31 DecWeaning: How to dry up your breast milk supply

Every breastfeeding mother comes to a point where she is faced with having to wean her baby. It’s often a bittersweet moment. One filled with joy of being able to eat, drink whatever, and go wherever you want…but also one of sadness as you may be mourning the loss of those quiet special moments between you and your baby, and that special time of closeness and bonding you shared. Alas, all things come to an end. For some women this will be an easy decision, for others a hard one, and for even some a decision they medically didn’t have a say in. Whatever the reason, breastfeeding is an accomplishment you should be proud of no matter the length of time, whether it was 1 week or 2 years. You did a wonderful thing for you and your baby. So now that the time has come let me walk you through how to dry up your milk supply. The process seems odd, but it works.
I never recommend going cold turkey. Your breasts and your baby wont be happy! I would try, if possible, to start cutting out a feeding session and replacing it with a bottle of either expressed breast milk, formula, or cows milk if over 12 months. This will allow your cellular breast tissue to gradually realize what’s happening and avoid you become severely engorged. However, If the gradual weaning process isn’t right for you, and you want to quit cold turkey, then here are the steps to follow:

  1. During the drying up stage, very important to NOT stimulate your breasts with a pump or massage. This will only make the breasts think it needs to produce more
  2. Buy a head of green cabbage and keep it in the refrigerator to keep it cold and fresh. Peel off 2 leaves, crush them with a rolling pin to break up the enzymes, then place one leaf on each breast, inside a well fitting bra. (I know that sounds really weird….but cabbage when placed topically secretes enzymes that dry up the production of milk. It works)
  3. Replace the cabbage leaves when they become wilted with fresh ones from the fridge. Be sure to do this for 24-48 hours.
  4. Wear a tight fitting bra such as a sports bra
  5. Use ice packs to bring down the swelling of the breast tissue if you become severely engorged
  6. Peppermint oil capsules such as that found at DoTerra. Some whole food stores also sell peppermint oil capsules, but any essential oil from YoungLiving or DoTerra is the best. Ingest a pellet/capsule every hour.  Or you can buy some peppermint Altoids, and eat one Altoids every hour (you don’t have to wear those!) The strong peppermint will lower the milk supply. Peppermint tea works nicely as well.
  7. Sage tea will also help in drying up your milk, or eating parsley salads.
  8. In severe cases, decongestants such as sudafed or anti-histamines such as Benedryl may be helpful, but this should be done under the care of your physician. Breasts are mucus membranes and will respond to the “drying out” method these drugs produce.

If for some reason these steps are not working, then contact a Lactation Consultant, such as myself for further guidance. You may smell like peppermint coslaw for a few days, but in the end your breasts will be happier that you chose not to just abandon them through this process. Best of luck!

Copyright© 2011 Danielle Gauss – JustBreastFeeding.com. All Rights Reserved.

249 Responses to “Weaning: How to dry up your breast milk supply”

  1. Marie John-Potier says:

    Please help my baby have a horrible rash on his bottom duecto my breast milk and I csnnot breast feed him due to my engorgement I am trying to wean off cold turkey and God it hurts. Scared of my ducts clogging whatcto do how should I know…5 weeks breast feeding

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear that your little one is suffering from a diaper rash, but I don’t know if it would be from your breastmilk. My guess is that if his rash is not clearing up with basic diaper ointment, I would take him to his doctor to make sure it is not a yeast infection, which would not be caused by anything he is eating from your milk. An antifungal cream should help treat that. As for the engorgement, I would always recommend doing it gradually. For right now, unless you really want to give up breastfeeding, I would treat his rash, maybe cut out spicy foods and dairy, and continue to breast feed. Initially though, so you don’t get an infection pump out both breasts till empty, and then begin the treatment recommended under weaning. Hang in there. I do hope you find a root cause of his rash.

  2. Ashley says:

    I breast fed for 4 weeks and still got no relief. My boobs hurt when feeding my little girl. So I stated pumping and feeding her with a bottle. My breasts fill up really fast and fill up a lot. It seems like they always hurt and I am not sleeping well because of the fullness. They literally feel like rocks when I get up throughout the night to pump. I’ve decided to introduce her to formula and stop pimping but I don’t know how to do that. I read the above article but when I do pump do I need to empty my breasts or just enough to relive the fullness? I am definitely going to try the cabbage leaves and altoids. Please help!

  3. Admin says:

    Hi Ashley,
    I apologize for just now getting back to you. Your breasts work by supply and demand, the more you stimulate the more milk you will make. Originally you want to empty them completely, or as best as you can. Then I would use cold compress for the discomfort, and begin to space out the pumping, with less minutes. So for example if you were pumping every 3 hours, I would go to every four hours, and only pump 5 min instead of 15. During this time I would begin eating the peppermint altoids, and begin with the cabbage leaves. Make sure you crush the cabbage prior to wearing it. If you still feel really uncomfortable, you can try a decongestant like Sudafed. Just like how it decongest your nose it will decongest your breast. Hope this helps!

    • Angelica says:

      My daughter is down to one feeding at night and sometimes one feeding during the day. The doctor said i shud stop becuz there is no need for her to have my breast milk anymore. Shes 15 months. Would it be bad if I just stopped. Would the pain in my breast be terrible if she only feeds so little? If so what can I do?!

      • Admin says:

        The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends breastfeeding your baby up to 1 year of age OR for however long is mutually desired between mother and child. Nutritionally breast milk is your infants first source of food for the first year. After that 1 year mark the child is often eating table foods and getting their daily nutrients in that form. However, if you are wanting to continue nursing, the baby will still be getting the antibiotic factors associated with breastmilk which will protect her through flu season. If you do decide to stop, that would not be bad, I would gradually wean and begin the steps mentioned in my article and you will begin to dry up. The pain is not as bad if it is done gradually. I would recommend though, that you are ready to wean because you and your baby want to, not because your doctor feels the child is too old to. It should be on your terms, unless medically indicated. Hope this helps.

  4. Melanie says:

    Marie John-Portier:
    I know this is late, and hopefully the diaper rash is cleared up! Coconut oil worked wonders for my little boys AWFUL rash. We tried EVERYTHING! Coconut oil can be bought in the baking aisle at WalMart. Try it!!

  5. Andrea says:

    I have been breast feeding for 11 months. For the past few months I have cut back his feeding and I am now down to only feeding once a night. I have tried using cabbage leaves, tight bra, and sudifed but nothing is working. I am in so much pain. What else can I do?

    • Admin says:

      Ice is always helpful. Try eating a peppermint Altoid an hour, or peppermint tea. Large amounts of peppermint along with the cabbage (has to be crushed) will help decrease the supply. Hang in there it will go away soon.

      • dana says:

        I exclusively pumped for 9 mo. At the 6th mo my period returned and was very heavy and harsh, knocking my supply in half…I spent a month drinking mother milk and taking fenugreek and pumping every 3 hours and couldnt get it back up. So for that month I was only getting 2 ounces or less per session. I then stopped to pumping 2 times a day and then 1 time a day for a week. I havent pumped in 2 weeks and just in the last few days I’m in pain and breasts are hard as rocks…..why would they get wprse 2 weeks later

        • Admin says:

          Most likely because your hormones have shifted again and your body is trying to produce more. If you are wanting to re-boot your milk supply I would begin to pump again and start the other steps to increase your supply. If not then continue with the peppermint and sage instructions, as listed in the article. Begin icing and if needed to dry you up, you can take a decongestant. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  6. Kelly says:

    I have breastfed my first for two years stopping for about three months before the birth of my second child. It has been a little more than two years with her and I just eliminated the night feedings a week and a half ago. Now I have relentless headaches but no engorgement. I can still express milk but refrain from doing so. I had hormone issues before my first pregnancy as I had nipple discharge for over a year before I was ever pregnant. About 6 months ago I randomly went bald in two patches on my head, it had grown back sans treatment. I wish I could know more what to expect. How long will these headaches last? I’ve never had any questions answered by a dr. They have always just said they don’t know why I lost hair or had discharge and to not worry about it. While I appreciate the plethora of info on the child’s side of weaning I’m beyond disappointed in the info I can find for the mother who is weaning. So far OTC medication for headaches barely makes a dent. I read some places it can be years before I stop production. How will I know if I’ve stopped producing or if my original discharge has simply replaced it?

    • Admin says:

      Thank you for your honest response Kelly. Yes it is true that you can “express” fluid or breastmilk from a breast for about a year to almost 5 years after breastfeeding, although the later is pretty rare. The fact that you breastfed so long is absolutely wonderful! Because of that your body is used to the hormone surges. I went through all of your symptoms….not associated with weaning….with other health issues so I may be able to shine some light on them. The fluid you were leaking prior to being pregnant, especially if you had hormone imbalance before, may be due to a papiloma in your milk ducts which can cause clear fluid to express from your breast. This is a benign tumor the size of a grain of salt in your milk duct. It can be discovered by a ductogram that should be performed by a breast specialist doctor. If you are in Southern California I know a fabulous one! As for your headaches, weaning and headaches are not common, and is something worth getting checked out. Your other symptoms would make me wonder if you have a magnesium or vitamin B deficency as both of those can cause hair loss and headaches. You also could be developing a thyroid condition which is common after pregnancy and weaning. That is checked by a simple blood test. I would try taking a calcium/magnesium supplement from Trader Joes for example and see if it helps with your headaches. I had doctors wanting to put me on every medicine under the sun for my headaches, finally I gave up after gobs of side effects, stopped sleeping with a pillow (which amazing cut my headaches in half) and started taking a food base magnesium suppliment. Straight magnesium will give you gastric symptoms. My daily headaches are now few and far between. Also if your up for it accupuncture works amazingly well for headaches. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  7. victoria says:

    My name victoria i have four kids my first son is seven years old my second is 4 and third is 3 and the last is 2 i never breatfeed none of my kids but i cant get y i still have milk in my breast im try to dry it up cause i been graining alot of weight someone help how can i make this go away

    • Admin says:

      Hi Victoria! Thank you for your response. If you have never breastfed your children and your youngest is 2 yrs old, and there is fluid coming from your breast I would recommend going to have your thyroid and pituitary gland checked at your doctor’s office. This is a simple blood test that can determine if your thyroid and more important your pituitary gland has a cyst or blockage. Your pituitary gland, in your neck, is very small but is responsible for the production of breast milk. It is very common, especially after having children for cysts or goiters to form on either the thyroid or pituitary. When this happens you will notice weight gain, fatigue, and discharge from the breasts. If you are only leaking out of one breast then I would speak to your doctor about your breast health to rule out any mass in there. So all that to say, I would call your doctor, have them run some blood work and hopefully you will get your answer. This is most definitely a metabolic condition vs. a lactation concern. Best of luck!

