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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

How to stop breastfeeding

Okay, for many reasons now, I have decided it would be in my best interest to stop  breastfeeding. I want to do this as soon as possible because I'm tired of the pain. Now that I've made up my mind to make this decision finally, I'd like to stop now, rather than in a week and a half. (when I see my Dr. next) I've been doing it for a month now...My question; how do I stop??
My mom said that there was a pill they gave women in the hospital who weren't breastfeeding to make their milk dry up. Granted, this was over a decade ago, and I have never heard of this.. So should I call and ask my Dr. about it, or is this something they stopped doing? And if that is not an option, what, if anything can I do to stop this? I would rather have a day or two of pain drying up, than every single day. I stopped pumping as much, thinking it would slow my production down.. and skipped for hours.. Been doing this since last week... But all that does is cause me alot of pain.
Help?!
11 Responses
171768 tn?1324233699
you were primarily pumping, right? your best bet is to continue pumping for a few days, but less frequently and for much shorter amount of time. You have to be careful not to get clogged ducts, which can be very painful and lead to mastitis. So, if you were pumping every 3 hours for 20 minutes, go to every 4 hours for a shorter amount of time. your supply should start to drop pretty quickly. as soon as that becomes comfortable, spread it out more. this could be after a day, or after a couple- everyone's different. it's not a good idea to stop cold turkey.
189192 tn?1261345228
I stopped bfing cold turkey. It was pretty painful for a couple of days.  I would pump just enough to relieve the pressure, and I would express some in the shower.  It was painful but by two weeks my bbs were almost back to normal size.  

As long as you keep pumping you will continue to produce more milk.  You can ease on the pumping and your milk production will adjust but you will likely still experience some engorgement evertime you change the number of times or the duration you pump.  
Avatar universal
Try cabbage leaves... I know it sounds weird, but just buy a head of cabbage and place a big leaf on each breast! I am not sure why, but it relieves a lot of pain.  I weaned my daughter, but at the end, I used cabbage leaves a lot....
Avatar universal
When I stopped I did the taper down thing...but in my opinion (take this as a grain of salt because I only have one bf experience, since I only have one child so far) my boobs were just as engorged as if I stopped cold turkey. They hurt for three straight days with occasional leakage...one night I slept with out a bra or pads and just put a big towel under me because they hurt bad.  But then it was all over with.  It took a good week until they were deflated to smaller and saggier than before.
Also some tips:  They say to put cold ice packs on them and not put them under the shower stream.  However it felt much better for me to put them under the shower.  I just would do it briefly. The warm water will create leaking, thus more engorgement.  Also they say to wear a tight bra.  And I have heard cabbage leafs feel good, but by the time I was going to finally go to the store to get them they started to feel better!
118225 tn?1278658540
I never breastfed, and they didnt give me any pills in the hospital, so that info might be a little outdated.  What I had to do was put a bra on and wrap myself as tightly as possible with an ace bandage.  I dont know if it would be the same process for you because I had never once breastfed so as soon as my milk came in it kinda went away within a few days.  I never pumped or anything to keep it.  But I would def wrap them up tight, thats the number one piece of advice they gave me at the hospital
513175 tn?1222961102
ok, the cabbage thing really works. My aunt did it and dried up over night...granted it DOES NOT smell too well but, it works. Cabbage has some enzyme in it that draws the milk out. also make sure you wear a tight bra or sports bra and avoid stimulating them. the less milk you excrete the better. you may have pain....no, you will have pain, but it will go away in a couple days. your breasts will also get hard and may feel hot or feverish...but it will go away. if the pain gets too bad, just let a little milk out to get rid of some pressure, but DO NOT drain them. this gives your body the signal to make more milk. Drying up *****, but it is over pretty quickly. I have not breast fed in almost 2 years and i still have one active milk gland...and my doctor says it is nothing to worry about due to my hormonal inbalance. so dont be alarmed if say 6 months after drying up you still have some "colostrom" type milk....i get like a "drop" every once in a while. lol.
145992 tn?1341348674
Express slightly only to relieve pressure but don't pump often.  Wear a tight sports bra and the pain shouldn't be as intense.  You will just have to wait until your body natural dries up the milk.  It will be painful but that is the only way to do it.  I to still have some milk and it's been 5 months since I've stopped.  Not a lot just a little.  
Avatar universal
thanks for your input, as usual, girls. I pumped a bit ago, just enough so they weren't hard anymore because it was causing a lot of pain, and I couldn't even hold Riley.. I got an ounce out of each.. Is this going to throw me off a lot, by doing it until they are not hard anymore? It will probably make the process take a lot longer, huh?
145992 tn?1341348674
Perhaps.  Just express a little with your hand but definitely look into getting a sports bra.  It will make it a lot less painful.
437027 tn?1286834778
They don't give the pills anymore. Now, you just have to let them dry up on their own.
287246 tn?1318573663
montie2 is right.  They don't give you a pill anymore.  But tapering will help.  When I go back to work after having a baby, I can't pump nearly as often as a baby wants to eat, so my supply decreases.  That will work in time.  I guess you could try to quit cold turkey, but I GET SOOOOO much milk that it would just hurt me too much; especially when the baby is only a month old.  I still have a lot of milk at that stage of the game.  So, I would do the tapering thing and just pump less frequently and for shorter periods of time.
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