What is a natural way to stop lactating?

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010 ( 59 moms have responded )

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I have been going to a natural path for awhile now and she's having me take supplements to stop the lactation but it's not working. If anyone has a natural way that they think will help, I'm all ears!

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Mary - posted on 12/27/2012

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I stopped breastfeeding 7 years ago and I am still lactating. Cold compresses, cabbages, binding, etc have not worked. Some months are worse than others. I read some of us have to wait until menopause for it to stop!?? (Dear God, I hope that's not true.) I would love to know if there are other ideas besides the ones listed here. Anyone???

Karen - posted on 08/04/2010

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that's what i did - break up the leaves a bit (so the veins are broken) and stuff them (right out of the fridge) into your bra. change them every half hour or so. there's something in them that naturally dries you up...i was good to go within a week as well my friend and everyone whose had a baby in my family swear by it

April - posted on 08/08/2010

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I dried up by getting really tight sports bras. Get one as tight as possible. Almost to make it look like you are flat chested. Thats what helped me.

Jessica - posted on 08/07/2010

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sarah, first up sorry there are so many people answering who don't have any help for your situation :/ i've heard that the cabbage deal works but i'd also, at this point since you do seem like you are over the lactating concept, understandably, i'd go check in with an OB and see what they might suggest. not that you need to do what they suggest but it's worth maybe a phone call if not an appointment. i've alos heard that they can give you a shot to stop the milk. i don't know anything about side-effects though and i'm not sure if they even do it. my friends mom had it done. good luck!

Meaghn - posted on 08/09/2010

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I find peppermint really cuts down my milk supply, and interestingly enough my girlfriends who had C-sections and weren't able to nurse because of low milk were told to have peppermint tea to help with the discomfort of the c-section. Don't know if it would stop your lactation, but it might help reduce it.

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Erica - posted on 12/20/2013

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You can use cold cabbage leaves in the bra right against the breast. Something in the cabbage shrinks the mamory glands. Check out kellymom.com for some good info. Even WHO (world health organization) is now promoting breast feeding until age two with supplementing of foods after age 1 though. If you're just weaning bc you think you're supposed to, but you really want to keep nursing, than more power to you.

Some misconceptions:
1. My Dr put me on antibiotics/ meds, so I have to quit nursing. - No you don't have to quit. Baby is going to get none of the meds you take. Your body will process it all out before it reaches your milk supply. Told by a local LC.

2. My Pediatrician says that the highest nutritional content in breast milk is in the first 6 months of nursing and it declines after that point. - False! Your breast milk will keep increasing in vitamins and other nutrients. Breast milk changes to meet your growing child's nutritional needs. Check Kellymom.com and research other sources.

3. I need to wean before baby gets teeth because it will hurt. - Nope. You don't and it won't. If baby is latched properly for nursing teeth or no teeth, it will not hurt. You won't even feel baby's teeth while they are nursing if they are latched on properly. Personal experience here (I nursed my first until 29mos old with a full set of teeth).

Hope this helps a bit. Many times as babies get older they want to nurse only for comfort and not nutrition. If it hurts to nurse, check their latch. A lousy latch will hurt and can cause other problems. It will not hurt if baby is latched properly.

Julia - posted on 12/19/2013

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My daughter call me told me that she was linking fluid from her. Breast she is very nerve an upset I did know until 12/17 that this was going on she away try to keep thing to her self we need help she going to another doctor on this Friday in Jackson ms. So I hope everything come out ok she only breast feed for about 7 months I been pray but we need clinic help but I believe with Jesus he will heal all sickiness but this caught me by surprise please help me

Tiffany - posted on 08/09/2010

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yeah, if you stop nursing and pumping it will dry up. Which is really uncomfortable. They get full and it don't feel very good. You can also slowly wean. Only pump when they get really full and don't pump till they are empty. Just pump till it's not uncomfortable anymore. You'll produce less and less and eventually dry up. I still haven't weaned yet, going to VERY soon though! My daughter will be 1 on Saturday. But I had a girlfriend that nursed her son and then stopped completely. She said they were engorged and very uncomfortable for about three days and then it was done. So take the short uncomfortable route or the long route, it's up to you dear. But I definitely don't think you should be on the supplements, it's just not necessary and who knows what kind of side effects they could have.

Sandy - posted on 08/09/2010

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Try wearing smaller sport bras and or use bandage wraps and wrap them tightly but not to the point where they are hurting...It takes a little while but it works...I did it after having my son..I wore 2 sport bras that were like 2 sizes to small for me and then I would wrap the bandage wrap around them at the same time and leave it like that for parts of the day.

Emily - posted on 08/09/2010

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i was given ace bandages to wrap my breasts with. it'll hurt because as they dry up they are still filling but if you bind them it'll be okay. it just may take 2 weeks or so.