  8. Cindy says:

    Hello, my name is Cindy. I have a 2year old daughter who i still breastfeed only when i get home and in the evening. I really want to stop breastfeeding but Cassidy wants to hear nothing of the sort… she cries and cries and i eventually give in… Please help! I really want to stop

    • Admin says:

      Hi Cindy! Thank you for your response. Making the decision to wean is a tough one, and often harder on mom then the baby or in this instance toddler. But sooner or later that time comes. My advice would be to begin the steps of drying up your milk. The milk will begin to taste bitter with the cabbage treatment, and your daughter will most likely not like that. However, the biggest issue is a battle of wills. Your daughter has reached the fabulous age of 2 where she is testing her limits, how much she can get away with, and cause and reaction. The best thing to do, since you want it to be a positive experience, is to distract her with something else. I would gradually wean out one feeding session. For example start by cutting out the feed right when you get home. Distract her with a different fun activity that the two of you can do together. Mentioning that she is a “Big Girl” during the activity such as coloring, or story time, or going for a walk or to the park, may make her feel special. The hard step will be the night feeding. At that time your milk will hopefully be dried, and you can begin introducing a bottle or sippy cup at this point. Have her give a doll a “Bottle” why she gets one at night. Have her mimic the bedtime routine with her doll and she will eventually stop. The bottom line is, you as the mother get to decide when it is time, and she will eventually realize that decision too. Stand firm, and know that it will get better. The more you explain that breastfeeding is over, and replace it with something else, the easier it will get. Hope this helps.

  9. jacmandu says:

    Hi! I have breastfed my daughter for 2 and a half years and we are at a point where we are thinking of having #2. My doctor feels that since I am not ovulating, I should give up the breastfeeding. We were nursing in the morning and at night and sometimes before nap time. Any thoughts on how long I will be engorged for? It is day 3 and I am VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!

    • Admin says:

      The engorgement is the worst for the first 3 days but should begin to get better. Be sure to keep up with the cabbage, crush the leaves prior to use, and replace them when they get wilted. Also keep using cold compresses for discomfort. Peppermint and Sage is huge for drying up milk, so you can of course add that to your diet. In severe cases some doctors suggest using an over the counter decongestant, but I would always speak to your doctor first. I’m so sorry your uncomfortable, hang in there it will get better.

  10. Pip n mouse says:

    I am planning to ween slowly. My baby is very happy with either formula or breast feeding (I have had low supply issues). What I really need is a step by step ideal guide. Like: week one, cut out an afternoon feeding. Week 2, cut out a night time feeding, and doe on. What is a suggested timeline if you don’t have to go cold turkey?

    • Admin says:

      Gradually weaning is much better then going cold turkey…your breasts thank you! Your instincts are correct. The fact that you have a lower supply may help you in this catagory. I would start eating peppermint altoids or peppermint tea as this alone will bring down your supply. If you are pumping at all, I would stop and stick to just feeding. I would start by eliminating the middle of the day feedings first, as this is when babies are more likely to not notice. So for example if you have been feeding 4 x a day, pumping 2 x a day. Start gradually.
      week 1. Continue to feed 4 x a day, eliminate all pumping
      week 2. Feed in the morning, skip middle of the day, feed late afternoon, and at bedtime.(no pumping)
      week 3. Feed only in the morning and at bedtime (no pumping)
      week 4. ( decide which ever feed your baby enjoys more evening or morning, and keep that one eliminate the other.) Do this for 3 days, then by day 4 begin the cabbage treatment as stated in the article. By the end of the week you should be dried up. If you experience engorgement cold compresses and Ibuprofen will help. Good luck

  11. Nicole says:

    Hello, I’ve attempted breast feeding now for a month (baby is a month old now) and it just isn’t working for him. He doesn’t drink enough, stops after 2 mins or so and fusses (breasts are always full). He is now very gassy and constantly cries because of it. I’ve decided to bottle feed him (formula) now and no longer breast feed. I didn’t stop cold turkey, reduced the number of times I fed him slowly but breasts still fill up and are extremely painful. Tried everything under the sun and still no luck. My husband bought Benadryl and so far I’ve taken one tablet (Benadryl night time). How much of this is safe to take and how often to help dry up my milk supply?

    • Tameeka says:

      Hi! My daughter Will be a year old tomorrow. I really want to stop breastfeeding bit she is hearing a hard time with it. I wouldn’t stop bit when she sucks it hurts do bad. What should I do…..

      • Admin says:

        I would gradually begin the weaning process. Using the cabbage and other suggestions, will make the milk taste different as well as lower the supply which will make her not want to breastfeed as often. Distracting her at the times she wants to nurse is helpful too. She will eventually not be interested, but it often takes times. Offer a sippy cup or bottle to her during those times and reward her with affirmation and praise. She will want to then seek that out more so then the breast. Hang in there, it can be a challenging process, but you will get there.

  12. Nicole says:

    Forgot to mention I’ve been pumping only a little to relieve the pan f engorgement but that’s all.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Nicole! I am sorry to hear you have had such a difficult time. Benadryl or Sudafed will work, but is not something I would take regularly. What I would do is pump till you are empty to give your breasts a good starting chance to dry up. Feel free to give that milk to your baby. Then start with the cabbage treatment. Crush the cabbage leaves first, place them in a tight fitting bra, and change out every hour. Then begin eating peppermint altoids 1 an hour. This should help slow things down for you. If you decide that you would like to pump and bottlefeed your baby expressed milk, let me know and I can get you set up for a plan. Some mommas opt to do that while gradually weaning from breastfeeding all together. That way your baby is getting the benefits of breastmilk and your breasts aren’t in as much pain as you slowly dry up your milk. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

  13. Ashley says:

    Hi,
    I’ve just begun the weaning process and I’m curious if when I pump if I should empty my breasts or just pump enough to become more comfortable?
    Thank you!
    Ashley

    • Admin says:

      When you begin the process you want to pump to empty it completely at first. Then begin with the cabbage and peppermint treatment. At that time I would only pump for a few minutes for comfort. Remember your breasts work by supply and demand, so the more you stimulate the more milk you are going to make. So ideally you want to try not to pump if you can. Hope this helps!

  14. mary says:

    Please I nid ur help,I have never been pregnant and I dnt av a baby bt I have breastmilk. It doesn’t come out but anything I press it, milk comes out.how can I stop it please

    • Admin says:

      Hi Mary, Thank you for your response. When ever a woman is leaking fluid from her breast, and she has not been pregnant or ever breastfed, it could be a sign of a more significant medical condition. Most likely it is a benign, non-cancerous cyst or small mass either on your pituitary gland (if your leaking from both breasts) or a small cyst or mass in your breast most likely inside your avioli or ducts. I would highly recommend calling your doctor (prefer an OB/GYN) who would need to do a breast exam, mammogram, ductogram to see if their is a blockage within your duct, and blood work to rule out a pituitary dysfunction. I would go to the doctor sooner rather then later. Best of luck to you, and as always let me know if you have further questions.

  15. Ashley says:

    Ok HELP! I haven’t nursed or pumped since 1pm yesterday and my breasts are very large, hard and painful! Like razor blades!!!!! I’m taking Advil and using ice packs and cabbage in my sports bra. Is this normal? Should I press through the pain to reach my goal or pump to take the edge off? I’m stressed! Thank u!

    • Admin says:

      Your doing great. I would pump for no more then 3 min to alleviate some of the discomfort. Keep up with the cabbage, and remember to eat peppermint. Do not pump more then the 3 min, as you are just trying to eliminate some of the discomfort. Your breasts work by supply and demand, the more you stimulate the more milk you will make. So ideally the less stimulation there is the better. Cold compress will be a good thing also. Hang in there girl your almost through it! Let me know if you have any questions!

  16. Jennifer says:

    I stopped cold turkey 5 days ago and I am miserable. I have not tried the cabbage but I will tomorrow because I am desperate. How much longer should I expect to hurt this bad? I wear a tight sports bra all day but it seems to feel better when I take it off and lay down.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for your comment. I’m so sorry your in pain. Drying up can be very uncomfortable if you don’t take the proper steps. Absolutely recommend using the cabbage method as described in my article, it works really well, along with eating peppermint. Using other methods besides just a tight bra, will make the process not only go faster, but feel much better. Usually within 4 days or so you should have relief. Hang in there, go buy some green cabbage and peppermint altoids, and if needed a decongestant. Good luck!

  17. shakera says:

    hi. I am back at work and want to gradually wean my 4 month old off the breast, i have stocks of breast milk and i can have time to express once or twice a day.. should i continue with this before i introduce formula? do you have a plan of how to only bottle feed with expressed milk? ive cut out the day feeds and im very sore and engorged! or should i just get the tablets to dry my milk up?

