There are situations when breastfeeding your baby is not an option. The inability to nurse could come from a health condition you might be dealing with or a particular baby who doesn’t like to be breastfed.
Some babies simply refuse to latch, and even if this is rarely the case, it could very well happen. Your body will naturally start to produce milk as soon as you give birth or in the few days that follow. So, you will have to dry out the milk supply if you don’t want to breastfeed.
At the same time, if you did breastfeed your baby for a while and you need to stop, you will have to go through what is called lactation suppression.
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How to stop milk production if not breastfeeding?
You have more methods to apply when you want to stop milk production, but the most efficient one is to not stimulate your breasts. This includes no pumping or breastfeeding.
Let’s talk about the other options you have in greater detail below.
1. Sage Tea
There are several home remedies you can try to stop lactating.
- Among these remedies, you will find sage. Some studies suggest that sage might reduce milk production.
- You can try with some daily sage tea. Cabbage leaves could also reduce milk production if you use them regularly.
- All you have to do is to place a cabbage leaf on each one of your breasts and put your bra on.
- Change these leaves every 2 hours for a better result. But keep in mind that these home remedies are not always efficient as each mother might react differently to them, and there are still few scientific pieces of evidence of their effects.
2. Birth Controls
Using birth control will also reduce your milk production.
- You can use the type of birth control pills that contain estrogen as well, not just progestin.
- The effects of this method will depend on the milk flow you have and the hormonal balance in your body.
- If you consider starting to take birth control to suppress lactation, you should talk to your doctor as they will prescribe you the best pills for your case.
Take supplements rich in vitamins that work against milk production.
- Taking Vitamin B1, B6, and B12 can help you reduce milk production, especially if you never breastfed your baby, to begin with.
- Be careful to not overdo it as taking too much of these B vitamins could have side effects.
- It is essential to follow the instructions on the supplements and be aware of the potential side effects so you can identify them easier.
You should also talk to your doctor to take the right supplements for your situation.
You can also take Cabergoline to suppress lactation, but in most cases, this drug needs to be prescribed by a doctor. This medicine is not properly regulated by the FDA, but your doctor can still prescribe it off-label. You might see results as soon as you take it or just after a couple of doses.
5. Natural Dry-up
If you are willing to wait for your breasts to “dry up” naturally, this will take several days, but the general rule says milk production will stop within a week. You can speed this process up by using the home remedies above and not stimulate your breasts.
Not breastfeeding your baby anymore will have a decreasing impact on your milk production by itself. However, applying the methods in this guide will definitely help you in this process!
- “Treatment of Maternal Hypergalactia”. Accessed April 17, 2020. Link.
- “Cabergoline: Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and More”. Accessed April 17, 2020. Link.