You may desire to dry up milk supply from your breast for diverse reasons. Experts refer to this process as lactation suppression. It doesn’t usually come easy, though. Lots of mothers experience challenges while trying to wean their babies. The best way to avoid a stressful experience for you and even for your baby is to wean him or her slowly. And as much as possible, don’t try to rush things. The ideal weaning time is when you are comfortable, and your child is ready. But then, this doesn’t mean that your breast milk will suddenly all dry up in one day. That’s not going to happen. It will take at least a couple of days or even several weeks in some cases. That’s why we want to teach you some home remedies to dry up breast milk so that the process will be easier for you.
The decision to dry up breastmilk is highly personal. People have different reasons for wanting or not wanting to do so. But we must agree that certain situations can necessitate that you discontinue breastfeeding earlier. Some situations can even make breastfeeding quite impracticable when you are not ready to stop. For example, if you have to resume at school or go to work. More so, gradual weaning may not be possible in many situations. These home remedies will also come in handy in all of these situations. You should ask for your doctor’s opinion about any home remedy option you plan on trying before you go ahead.
Home Remedies to Dry Up Breast Milk
Sage is one herb that you can use in the comfort of your home to dry up breast milk. This herb can help with oversupply issues, as well as in the process of weaning. Experts carried out a study in 2014 to evaluate this claim. The results can out positive. They affirm that sage indeed helps with lactation suppression.
However, this study did not examine the sage’s safety. When we talk about safety here, we ate not talking about the mother. We know that sage is safe for adults (in safe dosages only, though). But we don’t have any scientific study that has examined how sage consumption can affect your child if he or she sucks milk from your breast after you have used sage.
So if you want to use sage at home for lactose suppression, you should begin with small amounts. Watch to see if your body will react in any way. And be careful with giving breastmilk to your baby after you take sage.
You can buy herbal teas that contain sage. To use these teas, keep diluting them until you are comfortable with the concentration and find one that suits you.
2. Other Herbs
The same 2014 study that examined sage also states that a few other herbs can help, other than cabbage to dry up breast milk. These herbs include peppermint, parsley, chaste berry, and jasmine. Just as is the case with sage, we don’t know so much about how these herbs can affect your baby if gotten from breast milk.
Always remember that herbal substances may not be good for infants. So make sure you consult your physician before using herbs for lactation suppression.
You can use cabbage leaves to suppress lactation. But this takes a long time to work. More so, we need more studies to prove the effectiveness of this method.
You will place a chilled cabbage leaf over your breasts (one on each breast) and wear your bra on it. As soon as the leaves have wilted, change them. This means you will have to change them around every 2 hours.
4. Cold turkey
This does not mean that you should go to buy cold turkeys. It is a term that depicts disuse. The truth is that refusal to breastfeed is key to lactation suppression. Breastfeeding stimulates breast glands to produce more milk. So if you are no longer breastfeeding, your breast glands will naturally slow down.
Three Methods You Should Skip
Some methods are common but not effective. They may even be dangerous at times. More so, there is no proof whatsoever to back them up. Please skip these methods:
What does binding even mean, you may ask? It means tightly wrapping your breasts. It is an ancient practice that attempts to help women who want to discontinue breastfeeding. This is a potentially dangerous, unsafe, and ineffective practice. Instead of binding, please get a support bra and wear that instead.
The binding will cause you more pain. More so, it is not as effective as wearing support bras. Researchers and scholars all around the world recommend support-bras instead of binding. Support bras will give better support to your tender breasts, especially if you will be engaging in lots of movements.
2. Fluid Restriction
Many women know that drinking water is very vital to breastmilk production. So it is quite easy to figure out that restricting fluid can help with lactation suppression. However, many other things will come with fluid restriction aside from lactation suppression. Dehydration is dangerous and the effects could be lethal in some cases. So ensure to stay hydrated even when you are trying to suppress your lactation.
Pregnancy while breastfeeding can change your breastmilk’s taste and also affect its supply. This is more likely to happen around the 4th to 5th month of your pregnancy. So you see that you can’t rely on pregnancy to help suppress your lactation. Aside from the fact that you may have to wait for 5 months to see results, you cannot predict whether it will work or not. There is a probability but it is not certain.
The method you are using will determine how quickly your breastmilk will dry up. But the home remedies to dry up breast milk that we have shared above will surely deliver results. Your current level of supply also plays a major role in determining how quickly you will see results. But whatever you choose to do, especially if you are going to use herbs, inform your doctor before you start.