    • Admin says:

      Hi there! You can absolutely exclusively pump expressed milk and bottle feed now that you are back at work. I would definitely use what stored milk you have first and then begin pumping during the day to help build your storage. By law, your employer needs to give you 15 min to pump every 2 hours, and it has to be in a place other then a restroom or public facility. So your boss needs to give you an office to pump in. If you are able to pump every 3-4 hours throughout the day and night you should be able to still make plenty of milk to supply for your baby. I would continue to provide the breast milk vs. formula, especially if your child is going into daycare since this will help prevent your little one from getting sick more frequently.
      Also I never recommend taking medications to dry up your milk supply. In my post I mentioned how decongestants can help, but I would follow the other instructions first, and would avoid any other medications “Prescribed” for drying up milk as they have been proven to be more hazardous then helpful. Good luck at work and let me know if you have further questions.

  18. Kate says:

    I am pregnant and want to wean my one year old. I’m trying the don’t offer don’t refuse with pretty much no success. Was thinking if using cabbage leaves but if they release enzymes is it safe when pregnant?? Little miss will take a bottle but can drink 200ml before bed and still want bf… I know it’s a comfort thing so I’d love for her to choose not to bf rather than be forced. I figure my milk drying up/ tasting yucky with encourage her…

    • Admin says:

      Yes the cabbage treatment is absolutely safe for pregnancy. Also eating the peppermint altoids. The pregnancy itself with the hormones, may change the flavor of the milk…but soon she will realize it is different. Good luck with both the new baby and your current little one. Let me know if you have further questions!

  19. Shana says:

    Hey,
    I’ve been breastfeeding my son for 16 months now I have tried to get him off and everything. My milk comes and goes as it please Im really tired of breastfeeding he’s a big boy an has a few teeth now… At this moment I am full with breast milk and in pain, I can’t seem to get it out I’ve taken a warm shower, tried the heat and a hot rag. I can’t just pop him on my breast because he’s staying the weekend with his grandmother. Could you PLEASE help me out here?

    • Admin says:

      You poor thing. Okay if you are engorged, try pumping out once to empty completely, then use cold compresses to help bring the inflammation down. Next I would begin the cabbage treatment of crushing the cabbage leaves and placing them in your bra, changing them out every hour when they get wilted. Be sure to then begin eating peppermint altoids, and peppermint tea. If needed, with your doctor’s permission, you can take Sudafed which will decongestant your breast and dry it up, but I NEVER recommend taking a medication, even over the counter, without a doctor’s consent. Hang in there, it will slow down and stop. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  20. Mya says:

    I breastfed my daughter until about the 8 month mark when she started refusing to bf. I thought it was a nursing strike but 3 months later she still won’t take it and she is more intetested in solids and feeding herself a bottle. I used to pump at work but I gradually stopped by cutting out one daily session each week. When I squeeze my breasts milk still squirts out but I am not uncomfortable or engorged. How long will I keep making milk? Do I new to do anything to hrlp the process or will my breasts dry up naturally? Thanks!

    • Admin says:

      Some babies when they reach 8 months or so, self wean and it can be frustrating for the mother, especially if you weren’t ready to quit. It sounds like you handled it beautifully though. As for your breasts, it is not uncommon for their to be some residual milk left in them. Some women are able to express some milk out of their breast for up to a year after stopping or sometimes longer. The good news is that since you are not engorged, the production has most likely stopped. The best thing is to try not to express milk if you can help it, and eventually the body will just absorb it. Let me know if you have further questions.

  21. Tonika says:

    Hello, today marks 11 months that I’ve been nursing my daughter, and I want to have her weaned by November. She usually gets one bottle of BM in the morning and then 2-3 bottles of formula while she’s at childcare during the day. I’ve cut the night time feedings, and now only nurse her right before I lay her down at night. I also work full time and have cut my pumping down to once during the day… Like a previous post, I need a weekly schedule. Like Week 1 – cut out the pumping during the day, Week 2- cut out nursing, and start the cabbage/altoid treatment…. Etc… Also when should I start only pumping to become comfortable? And where can I find the sage /peppermint tea?

    In the afternoon, my daughter is a little aggressive and will turn away from the bottle and tug on my shirt because she wants BM, what can I do? I’ve thought about maybe having my husband feed her for a while to defer her, any suggestions?

    • Admin says:

      Great job nursing so long! I always recommend weaning gradually. Initially cut out one feeding each week till you are down to just night or morning feedings. Then at that point you can begin wearing the cabbage leaves and eating peppermint. The cabbage and peppermint with both change the flavor of the milk making it more bitter and less appetizing to the baby. After on week cut out the morning feed, then on week 2 cut the night feed to every other night, until you are able to go without. Good luck and as always if you have questions please ask.

      • Meka says:

        Hello my daughter is 14months n I’m weaning her its so hard my husband try to make me go cold turkey. I cried like a baby I felt so bad but I gave in so now I’m drinking this tea call NO MORE MILK I BOUGHT IT OFF AMAZON. I FEED HER LIKE two times away then one time at night. But sometime she cry like she wanna nurse but she just like my breast to be on her face for soothe I guess. I just need Some tips.thianks advanced

        • Admin says:

          I am so sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I never recommend going cold turkey unless medically necessary, just because it is so painful for your breasts. Hopefully they have settled down a bit for you. I would recommend gradually weaning her feeds down. I would also try to get some peppermint oil capsules to ingest, a great place to get those would be doterra.com. Also I recommend the cabbage treatment as listed in my blog, remember to crush it prior to placing in your bra. Remember parsley also helps to decrease your supply as well. Hope this helps.

  22. Stacy says:

    I’m trying the cabbage and it’s not working. My boobs are swollen and engorged. I’ve breast fed for 14 months please help me get rid of this milk!!

    • Admin says:

      Hi Stacy! For the engorgement, be sure to use a cold compress to help bring down the inflammation and you can use an anti-inflammatory such as motrin or advil. Make sure you are crushing the cabbage leaves and replacing them every hour or when they become wilted. Peppermint is helpful too. Decongestants, over the counter medication, often works well for acute situations, but I would use that as a last case scenario and advise your doctor. Hang in there it does get better.

  23. Jenny says:

    Hi, I have a question, I try to wean my 15 months old son and I didn’t empty my milk before I stop and I notice one side of my is bigger than one other. Did I do something wrong or it’s just the way it is. Please help

  24. Hope says:

    Hello! Your website is very helpful and I appreciate that you are responding to every query posted here. I just want to inquire about a discharge I’ve been having lately.

    I gave birth last October. Unfortunately, due to post partum bleeding, I was not able to produce enough milk and was just able to breastfeed my baby for only two months (until December). As often, one breast produces more milk than the other. In my case, my left one was the “more productive one” than the right (which produces just a trickle to none).

    Fast forward to today, I noticed a milky discharge in my left breast (the more productive one) when I performed my self-breast exam. Though I found no lump (thank goodness!), I am a bit concerned about the discharge as I’ve read that discharge from only one breast is linked to breast cancer. I must also say that this left breast is the “more active” one, as it aches more during ovulation and I can feel some tingling sometimes. The doctor performed clinical breast exam last August and found no lumps too.

    I am deeply concerned about having this milky discharge in one breast only. I am thinking of asking for an ultrasound as I have had too many CT scans in the past (and one just recently, for a different issue) that having another mammogram and exposing myself to more radiation scares me. I just do not want to subject myself to more unnecessary harm, if ever. An opinion from you would be a lot of help. Thanks a lot!

  25. Diana says:

    Hello, my daughter has been exclusively BF for almost five months and I have had mastitis twice and a very pesky case of thrush. I’ve decided that it is time to wean, but I certainly have an oversupply of milk. Currently, I’ve stopped pumping and I have dropped one feed, but I am terribly engorged. I’ve been using cabbage leaves, wearing a sports bra, drinking “No More Milk” tea and icing my breasts. I really haven’t had any relief and I am hopeful that when I drop the next feeding, that I will notice a drop in my supply. I am very nervous about getting mastitis again and I am also very uncomfortable. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Admin says:

      You are doing all the right things, and you are correct to be wanting to watch for mastitis. One thing you could do, and as always with medications I recommend running it by your doctor, but you could take a decongestant like sudafed. That is a very quick way to “Decongest” and dry up your milk. That along with the other treatments, and not stimulating your breasts should stop the production. Try not to stimulate them if you can. You can also take lecithin which is an over the counter poly-unsaturated fat that will make your milk less sticky and prevent the clogs and infections from starting. Let me know if you have any questions. Best of luck!

  26. Tonika says:

    Thank you for your response. I’ve bought the cabbage and altoids and I’rm ready to give this a go…I did have a question about pumping…Should I continue? Only pump to relieve pressure? Or pump and completely empty as I have been?
    I also went to the grocery store and was unable to find Sage Tea, although I did find peppermint tea. Will that work? Or should I continue to search for the Sage Tea?
    Thanks so much.

    • Admin says:

      Ideally you want to try not to pump as your breasts will make more milk if they continue to be stimulated. However, that being said you want to start the cabbage treatment when the breasts are empty, so when you begin the process empty them first then begin. Peppermint tea works just as well as sage tea, so you can go ahead and use that. Let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck!

  27. Brooke says:

    I am an overproducer pumper. I attemptedt to wean off the pump slowly and was still producing a ton of milk, so I went cold turkey starting this past Sunday afternoon. I haven’t pumped and leaked terribly twice yesterday. I’ve taken a few hot showers and massaged the hard knots and also just sat and let milk fall out on its own without stimulation. Should I stop letting it fall out on its own? Also is it too late to pump a little here and there to alleviate the painful engorgement? Thank you.

    • Admin says:

      Hi there,
      It is okay for milk to be leaking on its own. Ideally I would not recommend pumping to relieve pressure as breasts work by supply and demand, and it may send a mixed message to your body. However, if you are super uncomfortable you can do an initial pump till they are emptied, and then begin fresh with the cabbage treatment, adding in peppermint as is listed on the article. You can always do cold compresses and take an anti-inflammatory as needed for the engorgement. The showers are always helpful to. Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

  28. Lenore says:

    I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 4 months and am going back to work soon. I wanted to try weaning gradually and started over a week ago. I gradually dropped pumping and then a week ago I dropped one feeding but became very engorged. I pushed through for about a week only pumping a little when it really hurt to take the edge off. But that was only one skipped feed!
    After reading your article I pumped to empty my breasts, put on a tight sports bra and cold cabbage. If I try to breastfeed in the morning will there be milk? If possible I’d like to keep the morning feed but pretty much eliminate the rest. What do you recommend? Thanks!

