How to Dry Up Breast Milk

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a belittled commission. here ’ s our process. There are many reasons why you may want to cursorily dry up your breast milk supply. This action of drying up breast milk is called lactation suppression.

Whatever the case, weaning lento and without stress is best for both you and your baby. The ideal time to wean is when both the breastfeed parent and the baby are ready. sometimes, you have to discontinue breastfeeding more cursorily than you wish. respective factors will affect how long it takes for your milk to dry up, including your baby ’ s old age and how much milk your body ’ mho make. Some people may stop producing over barely a few days. For others, it may take several weeks for their milk to dry up completely. It ’ sulfur besides possible to experience let-down sensations or leaking for months after suppressing suckling. Weaning gradually is recommended, but it may not always be feasible. That said, abrupt weaning may be uncomfortable and lead to infection or other checkup issues. Speak with your doctor, midwife, or lactation adviser about your options before trying any of these methods.

Cold turkey

Your milk can slow on its own if you don ’ t breastfeed or stimulate your breasts. Depending on how farseeing you ’ ve been breastfeeding, it may take fourth dimension. Keep these tips in mind when trying this method acting :

  • Wear a supportive bra that holds your breasts in place.
  • Use ice packs and over-the-counter pain (OTC) medications to help with pain and inflammation.
  • Hand express milk to ease engorgement. Do this sparingly so you don’t continue to stimulate production.

Try it: Shop for ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications.


sage may help with wean or flood issues, according to one 2014 article. however, there are no studies that examine sage ’ s specific effect on excess milk production. not much is known about the guard of using sage if your baby consumes your breastmilk after you ’ ve consumed sage. You should start with a belittled measure of sage and see how your consistency reacts. Herbal teas containing sage are available. These could easily be diluted until you find an come that works best for you. According to the 2014 article, early herb that have the electric potential to dry up breast milk include :

  • peppermint
  • chasteberry
  • parsley
  • jasmine

little is known about the effect of these herbs on infants, but some can be dangerous to a baby. Because herb tea substances can cause negative side effects for you or your baby, you should talk with your healthcare provider or lactation adviser before using these methods. Try it: Shop for sage tea ( including ones intended for use during weaning ), chasteberry tea, and parsley. besides workshop for peppermint oil and jasmine flowers, which can both be applied locally.


pilfer leaves may suppress lactation when used for long periods of fourth dimension, though more studies are needed. To use boodle :

  • Take apart and wash the leaves of a green cabbage.
  • Put the leaves in a container and put the container in the refrigerator to chill.
  • Place one leaf over each breast before putting on a bra.
  • Change leaves once they’ve wilted, or about every two hours.

The leaves may help to reduce swelling as your milk provide diminishes. They ’ rhenium besides used to reduce symptoms of engorgement in early breastfeed. Try it: Shop for cabbage .

Birth control

Progestin-only parentage restraint doesn ’ t necessarily shock provision. contraceptive pills that contain the hormone estrogen, on the early hand, may work well for suppressing lactation. These effects are even luminary after milk supply is well-established. not everyone will experience these suppressive effects, but many will. Talk with your checkup supplier about the recommend time for starting a pill containing estrogen when you ’ re postnatal. Birth control international relations and security network ’ thyroxine approved for this habit by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), but it may be prescribed in certain situations. This is known as off-label drug use .

Off-label drug use Off-label drug use means a drug that ’ sulfur approved by the FDA for one aim is used for a different function that hasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate however been approved. however, a repair can hush use the drug for that aim. This is because the FDA regulates the testing and approval of drugs, but not how doctors use drugs to treat their patients. then, your doctor can prescribe a drug however they think is best for your care .


In a modest report in 2003 of 8 lactating women, a single 60-milligram ( magnesium ) drug of the cold medicate pseudoephedrine ( Sudafed ) was shown to significantly reduce milk production. In addition, taking the daily utmost dose of this medicine didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate adversely involve babies who continued breastfeeding as lactation was being suppressed. The maximum dose is 60 magnesium, four times each day ( maximum 240mg in any 24-hour period ). talk to your healthcare master before you take any OTC medicine while breastfeeding. Sudafed is used off-label to dry up front milk and may cause temper in breastfed infants. Try it: Shop for Sudafed.

Vitamin B

If you haven ’ thyroxine breastfed your baby so far, gamey doses of vitamins B-1 ( vitamin b1 ), B-6 ( vitamin b6 ), and B-12 ( vitamin b12 ) may work to suppress lactation.

