As wonderful as breastfeeding is, there sometimes comes a day when you know your journey is done, regardless of whether you have milk left, and need to figure out how to dry up your milk supply! It can be an immense relief to be done breastfeeding, and can sometimes help you be a better mother! Some risks of stopping breastfeeding without a plan Doing it slow, cold turkey, etc include clogged ducts and mastitis which can be super painful and very dangerous!
Generally, the longer you have been nursing, the longer it will take to dry up your milk. In fact, some mothers report being able to express small amounts of breast milk long after their child has stopped nursing. By the third or fourth day after your delivery, your milk will "come in" and you will most likely feel it in your breasts.
There are morbidity and mortality benefits for infants who are breastfed for longer periods. Occasionally, drugs are used to improve the milk supply. Maternal perception of an insufficient milk supply is the commonest reason for ceasing breastfeeding.
Once your breast milk supply has been established, you may need to continue to express small amounts of milk for comfort and to prevent severe engorgement and possible mastitis. Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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There are many reasons why you may want to quickly dry up your breast milk supply. This process of drying up breast milk is called lactation suppression. Whatever the case, weaning slowly and without stress is best for both you and your baby.
Lactation suppression refers to the act of suppressing lactation by medication or other non pharmaceutical means. The breasts may become painful when engorged with milk if breastfeeding is ceased abruptly, or if never started. This may occur if a woman never initiates breastfeeding, or if she is weaning from breastfeeding abruptly. Historically women who did not plan to breastfeed were given diethylstilbestrol and other medications after birth to suppress lactation.
For many mothers and babies across the world, breastfeeding is gradually replaced by other drinks and solid food over a period of years— rather than months—in a process of natural weaning. However, sometimes a mother will want or need to stop breastfeeding sooner rather than later. Stopping breastfeeding is best done gradually over a period of several weeks if possible to give your breasts and your little nursling time to adjust and to prevent painful mastitis. As long as milk is taken from the breasts by your baby or a pump more milk will be made in the breast to replace it.