    • Admin says:

      For a while there will be some milk in the morning, but eventually you may find that it completely dries up, or there is very little left. The breasts work by supply and demand the more you stimulate, the more milk you will make. If you continue to just feed at that one particular time of day, your body should respond and still continue to produce milk at just that time. However, when you introduce the cabbage and peppermint, it does significantly lower your supply. Be sure to crush the cabbage to with a rolling pin, prior to placing in the bra as this will make it more effective. Best of luck!

  29. Mehwish says:

    Hey!my son is nearly about 11 months and I want to stop breastfeeding.i have catch chest infection and being coughing.i think It is the right time when I use Benadryl to dry up milk.i want to mention I am taking antibiotic as well.can u help me please

    • Admin says:

      I’m so sorry to hear you have been sick. Antibiotics shouldn’t effect your milk or your supply. Decongestants and antihistamines such as Benadryl will decrease a milk supply. If you have decided to wean, then either of those will then become safe to take during the weaning process. Follow the steps in the article, and hopefully the process wont take to long for you. Hope you feel better soon.

  30. Jen says:

    Hello! If I want to dry up my milk through your methods, do you keep nursing ince you start the cabbage and peppermint or do you switch straight to formula while drying up? Can we give our daughter the similac for supplementation even after I’m not nursing anymore? Thank you!

    • Admin says:

      You can continue to nurse while you are trying to bring down your supply. Gradually weaning is always a better method then going cold turkey as that can cause pain. However keep in mind that your breasts work by supply and demand. The more you stimulate them the more milk you will make. So I would gradually begin decreasing the amount you are stimulating your breasts if you are truly wanting to minimize the production. Yes you can use similac, but once she is completely on formula and no breast milk then I would use basic similac instead. Best of luck.

  31. Jessica says:

    I’ve been breast feedin for 9 weeks now and have had blocked ducts or mastitis every 2 weeks. The doctor says I am producing a lot of milk and are just prone to block ducts. I need to start weaning gradually or make my boobs stop producing so much. Baby isn’t emptying my boobs out. I tried this last week to reduce the time spent nursing and pumping and now I have a lump and fever. Which for mastitis everyone says pump and nurse. Well I do that and the. I’m stuck with more milk. How do I wean completely or just so I make enough milk for baby and not excess??? I can’t keep feeling sick every 2 weeks

    • Admin says:

      In your case, rather then wean, I would start with taking a lecithin supplement to help reduce and “Unclog” the number of clogged ducts and mastitis. If you go to my article on clog ducts it will explain how to prevent the clogs from return. I would start with 1200mg capsules, 3 x a day (total of 3500mg) a day, for 2 weeks. This will help make the milk less sticky so it flows through the milk ducts preventing clogs and mastitis. Once the clogs are gone, then you can take a preventative dose of just 1 capsule a day (1200mg).
      To help cut back on the amount your body is making you could add peppermint or sage tea to your diet, or peppermint altoids, as this will naturally bring down your supply. Let me know if you have any questions. This should help reduce your supply without causing more milk. If you have further questions please ask. Begin taking a probiotic as well and be sure you are not wearing an underwire bra as that will increase the clogs. Best of luck to you.

      • Jessica says:

        Thank u so much I will try this. I decided not to wean completely yet. I’ll try to reduce my milk first to see if I can be even with my babies needs instead of way above hers. If I have a clogged duct on each boob how
        Would u nurse to get rid of them? Nurse one side and pump other? Or nurse one side TIl empty and the other next feeding (3-4hrs later)? Do I take an altoid every hour or how many to reduce my milk supply? Should I put cabbage on my breasts too?

        • Jessica says:

          Do u have certain herbs or natural remedies to get rid of mastitis instead of antibiotics?

          • Admin says:

            Unfortunately with mastitis, it is best, in my opinion to go the antibiotic route as the infection if left untreated can continue to become worst and possibly abscess. You can of course take lecithin which is a vitamin to help with the clogs that may be present and prevention of further cases. For dosage instruction please visit my article on plugged duct therapy. Probiotics will be helpful in the prevention of yeast. I’m so sorry you have an infection, that is never fun. Remember to continue to feed your baby and or pump so that the milk will continue to flow. You never want the milk to sit. Best of luck to you!

        • Admin says:

          I am so glad you decided to not wean competely yet. Your breasts should simmer down soon. For the clogged duct, place warm moist compress on each breast and then massage the clog while breastfeeding or pumping. You can of course nurse one side and pump the other, however this may maintain the supply that you currently have. Remember breasts work by supply and demand. I would most likely start with nursing on one side till empty then alternating to the other breast on the next feed. Take an altoid every other hour to help slow down production. I would not do cabbage right now, just stick to less stimulation and adding in peppermint. Best of luck!

  32. Mehwish says:

    Dr.prescribed me sudafed(a deconjestant) I just want to know what quantity can I take?

    • Admin says:

      I would follow the directions on the box. Do not take more then is instructed as sudafed is a stimulant. I would also continue with the other instructions mentioned on the site. Be sure to continue to drink plenty of fluids as Sudafed can be dehydrating as well. Best of luck.

  33. Jessica says:

    I need help I have had mastitis 4-5 times and plugged ducts in 10 weeks of breast feeding. Apparently I produce a lot of milk.I need tips to reduce my milk first to see if I can be even with my babies needs instead of way above hers. If I have a clogged duct on each boob how Would u nurse to get rid of them? Nurse one side and pump other? Or nurse one side TIl empty and the other next feeding (3-4hrs later)? how do i reduce my milk supply? Also if I continue to get these ill need to wean. I go to work in 5 weeks and need a schedule for weaning. I’ve been pumping to empty due to blocked ducts/ mastitis which makes me have more milk….. I currently have 103 fever for last 4 days and was put on antibiotics which tears up my baby but I was told to keep nursing. Does anyone have a schedule to reduce my milk and Aldo one for weaning in 5 weeks? Also suggestion for ur opinion of great formula? I know that’s not what this site is for but I don’t know what do ;( I can’t keep having fevers every 2 weeks!!! I feel lost……

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear about all your trouble….you may be a good candidate for lecithin which is an over the counter poly-unsaturated fat which will help make your milk less sticky, preventing clogs and bouts of mastitis. You can find this at any pharmacy or natural food stores. My blog on clogged ducts will give you the dosage. The lecithin should help with resolving most of those issues.
      Another thing I would recommend too, is that you don’t wear any underwire or sleep on your stomach as that can cause more clogs. If you would like to bring down your supply a bit, try drinking peppermint tea, or eating peppermint altoids as that would help to reduce your supply. Only feed baby on one breast per feed and see if that helps. For further information you can see my blog on overabundant milk.
      I have posted a weaning schedule on here for when that time comes. I would consult with your pediatrician on what formula they feel is best for your baby’s needs. Best of luck to you.

  34. Eleinna Anderson says:

    Hi dr. I have been breastfeeding for 2 yrs and 2 months to my son, William. But recently up until Thursday this week I breastfed mostly when he went to bed, when he woke up during the night and in the morning. I then had to travel to Hongkong for 6 days and thought it was a great idea to wean him. Now my breasts are hard. I have started placing cabbage leaves on them and expressed them a littlebot dduring shower. Is this the right way to do? Does the milk will dry up afyer a few days? What should I do when I see my son next week if he asks for breastfeeding? Thx a lot

    • Admin says:

      Hi there. Your breasts work by supply and demand, so I would try not to express them while you are weaning. Being away from your son may have been good for weaning. I would offer something else to comfort him instead of the breast, if you are ready to wean.
      Follow the suggestions mentioned in the weaning blog and engorgement blog. This will help you reduce your supply. Make sure you crush the cabbage leaves before placing them in your bra. Remember peppermint is a great way to decrease your supply as well. Best of luck and let me know if you have any questions.

  35. Carlie says:

    I started the Altoids and cabbage today around noon and I was just curious as to how long it usually takes for the milk to dry up? I stopped cold turkey after pumping every three hours for three weeks. I’m in so much pain :(

    • Admin says:

      I’m sorry your in so much pain….it can take a few days for it to dry up. Maybe try pumping to empty the breasts then try the cabbage treatment so that you can start fresh. By next week things should be much better.

  36. Jo says:

    Hi there, I have been BF’ing my bubs for 12 months and have decided to go cold Turkey (as bubs has me up 7x per night!), he is taking a bottle which is great, I have a script for Brocriptomine (?) but don’t really want to take it as I’ve heard it can have bad side effects. Any suggestions on drying me up – I have to express a little just to give me some relief (about 50ml per side up to 3x/day -which is way less than bubs use to feed). Any suggestions??
    thanks, Jo

    • Admin says:

      I don’t recommend taking the medication either as there are side effects. I would follow the steps in the blog, and use the cabbage and peppermint. If you needed to use a medication, a decongestant like sudafed is better and safer, but always consult your doctor first. Best of luck to you.

  37. Michelle says:

    Hi! My son will be 11 months old in a few days. He has been nursing 4 times a day since around 9 months old. I would really like to only be nursing morning and night by the time he is a year old. I do not want to do that cold turkey so I am trying to not offer not refuse.

    Little info about him: He eats A lot of solid foods and drinks water from a sippy. He never took a bottle or had formula. He signs for breastfeeding. Ok. So I guess my question is what do you suggest regarding weaning the two day time feedings? Also what do you suggest regarding WCM? I’d like to keep morning and night for a few months after he turns one and then once a day for a few months. He does not nurse to sleep, but it is the last thing he does before being put down.