A study from the 1970s showed that high doses B-6, B-1, and B-12 suppressed lactation for 96 percentage of the participants, with no unpleasant side effects. More late studies, including ones from a 2017 literature review, have presented conflicting information regarding the effectiveness of this option. According to the 2017 review, study participants received a B-6 dose of 450 to 600 milligram over five to seven days. Two of the studies included found that vitamin B-6 was effective in suppressing lactation, but the other five studies did not. There ’ s not much known about the negative effects of taking besides a lot vitamin B-1 or B-12, or how hanker it ’ sulfur safe to take exalted doses. however, at doses of more than 200mg per day, vitamin B-6 can cause a passing of spirit in the arms and legs. In some cases, with prolong function, this effect can become permanent. You should talk with your healthcare provider or suckling adviser before starting a new vitamin addendum. Try it: Shop for vitamin B-1, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 supplements .

Other drugs

Cabergoline can be used for milk suppression. It works by stopping the body ’ south production of prolactin. This drug isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate approved for this use by the FDA, but may be prescribed off-label. Your doctor can explain the benefits and risks. Some people see their milk dry up after precisely one dose of medication. Others may need extra doses. not much is known about the condom of cabergoline for breastfed infants whose lactating parents took cabergoline. You should talk with your healthcare provider or lactation adviser before taking it. Some milk-suppressing medications you may have hear of — such as bromocriptine — are no long recommended for this function because of long-run side effects. Women besides used to get a shoot of high-dose estrogen to stop milk product. This drill has stopped due to blood clotting risks.

3 methods to skip

The play along are some methods you may have heard about anecdotally, but which are unproved or potentially dangerous .

1. Binding

Binding means to tightly wrap the breasts. Breast bind has been used throughout history to help women stop producing breast milk. In a 2003 learn on non-breastfeeding, postnatal women, the effects of binding were compared to those of wearing a confirm brassiere. While the engorgement symptoms for both groups didn ’ metric ton differ significantly over the beginning 10 days, the binding group did experience more pain and escape overall. As a consequence, researchers don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate recommend binding. A supportive brassiere or a gentle adhere helps better support the tender breasts when moving and can reduce the discomfort .

2. Restricting fluids

Breastfeeding parents are much told to stay hydrated to maintain their milk supplies. You may wonder if restricting fluent inhalation may have the opposite effect. This method acting international relations and security network ’ metric ton well studied. Researchers have discovered that increasing fluids may not actually increase add. Without acquit evidence that drinking more increases ( or decreases ) supply, it ’ mho best to stay hydrate regardless .

3. Pregnancy

If you become fraught while breastfeeding, your milk issue or the smack of your milk may change. Breastfeeding advocacy group La Leche League explains that it ’ sulfur common to see a sink in provision between the fourthly and fifth months of pregnancy. Since the changes vary by individual, pregnancy international relations and security network ’ t a reliable “ method ” for drying up breast milk. many people breastfeed successfully throughout their pregnancy .

How long it takes for milk to dry up

gradual weaning is broadly the safest plan, when possible. How hanker it takes for milk to dry up depends on the method you try and how long you ’ ve been breastfeeding. It may take just a few days, or astir to respective weeks or months, depending on your method acting of lactation suppression and your stream issue. even after most of your milk is gone, you may still produce some milk for months after you wean. If your breast milk comes back in without any reason, lecture to your aesculapian team.

Possible risks

abruptly stopping breastfeed does come with the risk of engorgement and the potential for blocked milk ducts or infection. You may need to express some milk to relieve the feel of engorgement. however, the more milk you express, the longer it ’ ll take to dry up.

When to seek help

Lactation inhibition can be uncomfortable at times, but if you experience pain and early distressing symptoms, call your doctor, midwife, or lactation adviser. sometimes, a blocked duct will lead to breast tenderness. gently massage the area while expressing or breastfeed. Contact a aesculapian professional if you can ’ thyroxine unblock a milk duct within 12 hours or if you have a fever. A fever is a symptom of a breast infection such as mastitis. early symptoms of a summit infection include :

  • warmth or redness
  • general malaise
  • breast swelling

sometimes, oral antibiotics are recommended to help treat this condition before it becomes more serious. You can besides contact a attest lactation adviser. These professionals are trained in all things breastfeeding and can suggest different methods or help troubleshoot any issues you ’ rhenium having.

The takeaway

Drying up your milk provision is a highly individual decisiveness and is sometimes necessity for a variety of reasons. If you ’ ra weaning due to a aesculapian condition ( or other reasons ), but placid want to provide breast milk for a child, there are milk banks across the United States and Canada. You can find one through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America ( HMBANA ). The breast milk is tested and pasteurized so it ’ randomness condom for pulmonary tuberculosis. These organizations besides take donations from parents who ’ ve either lost a child or differently wish to donate their milk .

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