A mother seeks advice on how to dry up her breastmilk. After much internet research and trying different ideas and nothing working, she reached out to the Mamas Uncut Community for advice.
A member of the community asks:
How can I dry up my milk? I’ve researched everything and have followed all of the suggestions on the internet. Even after trying them all, I still have milk if I try to express them. They don’t leak anymore though. Any Suggestions?
Community Advice for This Mom Who Wants Advice on Drying Up Her Breastmilk
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
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There are many ways that you can find on the internet to dry up your milk. But when you really understand how your milk is made in the first place, you are able to pick through the thousands of possible ways and find the ones that might actually work. Many from the community offered advice such as using cabbage leaves, wearing tight bras/wraps, and not expressing her milk anymore. Here are a few of these comments below:
“Cabbage and an ace bandage dried mine up overnight. I took the cabbage off the next morning and it was soaking wet with milk. It never came back either.”
“Frozen cabbage leaves, a tight bra, and patience”
“’I’ve heard cabbage leaves in your bra and if you feel engorged hand express but stop as soon as you feel relief so you don’t get any infections and you won’t keep up supply with this method.”
“I’m assuming you are passed them being engorged and leaking. It’s completely normal to be able to squeeze milk out for years after breastfeeding. 6 years later I could still squeeze a little out of mine. By the 7th year, it stopped. Don’t squeeze them. Cabbage leaves and tight bras/wraps are just to soften the engorgement, I was also on the pill.”
“Stop expressing them. It’s been 2 years since I’ve had a child and if I express my breasts milk will come out and I never breastfed.”
To dry up your milk safely, the following are a few tips to help dry up your milk and to remain comfortable as you do so:
- Don’t bind your breasts. This is no longer recommended because it can make you very uncomfortable, and could cause plugged ducts and mastitis. Wear a supportive (but not tight) bra instead.
- Using drugs is also not recommended because they are not very effective, and may cause serious side effects.
- Drink to thirst. Restricting fluids doesn’t help.
- You can take anti-inflammatories for pain relief.
- Cabbage leaf compresses are a home remedy that has been used for over a hundred years to reduce engorgement and dry up milk. Here’s how to use them: Buy plain green cabbage. Rinse and dry leaves. Put them in the refrigerator. Remove the base of hard core vein and gently pound leaves. Wrap around breast and areola, leaving nipple exposed. The leaves fit nicely around the breast, and the cold feels good. Cover entire breast, and if needed, the area under your arms. Change every 30 minutes or sooner if the leaves become wilted.
- Don’t be afraid to relieve your discomfort by expressing some milk. Express just enough to soften your breasts, but not enough to empty them completely. A warm shower will help relieve the discomfort of full breasts and is a good place to express a little milk to relieve the fullness. If you always completely emptying your breasts by expressing, your body will keep making milk based on supply and demand.
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Dawn Onye is a Certified Lactation Counselor. With this certification comes education and her own experience helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. With her CLC, she is required to keep herself up to date on the research studies, conferences, and training related to breastfeeding. She chose this field not just because she is an advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding, but because she sincerely loves working with mothers and babies. Her mission is not to push breastfeeding on all mothers and babies, but to help all mothers reach the goals they have and to provide the expertise for them to do so. The most important thing in life is to do what is best for your family without judgment from others.
Dawn is also a wife and a mother. She has four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She can help many families with tips and tricks she has learned along the way. She loves to read and write. Her favorite seasons are spring and fall, although she does enjoy summers while spending time with her family. There has been no greater accomplishment in life for her than being a mother.
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