    Any guidance or advice?

    Thanks in advance! It is so great of you to answer all these questions!

    • Admin says:

      Great job nursing!! I would gradually wean out one of the feeds during the day, for about a week. Then the second week wean out the other daytime feed. You can keep that going for however long is mutually desired by you and your baby. When you are ready to wean completely I would stop either the night or morning, whichever is best for you and your son. Then when you get ready to cut out the last feeding you can make sure to follow the steps in the blog. Your doing great! I’m not sure what you mean by WCM?
      If you just gradually stop each feed it will be less traumatic for you and your son. Good luck!

  38. Laurel says:

    My daughter is going to be 1 next week and I’ve been exclusively pumping since she was about 1 month old. I started trying to gradually wean off the pump last week. I had been pumping for 20-25 minutes 4x a day and am down to 18-20 min 3x a day, and I have also stopped the mother’s milk tea and brewer’s yeast (I’ve struggled with low supply from the beginning). Anyways, for the past 24 hours, I’m actually seeing an increase in my supply…not much, just like an ounce or two. I guess I’m confused, because you recommend not going cold turkey, but what I see in your other comments is that you suggest people to try not to pump because that’s just stimulating…but wouldn’t that be going cold turkey? I have not tried decongestants or anything peppermint. I have heard that cabbage leaves will cause a reaction if allergic to sulfa so I will not be able to try that route. I’m frustrated that with struggling with low supply all along, that I haven’t dropped as much as I’d hope. I’m down to about 10-11oz per day. What would you recommend? I guess I’m nervous to not pump for too long for fear of getting mastitis. I have not had it before but I believe I’ve had 2 clogged ducts that went away quickly. My daughter’s birthday party is this weekend and I don’t want to be in terrible pain or sick for it!

    • Admin says:

      Hi there. Great job maintaining a supply for as long as you have!! If you have been exclusively pumping and not having her at the breast then you would treat your pumping sessions like feeding sessions in my previous comments. So you would still do things gradually. So you would just eliminate one pump session every three days until your breasts slow down and stop producing. You are correct in not doing the cabbage leaves, but you can try peppermint. So for this weekend, go ahead and pump out till you are empty, then gradually decrease as the days go on. You can also pump for less minutes as well. Hope this helps, and I hope your daughter has a great first birthday.

  39. Kate says:

    I started weaning my LO at 1 year. He is now 13 months and down to one nightly feeding. He feeds primarily on my right side and now my right breast stays larger/slightly engorged the whole day. Help! It’s getting hard to pick out clothes in the morning because of the noticeable difference. Will my boobs ever be the same size again?

    • Admin says:

      Yes!! Your breasts will eventually be even again. It just takes a bit of time for them to settle. It is normal for one breast to produce more then another one, so it would naturally take longer for one to dry up then the other. You are doing great, keep up the good work. Let me know if you have any questions.

  40. Lisa says:

    I have a beautiful 4 week old daughter who latched right away with no problems. For the past 2 weeks she has been spitting up every time she feeds and is hungry about every 45 minutes to an hour. I thought it was due to an overactive let down so I started pumping and also feeding her from a bottle. She continued to spit up. I broke down and gave in to a few formula feedings and no spit up. Now I’m convinced that it’s my breast milk irritating her. Thinking of making the switch to formula full time. The only problem is the longer I go between feedings/pumping my breasts get so engorged and painful to the point where it hurts to hold my baby girl. Any suggestions would be so appreciated. Thanks

  41. patricia.r says:

    Hi my names patricia my daughter is 2 yrs old an I have just started th weani g process as of last week she stood with close family for 4 days straight and was dokng very well with the breast over those days I became very very engorged on my left breast my right milk completly dried up its was always the left breast where she got nursed I tried the cabbage thing for a full 24 hr nd that was it now on the 5th day she crying for the reast and I have hard lump on one side of my breast.
    Whag should I do????????

    • Admin says:

      cold compress to help bring down any engorgement and then warm moist heat for the lump. If you are trying to wean it is best not to express your milk out. You can talk to your doctor about adding in a decongestant to help unclog as well.

  42. Amy says:

    I’m a mother of 4 in which I breast fed all of them until they were 1. My last baby is 18 months old and my breasts still have milk in them. I no longer have let down but if I manipulate my breast milk comes out. I have wrapped myself w ace bandages, used cabbage , peppermints, Benadryl and sage pills for 1 month now and I still have milk. Help!!!

    • Admin says:

      As long as you are not feeling full or engorged you are okay. A woman can express milk out of her breast if she manipulates it for up to 3 years or longer if she wanted to. The key is to not do that as that may tell your body to try and produce more milk again. I recommend continuing the steps you were taking and try not to express any milk out. All you are describing is normal. Great job breastfeeding as long as you have !!

  43. Frustrated says:

    Hello!
    I breastfed my son for 9 months. I just started a new job so I decided to stop. My sister said she had used cabbage to dry up her milk and suggested I try it. Today is day 5 of no breastfeeding or pumping and I’ve been wearing cabbage for the last 5 days. My breast are still as hard as rocks and although no quite as sore as they were for the first 3 days, still a bit sore. I was quite congested so I even decided to try taking Sudafed. Nothing is working. Will this ever end?!! How much longer is it going to take to dry up my supply?? Please help.

    • Admin says:

      There is an end in site I promise!! Try crushing the cabbage leaves and changing them out every hour. Also if you can get a hold of some peppermint oil capsules that will work tremendously on drying up your supply. Eventually it will dry up, it just takes several days. Hang in there.

  44. Bobby says:

    hi there i have a few questions to ask, before applying cabbage leaves do you have to empty your boobs first then apply them?, also do you still leak breast milk with the cabbage leaves on?, could you also use the inner part of the cabbage?, and how do you apply the cabbage leaves to breast?,

    • Admin says:

      No you do not have to empty your breasts before beginning with the cabbage treatment. I do recommend crushing the leaves prior. I would also suggest replacing them every hour as well or whenever they get wilted. It is normal to leak milk during the process and you may even be able to leak for weeks after as well. It is best however to try and refrain from stimulation as much as possible during this time. Good luck.

  45. Bobby says:

    i have read a comment stating to empty the breast before starting the cabbage treatment is it bad that i didnt empty and just started the using cabbage leaves while my breast were full?, should i empty and then start again?, also i have a lump in my right breast which i can feel pressure going up to my armpit, is that a bad thing?, should i seek medical attention?, Im in desperate need of help and majorly worried as i may have started the process al wrong.

    • Admin says:

      You do not have to empty your breasts before starting the cabbage treatment, I have just found it more successful that way. The lump you are feeling is just a clogged duct. That will eventually go away on it’s own. If needed you can apply warm moist heat to the area and it should help it to loosen. There is no wrong way to try to dry up your milk….it will eventually work. Try a decongestant if your doctor approves it as that will also help in “decongesting” your breast. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  46. Alicia says:

    I am on day 5 of having stopped nursing my son who is 22 months. We were down to nursing at morning and night. And comfort if he got a booboo. From day 1 I bought cabbage I am on my third large head. I have been eating altoids like crazy and have been drinking sage tea 3xs a day. My breast are still very sore and full! I get some relief during the day like they have gone down a little and during the night they seem to fill back up and are super hard and sore. I have no reavers or red marks that go along with infection. I know it will take awhile for them to totally dry up but how much longer till they are not as hard and painful!?

    Thanks!
    Alicia

    • Admin says:

      Once you stop all stimulation it should subside. However it can last for about a week or more till your breasts feel more comfortable. If you need to you can talk to your doctor about taking a decongestant, however I would recommend peppermint oil capsules first. Best of luck.

  47. Rosa says:

    Hi,

    I have gradually weaned my son. First, I have reduced the number of feeding down and when it reached to 2 I have kept the nursing times shorter. And then, I have weaned him completely since Thanksgiving. I do not feel uncomfortable fullness (they are full but not too much) and i haven’t empty my breasts since then. But I am worry if leftover milk in my breasts cause any health concern later on, e.g. cyst, tumor, etc. Should I empty my breasts? Please give me some advice.

    Thank you.

    • Admin says:

      No need to empty your breasts, that will only confuse your body. The extra milk in your breasts will just be reabsorbed into your system. This will not cause any cysts or tumors so you don’t have to worry. Great job! Let me know if you have any further questions.

  48. Thao says:

    I have a question regarding drying process. I am currently trying to drying up my right breast. My left breast is almost dry because my son favor the right more so he nurse on the right all the time. I am currently doing the cabbage, altoids and I just order the no more milk tea should be arrive on Monday. I have a few question that I would like to ask. Today so far is a 3rd day for me so far I have engorgement but doesn’t hurt as much as the first two days. But I still have a lot of let down on my right side does this increase my production? I haven’t pump, nurse or express milk by hand to relive pain at all today. The pain is still there but it doesn’t hurt as much as the first two days. My next question is does no more milk tea work? Also how long does it take for my right side to dry up if there are still let down?

    • Admin says:

      It is okay if you are experiencing let down. That is your body relieving itself. Just as long as you don’t continue to stimulate your breasts you should be just fine. It does take some time for your milk to dry up but it is different for everyone. I have heard some positive reviews about the no more milk tea. It basically is peppermint and sage tea mixed together. It should help in relieving some of your milk production. Best of luck and let me know if you have any further questions.

  49. April says:

    How long after having mastitis and being on antibiotics should I wait before drying up my milk supply?

  50. Katrina says:

    I have been exclusively pumping for 17 months. I have slowly eliminated pumping sessions. I went down to 1 pump session a day for 15 mins. I skipped a day then pumped because my boobs were extremely engorged. It’s been a week now and I can still feel the hardness (milk) in my breasts. How long before this goes away? I have been using the cabbage leaves, drinking peppermint tea and taking Benadryl at night (makes me drowsy).