Hilary - posted on 08/09/2010

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my doctor suggested to me that i replace one feeding with a bottle every couple days, for ex: day 1 i replace one breast freeding with bottle and stay like that for 2 days then add replace another for 2 days until there is no more breast feeding and i was not sore either.it helps both you and the baby.

Meghan - posted on 08/09/2010

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This happened to me as well. I was 2.5 years post-nursing and I still had milk. I went to my doctor and she did all kinds of tests. I was on the non-hormonal IUD, so it wasn't BC hormones. The doctor had no idea why I was still making milk, just that it happens sometimes to moms. I understand how you are fed up. Truly. If you find something that works, let me know? I'm 9mos into BF #2.

Christine - posted on 08/08/2010

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place cabbage leaves in your bra. i did that and i dried up in about a week or so

Maria - posted on 08/08/2010

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Try putting a cabbage leaf in your bra i know it sounds funny but it worked for me

Kaitlyn - posted on 08/08/2010

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I put cabbage leaves in my bra for about a week. I was told there's an anti oxidant that helps decrease milk production... but for me it was just SUCH a relief to have cold cabbage leaves. Down side... my little girl kept trying to eat the cabbage. :)

April - posted on 08/08/2010

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one of my nurses said to take cabbage leaves and roll a rolling pen over them to open the veins and then put them in your bra the chemical in the leaves dry's up you milk

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my dr told me to use cabbage. u put 1 in each cup of bra and change them when they get wilty. i know it sounds really weird but i have done it with 2 of my kids and it really helps dry u up.

Lindsey - posted on 08/07/2010

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also i was told to use cabbage to help the milk reliese when there is engorgement and i don't think you want to do that when you are trying to stop. I was told about the cabbage by a lactation nurse

Lindsey - posted on 08/07/2010

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My doc told me to wear tight bras to help stop the milk from producing. Also I had my husband wrap a large ace bandage around my torso at my breast and slept like that during the night. It seemed like it didn't take but a few days to stop producing but the process is painfull no matter how you do it.

Lauren - posted on 08/07/2010

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yes, cabbage!! I used it, make sure its cold. I wrapped a cold leaf w/bondage (the ones that r used to wrap an ankle or something) i usually do it over night. IT drains them at first then it will dry them out pretty fast if u want them to dry out fast use them most of the day or a few hours at a time. It worked for me.

Liza - posted on 08/07/2010

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what i have done to stop lactating to my kids is i do it slowly.. for example... i stop breastfeeding them in the whole morning for 1 week, next no breastfeed in the morning and afternoon for another week. and totally stopping for the next week... i cant stop it in a rush because my breast really hurts and my kids cant stop crying for my milk...it's so long but its less painful for me and less crying fo the baby

Anna - posted on 08/07/2010

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wear a snug bra and the pressure begins decreasing the lactation, i had same prob and thats how my doc fixed it

Lina - posted on 08/06/2010

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sudafed works wonders =] I took 1 every four hours for a day & a half and motrin for the pain and I was dried up in two days! I couldnt do the cabbage leaves because I am allergic to sulfa so my doctor told me to do sudafed =]

Karrie - posted on 08/06/2010

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I used cold cabbage and it was only a few days and I had stopped and really didn't have that much pain, it was uncomfortable a few times but the cabbage relieved it.

Amanda - posted on 08/06/2010

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I just thought of something else. When they were trying to figure out why I was still lactating they did blood work. It turned out that I had an overactive pituitary gland(caused by the medication I was on). Maybe you should look into that and see if you have an overactive pituitary gland.

Cleo - posted on 08/06/2010

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i just stopped stimulating my breast all together by not facing the shower for too long and I also made sure that the shower water wasn't too hot. Also try wearing clothes that are a lil more tight around your bust area. good luck.

Racheal - posted on 08/06/2010

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sorry i just read it! wow 4.5 years?? try cabbage leaves in your bra for comfort, i cant remember if they are supposed to be hot or cold, also if your expressing for comfort you need to stop!! breastfeeding is a supply and deman thing so if you express even a tiny amount you will continue to keep a supply

Amanda - posted on 08/06/2010

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I've heard that some women will always lactate after bf. How much are you still lactating? Are you on medication that might make this happen? I became very ill when my oldest was 16 months and couldn't nurse him anymore. I was than put on medication for my condition. I kept lactating and didn't know why!!! Only to find out the medication I was on was making me lactate! Good luck and I hope something works for you!

Hillary - posted on 08/06/2010

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I used sage tea and also got sage essential oil and mixed it with almond oil and massaged my breasts (staying away from the nipple though because stimulation there can increase milk production). Sage definitly worked, and I also used cold cabbage leaves changing them every few hours. Also very effective!

Kelli - posted on 08/06/2010

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I am a major cabbage advocate!!!! CABBAGE WORKS! It's like magic, you just tuck it in ur bra and and ahhhhhh no more pain, ur still engorged and lumpy, but.... it doesn't hurt at all. Use it! My hubby called me cabbage patch for weeks after I did it, but it worked.

