Getting Rid of Breast Milk: Methods for Lactation Suppression

Normally, milk supply would start to decrease as a person decreases breastfeeding.

Woman breastfeeding her two children

For different reasons, women try to stop their breast milk from flowing. It’s more like getting rid of breast milk. It’s also known as lactation suppression. Women do this for many reasons. For some, it could because they would like to wean as fast as they can due to some personal reasons. While for some it could be as a result of the loss of a child. And for some, it could be because the breasts are still full even when they are done breastfeeding. No matter the reason, the most important thing is how to get rid of the milk. That’s why we will be looking at some of the lactation suppression methods.

Normally, breastfeeding has a lot to do with the baby and the body of the mother. Some mothers have low milk production from the start. While for some the production is quite much even from the onset. The process of the body making milk is way more than you see. And certain changes in the body can affect the production of milk. But today we won’t be concentrating on this. Instead, we will be looking at tips on how you can cope with suppressing breast milk. So keep reading if you would love to find out more about lactation suppression.

Things to Take Note of When Getting Rid of Breast Milk

Normally, milk supply would start to decrease as a person decreases breastfeeding. So if your breasts are well-packed and you gradually stop breastfeeding then you would expect that there would be a decrease.

Let’s look at some tips you can use when it comes to getting rid of breast milk.

  • Make sure your breasts are well-supported. Both night and day you should wear a firm bra. At the same time make sure that you’re very comfortable.
  • Make use of breast pads. This would help soak up leaking milk. Once the pads are soaked change them.
  • You can opt for cold/gel packs to be placed in your breast. This would help reduce the pain and also the swelling. You can also opt for cold compresses to be used right after having a bath.
  • Handle your breasts with care at this period. That’s because they are quite prone to bruising.
    Whenever you feel like your breasts are too full make sure you express a little. Express the amount of milk that would make you feel comfortable.
  • Talk to the doctor about pain killers that you can use. There are some painkillers that would help reduce the pain that comes with a full breast.
  • Don’t cut down on your water supply. The truth is that cutting down on the amount of fluids you consume in a day wouldn’t help reduce the production of milk.
  • For some days it might not be easy to lay in bed. You would most likely feel very uncomfortable because the breasts are quite full. So you can try to lie on your side or on your back. At the same time get an extra pillow that can help support the breasts while you sleep. While sleeping makes sure there’s a cloth across the breasts. That’s so that it can absorb all the milk that would leak out.
  • There are certain lactation suppression drugs you can opt for. But before you opt for this option make sure you talk about the pros and cons that come with using these drugs with your doctor. If you feel it’s a good one, then you can ask for a prescription from your doctor.

Lactation Suppression Methods


The leaves have been found out to help suppress lactation. When used for a long period it’s usually quite effective. But a few more studies must be carried out to fully understand its effect. Usually, cold cabbage leaves are used. So after you wash the cabbage leaves properly place in the refrigerator. And then place on your breast for about 2 hours.

The leaves help reduce the amount of milk that is being produced. At the same time, it helps out with the swelling that comes with a full breast. And this also helps reduce the symptoms that come with engorgement.

Birth control pills: Pills that contain only progestin are not known to have so much impact on the supply. But pills that contain only estrogen are known to have great effects as to lactation suppression.

Not all women though have this as a side effect when they use the estrogen-only pill. But most women that use these pills experience this effect. It’s important that you have a chat with your doctor as to which pill to use and also when to start during postpartum.

Vitamin B

This is quite effective if you haven’t breastfed your baby yet. Consuming high amounts of vitamins B1, B6 and B12 have been identified to have great effects as to suppressing lactation.

The thing though is that could be some negative effects as to consuming so much of these vitamins. But there isn’t much known as to the effects of these vitamins. That’s why you shouldn’t start consuming any of these until you have consulted your doctor or any other healthcare provider. They would be in the best position to guide you whenever you want to start taking of these supplements.

Other medications: There are certain drugs that are recommended for reducing the production of milk. Such drugs include cabergoline. It works by preventing the production of prolactin which is actually important for milk production.

This drug isn’t approved by the FDA. So before you use it to make sure that you consult your doctor. Make sure you find out the benefits and the risks involved as to using this medication.

For some women, just a single dose would be able to stop the production of milk. While for some it would take a few more doses before milk production would be totally suppressed.

Before, some women opted for getting high doses of estrogen. This helps stop the production of milk. But this is no longer used. And that’s because of the high risk of blood clotting.

The most important thing is talking to a doctor before opting for any method of lactation suppression. Your doctor is in the best position to guide you as to which one is best for you as to getting rid of breast milk.

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