    • Admin says:

      It can take a good week sometimes two for your milk to completely dry up, but it will eventually dry up. Ice will bring down some of the swelling and you can always take Ibuprophen for engorgment pain. Keep doing what your doing. Great job pumping for as long as you did. That is amazing!

  51. kelly says:

    Hi I have the same problem , with my son favoring my left side , so i have on huge breast and one small … not very pleasant to look at nor does my bra fit on properly …. i an trying to wean and have been for the last month, i breast feed my three other kids for this same amount of time and never remember having this issue, should i have him feed on the one he does not favor or just try to dry my left side with the recommendations?

  52. danielle says:

    So I’ve developed mastitis in both breast. The dr already prescribed an antibiotic which I started yesterday. My question is will hinder the length of time it will take my breast to dry up? Also how will I know when I have dried up? I am currently taking a sage tincture along with no more milk tea. I will start the altoids later on this evening thank you very much!

  53. roelyn says:

    good day.. i just have this weird feeling about my breast.. i already stopped breastfeeding my daughter 2yrs ago.. and she’s 3 already.. there is this one time when i noticed a dried up salty thing on my bra, that thing when you’re sweating too much and it leaves trails on your shirt.. i was wondering, i know i am not pregnant, but would it still be possible that my breast is still producing milk or what.. cause it really felt weird.. thank you..

    • Admin says:

      It is possible to still leak milk for a couple years after. However if it is one breast it is worth getting it looked at by a doctor. When in doubt check it out. You know your body better then anyone. If anything for peace of mind. Chances are it is nothing to worry about, but I would always trust your gut.

  54. Sumayyah says:

    Hi there I really need your help.

    I have been breast feeding my son for over a year now and half way through he rejected my right boob. I didn’t understand what consequence it had at the time so I just continued to breastfeed him from my left leaving me now with odd size breasts one an E and the other an A :(. My plan was to stop breastfeeding him at 2 years and then pray that my boobs would become the same size. However I just got pregnant and now my left breast is super engorging whilst my right is as flat as a pancake.

    Will it continue to remain this way throughout my pregnancy or is there anything in the world I can do to make them both the same size again??? please help as It’s making me very insecure with myself and my husband.

    Your response is one I am greatly looking forward to as I would appreciate help from someone who knows what they’re talking about. I get my son to feed off the right breast and a bit if milk does come out but it has not engorged in about a year. I’ve even tried the pump but nothing helped. Please help :(

    • Admin says:

      First off let me apologize for the delay in response….Secondly, let me assure you eventually your breasts will go back to the same size. It is very common for women to produce more milk in one breast then the other, and the majority of the time the right breast is the lower producing side, for whatever reason. In fact about 75% of the time this is the case. The pregnancy hormones may change your milk production in and of itself. You can try weaning your son for the pregnancy to give your breasts the chance to level out and then reintroduce the breast to him later. Or see if he will suck just primarily on the right breast now that he is older. Normally I would suggest pumping the lower producing breast as that would help that side produce more, but I never recommend pumping while pregnant unless you receive the okay from your doctor as pumping can cause a large amount of Oxytocin to be released which is the same hormone responsible for stimulating contractions. The good news is that with your next baby, it most likely will be a completely different experience. Hope this helps some.

  55. Krystle says:

    I breastfed exclusively the first year and continued to breastfeed only the night feeding to put baby to sleep. She is now 20 months and I want to stop breastfeeding now. It’s been four days and she does cry and I console without breastfeeding. But I was wondering bc I haven’t done anything to my breasts to try to stop the milk, what happens. Does the milk eventually go away. Will my boobs turn into flat bags when the milk goes away?

    • Admin says:

      Your boobs will not turn into flat bags :) The milk that is not expressed will eventually just absorb back into your body. Your breasts work by supply and demand, so if the demand is gone, meaning no more stimulation, then your milk supply will dry up. Hope the process has gone well for you, and if you have any further questions feel free to ask.

  56. Sheena says:

    I have only been breast feeding for about a month and I am wanting to stop…if ii only feed over night if I use the cabbage leaves during the day would it make the milky asked nasty to my son? Or if I only feed in the evenings approx how long will it take for my milk to dry up?

    • Admin says:

      Your breasts work by supply and demand, the more you stimulate the more milk you will make. So I would ideally decrease the stimulation gradually so that you can slowly dry your milk supply up. The cabbage can make your breast milk taste a bit bitter. Every woman is different in regards to how fast their milk takes to dry up. In your case, since you have not been lactating as long, it may dry up quicker. Best of luck to you.

  57. Byul says:

    I’ve just gotten over my send attack of mastisis. I have also found out that I am allergic to multiple types of antibiotics. My OB said that I might have to take antibiotics with an IV if I have mastisis again. I was considering slowly weaning my 6 month old and switching to formula but I have been forced to cut down the feeding very abruptly. The steroids I am taking to control my allergic reaction requires me to wait 4 hours after each dose to nurse. So it’s almost impossible to feed my son except in the middle of the night. I’ve been pumping and dumping in the meanwhile and fortunately he has taken to formula fairly well but I am concerned about more clogged ducts and more mastisis. I don’t want to go cold turkey, just the thought of weaning makes me sad but I know that’s what is best for me. Few questions: 1. What can I do to for the next few days to prevent clogs while on the meds? 2. After the meds, should I go back to a slow weaning process or should I just keep with the momentum? 3. Can I use the cabbage leaves even if I choose to wean slowly? Thank you.

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear about all your troubles you have had. Great job getting to 6 months however, that is a great accomplishment. To help prevent clogs, I would use lecithin which is a natural poly-unsaturated fat that will make your milk less sticky. You can find that at any whole foods store or any pharmacy. If you read the post on plugged ducts it will help you with the dosage. I would recommend in your case doing the slow weaning process as this would be the safest option in preventing more clogs from forming and another case of mastitis. Make sure you stay hydrated as well. And yes you can absolutely use the cabbage leaves even if you choose to wean slowly. All that does is slow down the production. Best of luck to you and I hope you feel better soon.

  58. Vicki says:

    Thanks for providing lots of natural remedies. I’m sure this information has helped out many mothers experiencing troubles with weaning and drying up breast milk.

  59. Aubrie says:

    I have been breastfeeding my two week old (second child) since birth and fear I now suffer from hyperlactation problems. My breasts are always full and very painful, my baby coughs and chokes at feedings, spits up after each feeding but does not how signs of acid reflux, I produce 4-6 oz on each side when pumping after my baby eats, constantly leaking (getting clothes wet even with breast pads), and have gotten mastitis requiring antibiotics already. I want to continue to breastfeeding as I never produced enough with my first son and only fed for a few months, having a difficult experience, so weaning is not what I want, but li need to decrease my supply or I’m going to go crazy!!!!! My breasts are sore all the time!!! Which if these techniques is smart to decrease but not wean or make baby stop entirely? I’m loving being able to feed but just need to control it better. Oh and I’m only pumping about 2 mins when I have to!!! To gain even a slight bit of relief.

    • Admin says:

      You could try drinking some peppermint tea as that should be just enough to decrease the supply without causing it to dry all the way up. Interesting how with your first you had trouble producing and now you have too much. Our body is different with each pregnancy. If it continues you may want to get your thyroid levels checked. Hope this helps!

  60. Trish says:

    Thanks so much for the article!!

    I’ve been attempting to wean for almost two weeks now and it’s not going well. Just this past weekend I got mastitis for the second time, and I’m terrified of going too fast, but I just want to be DONE!

    I wear cabbage in my bra around the clock, I change the leaves every two hours. I’m taking letchitin for clogs, b6 for swelling, ibpofun for swelling, and Tylenol for pain. I make my own sage tea with rubbed sage and boiling water and I’m currently consuming three cups a day. I carry altoids with me everywhere and eat them constantly, going through at least a tin a day.

    While all of this has helped me push my pumps to 8 hours apart, I’m still in pain almost all the time!! I’ve heard that birth control can help wean? Is that true? Are there any other OTC medicines other than sudafed (didn’t help me at all, is there a specific type I should purchase?) that will help? I’m getting desperate!!!

    • Admin says:

      It is true that the hormones in birth control can lower your supply but it wont necessarily dry you up completely. It does take time, but it will eventually go away. Try drinking peppermint tea, or no more milk tea. You could try Benadryl but that is something I would talk to your doctor about as well. Hang in there it does get better. Best thing to do would be to eventually stop pumping all together so that your body knows it is done. Hopefully in a few days you should be feeling much better.

  61. Veronica says:

    I’ve been nursing my son for two years and am finally starting to wean. The problem is he’s always preferred the left breast and I usually only nurse him at night back to sleep because I’m too exhausted to get up and rock him back to sleep. Because of being half awake and not caring/remembering to even out both breasts my right one looks deflated and is about one cup size smaller than the left. It has stretch marks and just looks awful to me, if I wear a sports bra though you can’t really tell the difference or even a regular bra makes it hard to notice but I know the difference and it’s starting to depress me. I’ve tried switching to the right breast but the milk production isn’t the same. When I finally wean my son will both breasts go back to normal or is it a lost cause?

    • Admin says:

      Let me first say, well done on breastfeeding for so long. It isn’t an easy job, and you have done so well for so long. You should be very proud of yourself! Okay…let me also reassure you that you are not alone. About 75% of women will mention that their left breast produces more then their right, resulting in being lop sided. The good news is that once you have completely weaned your son your breasts will most definitely return back to normal. You wont always have one breast bigger then the other. Hang in there eventually you will go back to normal.

  62. Jo Ann says:

    Hi,
    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my LO for a year now. But I’ve come to that point were I am more than ready to wean. He only nurses for naps, at bed time, and he still wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse. My question is how do I start this process? I know that what is recommended is I must start gradually and eliminate 1 session a week but should I start with the cabbage treatment and the peppermint to dry up my milk? Will my milk taste diffrrent as soon as itll start drying up? Please help! I’m so confused on what to do.