Hillary - posted on 08/06/2010

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cabbage leaves rip off pieces and put in ur bra will take the heat out and dry you up. i done it worked great and felt great.

Ruby Rose - posted on 08/06/2010

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wow,,thank you for all the moms who gave advised,,,maybe i should try the cabbage...

Holly - posted on 08/06/2010

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HI, I have been told to drink Sage Tea, I am still feeding my 22month old so am yet to try it but i have a few friends who said it was magic, that they still had a bit of discomfort but that this was to be expected when weaning, but that if you drank the tea and used cold cabbage leaves in your snug fitting bra it would only last a few days... Hope this helps

Nikki - posted on 08/05/2010

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I also heard that cabbage leaves would help. I didn't nurse my second child but I produced a lot and I wrapped my chest for a week with ace bandages and cabbage leaves.

Miranda - posted on 08/05/2010

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One of my co-workers is very educated in this "department" and she told me whenever I am ready to stop, or more so whenever my child is done to use cabbage leaves. She said that you rinse them and then apply them directly to the breast itself and within a few days to a week one is usually "dried up". I have yet to try this method because my 17 month old is not done nursing in the mornigs yet. I searched the web, and got a few different variations of this method, but I believe my co-worker, she nursed 6 children and used cabbage leaves after each and every child and it seemed to work for her. Hope this is helpful? Good luck! :)

Tara - posted on 08/05/2010

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I just pumped less and less often until I didn't pump at all. It really hurt for the first like 24 hours and can take up to a week to completely dry up but it worked for me.

Sabrina - posted on 08/05/2010

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stop all the nipple stimulation you can.. any stimuli can have effects on stopping... how long have u been breastfeeding

Krystle - posted on 08/05/2010

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According to my GP, there is no remedy, just got to allow out bodies do it naturally. Been told it can take up to 6 months.

Kristen - posted on 08/05/2010

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For the women that are still lactating after done w/ breastfeeding, are you on birthcontrol? After I had my daughter I went on depo and I kept lactating for THREEEEEE years!! Dr. kept saying it was "normal" and I should worry cause I wasnt engorging and it was never too much. ONCE the depo was out of my system, I didnt lactate again till I get preggo again. Check our your BC and see if it could be that. That's my only idea! Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 08/05/2010

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Thank you ladies for all of the advise! I have tried all of the suggestions except for the cabbage so I am going to the farmers market today:) Kayla I am so sorry for you loss & I can totally understand not wanting to pump. Like I said before, I have not nursed in over 4yrs so I'm ready to be done with this, LOL!

Kayla - posted on 08/05/2010

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I also used cabbage leaves. I lost my newborn and so I was completely full! However I broke my cabbage leaves and just blanched them in hot water. the warm seemed to feel good on my breast. With in 2 weeks I was all dried up. But like I said I was engorged from no baby to relieve me and I couldn't stand pumping and throwing the milk away. That's probably why mine took longer. But keep at it if it doesn't work the first week try another week. Also I did the tight sports bra as well with the cabbage.

Sarah - posted on 08/05/2010

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i dried up with boy my sons easily but painfully lol. i was told to wear a sports bra that was a bit too small to keep constant pressure on the nipples then if the pain is too much use cold cabbage leaves in your bra to help :)

Yvonne - posted on 08/05/2010

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i used d cold cabbage leaves trick too after only 3 days it has stoped and breasts are empty...they also help relieve d pain as they are good and cold and soothe d engorgment bestA LUCK!

Felicia - posted on 08/04/2010

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I have heard cabbage leaves also work but my milk dried up on its own it was a little painful for me though!

Karen - posted on 08/04/2010

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well good luck, and i don't blame you - i'd be over it by now too! OH, i was told that it has to be green leaf cabbage (apparently the red cabbage doesn't work the same)

Sarah - posted on 08/04/2010

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Thank you Karen, for the advise and for not thinking I'm a freak, lol! I will try it & let you know. My body always seems to be the exception to the rule. I had a hysterectomy 3 1/2yrs ago and only have one ovary & still lactating! I'm just over it at this point:)

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I did the same as Regina except I was pumping. I can't imagine still producing milk although not needing it for 4 yrs.???

Regina - posted on 08/04/2010

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I just recently stopped nursing because i became pregnant again and I started by cutting my daughter down from 5 times a day to 4 then 3 and 2 eventually i just stopped within a month and it wasnt painful at all.

Nicole - posted on 08/04/2010

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I attempted to breastfeed my son and for a few reasons was unable too!!! My dr. and visiting nurse told me to wear like two sports bras(snuggly fitting) and ice ice ice!!!! Also when I was in the shower to cover my nipples cause the hot water will stimulate your nipples and make the milk flow!!!! After a week or so my breasts were basically empty and would only have a very little milk leak for about a week afterwards!!! I hope this helps!!

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