You’re ready to stop breastfeeding, but how do you tell your body to stop producing milk? topping the flow of milk is a process that will take some time. It’s not uncommon for a mother to continue producing milk for weeks or even months after her baby has stopped breastfeeding. If it is already becoming uncomfortable you can do certain things to speed up the process.
When you wean your baby, make it a gradual process. Begin alternating between breast feeding and bottle feeding. Gradually increase the number of bottle feedings while lessening the breast feeding. This will tell your body that you are getting ready to wean and will help the body also cycle down the milk production.
Your body produces milk when the milk stored in the breasts is depleted, so to stop milk production, don’t allow your breasts to be completely emptied of milk. When you pump, just remove enough milk to keep your breasts from feeling heavy and swollen. Don’t empty it out completely. Doing this will help slow down milk production.
Compresses can also help slow down milk production. Apply cold compresses directly to your breasts to help alleviate the swelling on your breasts. The cold will also help slow down milk production. A clever way to perform cold compresses is to use cabbage leaves chilled in the refrigerator. Just replace the leaves every two hours to keep the cold compress going.
Do remember that the weaning process will also be a difficult time for your baby so you have to consider his comfort as well. Although weaning will upset him, you should be firm and not allow him to breastfeed if it is not time (if using the alternating method mentioned above). Don’t let your baby breastfeed just because you want him to relieve the pressure on your breasts. Doing this will only tell your body that producing milk is still a necessity and your milk supply will just continue instead of drying up.
photo from parentsask.com