    • Jo Ann says:

      I also forgot, what other things can I do to put him to sleep. We cosleep and I don’t believe in the CIO method. Nursing is the only way he will sleep. I have tried to have my husband put him to sleep and it does work with giving him a bottle but I thought giving a bottle was bad because it can rot the teeth? My DS clearly associates nursing with sleeping. He’s fine throughout the day. He’s only when he sleeps he needs to nurse. Pls advise.

    • Admin says:

      Well done on breastfeeding for so long. I do recommend weaning gradually as this will be the most comfortable for you and your breasts. You can absolutely start the cabbage and peppermint treatment now if you want. It may change the taste of the milk but that will only help the baby not want to nurse which will help with the weaning process. As for sleeping, you can try putting him to sleep with a pacifier and one of your night shirts that would smell like you. This may help him transition better. There is a great book called “The No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley which may help you find a method for putting the baby to sleep without it being traumatic for you or your LO. Giving a bottle to help him sleep should be just fine. Just make sure you brush his teeth twice a day. If you are putting him to bed with milk it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Best of luck.

  63. Ashley says:

    Hello! I have read every comment and they are all so helpful! My little girl is 4 weeks old. I have had mastitis 3 times, battling it now. I really want to let it dry up. I also have a 2 year old so it has been really hard. I can’t even enjoy my baby because i have been so miserable. I am taking antibiotics right now and just started using cabbage leaves and it has really helped with the pain. My question is can you let it dry up while having mastitis?

    • Ashley says:

      Oh and how often should you drink peppermint tea?

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear about all your trouble with mastitis. Yes you can begin using the cabbage leaves while treating mastitis, but I would not go cold turkey at this point. When you have mastitis the most important thing to do would be to make sure you empty the milk out. Once the infection is gone then you can really begin the weaning process. You might benefit from taking Lecithin which is a natural poly-unsaturated fat that can make your milk less sticky so that if flows better and doesn’t get stuck in your milk ducts which is what is resulting in the frequent cases of mastitis. You can drink peppermint and sage tea as often as you would like. However, in your case I would try to get some peppermint capsules as that is much stronger and will work far better then the tea. Best of luck to you.

      • Ashley says:

        Thank you! I found peppermint gel caps, is that the same? Says it contains fennel oil. I did’t kniw if that is the same fennel that helps with producing more?

  64. Courtney says:

    Please help! I have a 10 month old that I am breastfeeding. I recently had an emergency room visit to find out that I have a viral infection. This is my second daughter that I am breastfeeding. They both only favor(ed) one breast. The breast that I am feeding from has suddenly became extremely tender and is expressing a bright yellow milk… What is this? Should I worry? Is my milk drying up?

    • Admin says:

      It is normal that one breast produces more then the other. The fact that you were sick could have made your body a little more tender, however yellow milk is more a sign similar to colostrum as is breast tenderness. Is there any chance that you could be pregnant? It would be worth testing :) If it continues I would consult your doctor. I do not think that is a sign that your milk is drying up.

  65. Michelle Perez says:

    Hello!
    My son is a week old and we just found out that he is lactose intolerant. When i found out that i could no longer breast feed him i was devastated, but we switched him to formula and now he is no longer in pain and uncomfortable.
    I have been searching through out the internet and finally stumbled upon your website. I was pumping for 5 days on the 3rd day my milk had dropped and i was pumping 8-9 oz (4 oz on the left and 4-5 on the right) every 3 hrs for 15 mins. Today i started pumping every 4-5 hr for 5 mins but i did not empty out my breast completely. Should i do this? Also how long should i be pumping every 4-5 hrs for 5 mins for? And should i stop pumping completely at some point or should i pump when its completely unbearable and pump just enough to release the pressure, maybe with a hand pump? so it isnt vigorous pumping. Hope to hear from you soon! thank you for such a fantastic website!

    • Admin says:

      Did the pediatrician discover that he was intolerant to all lactose or just bovine lactose? It is possible that if you cut out all dairy from your diet he may do better especially with him being so young. Your milk generally does not come in until that first week, which would lead me to believe that it may be due to something else rather then lactose. If you do still decide to wean you want to gradually reduce one pumping session a day and begin the cabbage and peppermint treatment as soon as you can. Eventually you will want to stop pumping all together when you start to notice your breasts becoming less and less engorged. Remember your breasts work by supply and demand the more they are stimulated the more milk they will make. So eventually you want to stop all stimulation altogether to help your supply dry up. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      • Michelle Perez says:

        Thank you so much! He never said anything about bovine lactose. He just told me he was sensitive to lactose and highly suspects that he is lactose intolerant. I’m doing a follow up next week and he is going to review my feeding/bathroom chart for the baby. He placed him on Similac Sensitive. And he has been doing so great on it. But i really wish i could breast feed :(. In regards to the weaning i started pumping less but after seeing your reply I’m gonna hold off on cutting it out completely until i talk to my pediatrician because i never thought about cutting dairy out of my diet. If i do decide to wean off of it, should i pump out my breast and then start cutting out the pumping sessions? And when you mean peppermint, can i also do peppermint tea along with the altoids?

        • Admin says:

          I’m so sorry you were misinformed, I can imagine your frustration. If your baby is truly sensitive to lactose, which again is hard to diagnose at 1 week since your full milk production was most likely not in completely, simply cutting dairy out of your diet, and soy, would allow you to still breastfeed. There is still lactose in Similac Sensitive as well. True lactose sensitivity and intolerance would provide blood and mucus in the diapers, and extreme fussiness. But not all fussiness is due to diet. If you are truly still wanting to breastfeed I would continue to pump, cut out all dairy, and see how the baby does. There are so many more benefits for your baby’s health that only breastmilk can provide. However, if you still decide that you would like to dry up your milk supply, yes peppermint tea works very well for drying up a supply. Yes, I would start cutting out the pumping sessions as well. Let me know if I can be of any more help to you.

  66. Nkenn says:

    Hi, I have stopped pumping as of 4 days ago ( did it gradually) but I still have a small lump left in my breast. It does not hurt or feel engorged since im not producing much anymore, but I don’t know if I should try and massage to pump it out or if will just unclog on its own when I fully dry up? I dont want to pump unless i have to but if i don’t Im not sure if the blockage will go.Thanks.

    • Admin says:

      Most likely the lump will go away on its own. As long as it does not become painful you can leave it be. You can always place a warm moist compress on that area to help soften the clog, but I would not recommend at this time, having you pump it out as that will only confuse your body on milk production. Hope this helps.

  67. Amanda says:

    Hi, my name is Amanda, my daughter is one year old and I have stopped breastfeeding for about 4 days now, I have been using the cabbage treatment for 3 days, my right breast still feels more engorged and painful than the left, will it eventually go down? When my daughter was a week old I started to get mastitis in my right breast, do I have a chance to get it again while I’m weaning? She was down to one or two feedings a day and I just stopped. She seems to be handling it better than I am, is there Anything else I can try for the engorgement and the pain? When will my milk dry up? Thanks

    • Admin says:

      You can try peppermint oil capsules which works really well. Some of the best I have found are from doterra.com. Also eating parsley salads and sage will also help. Decongestants also help in drying up your milk supply, but I always recommend checking with your doctor first. For the pain you can use cold compresses and ice packs and take anti-inflammatory medications such as advil or motrin. It will get better each day, but depending on the length of time you breastfed and the volume you were making can play a role in how long it may take to completely dry up. Hang in there, it does get better.

  68. Sean says:

    My wife is breastfeeding and she hasn’t really left the house due to freezing weather. She believes her milk ducts will freeze dry up, is this true? She wants to do a volunteering event that she will jump into a tank of icy cold water. Won’t that still cause her to freeze/dry up?

    • Admin says:

      Cold freezing weather will have no effect on your milk production. She can jump into as much cold water as she would like, and her milk supply should be just fine :) Your milk supply works by supply and demand, so as long as she is feeding or pumping milk from her breasts she will continue to produce milk.

  69. Sam says:

    Hi, I have been expressing and bottle feeding the breast milk every 4 hours since my baby was born and he is now 18 weeks old. I have enough in the freezer to last until he is 6 months old. I decided to stop 2 days ago and was told to just express a little but not take it all off. I have been expressing every 8 hours and just taking a couple of oz off but I am in terrible pain and my breasts are hard and lumpy. Can you please tell me if I am doing the right thing? Should I stop expressing altogether? How long will it take for my milk to dry up? I need to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel before I give up and start emptying my breasts fully again to relieve the pain. Thank you for your advice in advance.

    • Admin says:

      Great job in pumping as long as you have!! Well done, that is not easy to do. I would recommend decreasing your pumping sessions gradually. I would start by emptying them all together, and then beginning the cabbage treatment as mentioned in my article, along with the peppermint and sage treatment. It will take about a week to dry up completely, but the less you stimulate them the better. Cold compresses will bring down the inflammation and help in any discomfort you are feeling. Hang in there it does get better. Please let me know if I can be of any further help.

  70. Aaliyah says:

    Hi! My daughter is 17 days old and i am breastfeeding her i am also pumping and freezing some of the milk that i pump or i give it to her in a bottle I feed her every 2 or 2 1/2 hours and i have to pump every 2 hours because my breast get engorged and hurt so bad!! I know that it is supply and demand so obviously if i do it every 2hours then my breast will be full 2 hours after i feed or pump right?.i want to keep breastfeeding/pumping but im tired of doing it every 2hrs i lose sleep and its a bit annoying!. So to reduce my milk supply do i pump less? I dont want to get rid of my milk or stop breastfeeding i just want to reduce my supply and not be engorged every 2hrs. Literally every 2hrs my breast are filled up and my breast are sore and painful. Im not sure if i make sense at all but if you can help me that would be so great!. Thanks.

