ducts get blocked, and lumps are formed, causing your breasts to become sore. Mastitis is also accompanied by fever and flu-like symptoms. Here are a few ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
1. Use a cold pack or cold compress to ease the pain of engorgement.
2. Cabbage leaves are natural cold compresses. You can easily put them under your bra to reduce the hardness, pain, and swelling caused due to engorgement.
3. Take a hot shower to soothe the pain. Some milk might leak out - additional relief, of course. But keep it short to prevent prolonged milk production.
4. Wear a supportive bra but make sure that it's not too tight
5. If none of this help, then consult your doctor and take the prescribed pain medications
Never Do These Dear Ladies
A lot of people might come up with this suggestion upon learning that you are trying to stop milk production. However, do not fall for it. Wrapping your breasts too tightly or wearing a very tight bra often causes the engorgement to get worse, increases the pain, and leads to more leakage.
We know it is very tempting to give your breasts a little massage when they weigh you down with the fullness of engorgement. But sorry to say, that is going to misfire.
Stimulating the breasts in any way will cause the milk to let down and signal your breasts that it needs to produce milk. So, tie back your hands for now, and we promise you will see your breasts become good girls in a while.
Lactation suppression is a very individualistic process. The time it takes to dry up your milk supply depends upon several factors, including your baby's age and the amount of milk produced by your baby.
Not going cold turkey with weaning is our recommendation. Gradual weaning helps your breasts adjust better and prevents the risk of severe engorgement and mastitis.
However, if you have to stop breastfeeding abruptly, then one of the methods mentioned above might help you to stop milk production if not breastfeeding. Always make sure to discuss your case with your doctor or lactation consultant. They know what is best for you. Follow their guidelines closely, and you shall see the result soon.