    • Admin says:

      Hi there. Yes you make perfect sense….that was me girl! Sometimes making too much milk can be just as much of a burden as not making enough milk. Just to encourage you, your breasts will settle down, she isn’t even 3 weeks old yet, so your body is trying to figure out how much to produce. You are absolutely right that your breasts work by supply and demand, the more you stimulate the more you will make. So my first recommendation would be to stretch out your pumping schedule/ feeding schedule to every 3 hours. It may take a day or so, but your body will realize it needs to slow down. I would recommend doing that first before introducing anything such as peppermint, sage, etc… that will decrease your supply and that could potentially lower it too much. If you still find that you are having trouble with too much milk, then you could have some peppermint tea here and there. Feel free to read my article on overproduction that may give you some great tips on slowing down your supply. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask me. Best of luck, and know that it does get better.

  71. Jasmine says:

    Hi there. I’m looking on some advice on weaning my 9 week baby onto formula.
    I was combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding expressed breast milk as he was losing weight and also to help with supply. We also had issues with latching on & eventually he was having 90% of feeds via bottle.
    Now, that his weight is under control, we have tried with the help of lactation consultants to get him back to breast feeds but he won’t, and trying to get him on is stressful so we have had to make the decision to continue with the bottles, however expressing full time is difficult I also have a 2.5 year old, so now wish to slowly wean him onto formula.
    In order to get some more sleep, over the past week I have stopped expressing overnight. So I express just before I go to bed and first thing in the morning. Currently I pump 5-530am, 9-930am, 1-130pm, 5-530pm, 9-930pm. I still have plenty of milk at that first feed and my breasts have stopped feeling engorged but do feel full. He is having formula for his last night time feed between 9-10pm and then between 2-3am he has the milk I express before bed. I am wondering now, which feed is the next best to drop. My supply in the evening is quite low, so should I drop then 9-930 feed?
    I am reluctant to give up on the breastmilk altogether & thought I could combine the two. To be honest it is hardest to pump during the day, so could still pump first thing in the morning and maybe in the evening (although supply is quite low) by then) and offer formula for other feeds??
    Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    • Admin says:

      HI there, thank you for your post. I’m so sorry to hear that you have been having such a hard time. Good job on all the effort you have been putting forth. Before anything, I wanted to ask if you had tried getting the baby to latch with the use of a nipple shield (24mm medela shield) prior to giving up at the breast all together? Sometimes the texture of the silicone helps get baby going. You can also use a SNS inside the nipple shield to stimulate the flow of a bottle temporarily to help ease the baby back on. Those are a few things you can always try, as well as starting with a bottle, but finishing at the breast as this will then give the baby the euphoric feeling of being full associated with you. If those things do not work and you want to stick with straight bottle feeding, which is fine too, then I would start shortening your pumping periods. It appears that right now you are pumping for 30 min at a time, I would shorten each session to 15 minutes max and do that for a short while. Then yes you can drop the night pumping session as you will always have the least amount of milk at night vs. the morning. I would recommend if possible to keep up the pumping and bottle feeding of expressed breast milk at least for another month if possible, until cold and flu season are over. We have been hit hard with these viruses this year, and your breast milk is a great way of preventing your baby from getting these along with RSV. Every drop you give your baby is going to protect them. However, if it becomes too much for you, you have to do what is going to make you the best mommy for this baby. Eventually I would begin to slowly drop one session at a time until you reach the point of no more pumping which is when you want to begin the cabbage and peppermint oil capsules. Best of luck.

  72. Clarice says:

    My breasts were engorged on 5th day of delivery, and I tried out the cabbage therapy. Instead of wrapping my whole breasts, I only applied to parts of breasts where they were still hard after pumping (my baby was in ICU, so was not able to breast feed directly). After only 2 applications, they were subsided apparently, but it seems my milk supply decreases since. Places where I applied the cabbage topically are no longer engorged between feedings. I am now on my 3rd week of breastfeeding and the milk supply just can’t keep up to the demand of my baby, which kind of worrying me. I basically follow instructions to boost the milk supply but it doesn’t really work. Other parts of breasts where I did not apply the cabbage can feel the engorgement but not the places I did. Is there anything solution to address such a problem? I am afraid the cabbage had stopped the affected glands from producing milk entirely.

    • Admin says:

      Cabbage treatment is designed to dry up your supply not necessarily help with engorgment, which is what you are probably experiencing. But that is okay…you can still get your supply back. I would recommend increasing your stimulation. Pump after every feed, both breasts for 10-15 min, even if you don’t see anything come out. The point is to keep up with stimulation to tell those ducts to produce that were originally told to shut down. I would recommend some More Milk Plus capsules, provided you are not allergic to peanuts and are not a diabetic. If that isn’t helping then there is a medication called motillium/domperidone which can help increase supply but I would prefer you to only use that as a last ditch effort. Acupuncture has been proven to greatly increase your milk supply, so if you are able to find someone in your area that specialized in that it would be the most effective. Hang in there, lots of skin to skin with your baby, feed on demand, and keep pumping.

  73. Monika R says:

    I’ve been providing breastmilk for my baby for 13 months, 5 by breastfeeding and then I pumped 8 more months de to my very low DIAGNOSED milk supply. Baby shrieked at the sight of my breast, knowing there’s barely anything in there. The past 2 months have been tiring as I’m a stay at home mom and the baby turned into a toddler who would pull on my tubes or shriek for 20 mins every 3 hours when I put her in a playpen… so I finally decided to wean after wintertime. I want to thank you for the cabbage leaves tip, I will use it soon. A tip for some moms commenting on here… PLEASE contact a lactation consultant instead of quitting breastfeeding assuming that it causes diaper rash. Breastmilk is liquid gold, I even used it on my baby’s red skin (post crawling) and on cradle cap. It cures pinkeye etc… Dont try to doctor yourself, call an LC.

    • Admin says:

      Great job providing breast milk for so long!! Well done, and thank you for your encouraging words to our other breastfeeding moms.

  74. funke says:

    Welldone for all your reply to mothers. Kudos to you. My girl is 15months on tuesday, have started to wean her 3days ago. Before I started, I did exclusive for 6months and breastfeed morning and night cos of my job as at monday 10th dis month. Was told to use hot water to massage my breast in which have been doing cos my beast are twice d way it was and painful. I neither take any drug nor cabbage leave, peppermint or ice cold but also ask to wear tight bra. My baby cried all thru d nite refuse to take tea or any bottle. What can I do to stop are cry and to dry off the milk. What is cabbage leave please? Will cabbage leave change d breast milk taste? Besides my baby had not suck since monday. Do I need to compressed d milk? Am in serious pain!

    • Admin says:

      Yes I would most definitely pump to empty the breasts and then start from the start on how to dry up your supply. You will find a head of cabbage at your super market or grocery store in the produce isle. Make sure you get green cabbage. Then take a leaf off the cabbage, roll it in your hands for a few seconds, then place inside your bra. When it becomes dry or wilted, change it out with a new leaf. This will help dry out the milk ducts. Then I would start drinking peppermint tea or sage tea, as this will help you as well. Cold compresses will help more with the pain then the heat. This may change the flavor of the milk which will help make your baby not want to breastfeed. It will get better, hang in there.

  75. Dessie says:

    Hi, I’m Dessie and I came across this site as to make sure I was doing okay with what I’m doing with my boys. I have 2 precious boys, oldest turned 3 back in September and other is turning 2 in March. I didn’t have to quit cold turkey with oldest as I was still nursing but weaning him off for almost 2 months after his brother was born (he was about 21 months old weaned off) and now I’ve slowly weaned my youngest off mornings about 4 months ago, off naps the last 2 months, and now weaned him off his nights completely since 3 nights ago. He’s taking it rather well as I’ve replaced his nursings with a small sippy soft tipped cup. So far my breats have been okay, not so engorged, just slightly. Had some itchiness the last few days. Headaches comes and goes. I’ve stopped taking prenatal vitamins as well. Need to get regular vitamins with mags and irons though. So far so good?

    • Admin says:

      Sounds like you are doing a great job. Well done, keep it up! If you have any more difficulty you can use some of the tops mentioned in the article above. Best of luck!

  76. Emily says:

    I’m on day 3 of the cabbage/tea/altoid/sudafed/ice suggestion. When I got out of the shower today I noticed little red spots on the top side of both breasts. The spots are not causing any sort of irritation. My breasts are still engorged, but not painful. Otherwise I feel totally fine. Should I be worried about the spots? When should I expect the engorgement to minimize?

    • Admin says:

      I wouldn’t worry about the spots unless you start feeling as if you are getting the flu, body aches, fever, chills, etc… and the redness spreads to the rest of the breast. The redness is most likely due to engorgement and should subside soon. If you can get a hold of peppermint oil pellets from doterra, that will work faster for you. Hope this helps.

  77. jennifer says:

    i’ve been breastfeeding my son for 1yr and 10 months now,and started weaning him 2 days ago. i put dissolved coffee on my nips and now he refuses to feed.maybe this will help others who try to quit BF..but my breasts are a little tender and painful so i consulted an OB Gyne and prescribed me CABERGOLINE to dry out milk.is it that safe to use?

    • Admin says:

      Great job breastfeeding your baby for so long. I have never heard of putting dissolved coffee on your nipples as a way of getting a baby to refuse the breast, I can imagine it would be quite bitter for him, hence why he no longer wants to feed. Although that is a great way to get the baby’s desire to stop breastfeeding, it will not help dry up your milk supply. I do not recommend the use of Cabergoline as a means to dry up your milk. Recent studies have shown that it is not the safest method for drying up a milk supply. It does work in the sense that it stops the pituitary gland from producing prolactin, but that isn’t always a good thing, and there have been studies showing that it can be very harmful long term for the mother. I would recommend the more natural remedies I had mentioned before such as crushed cabbage leaves, peppermint oil, sage tea, decongestant medications, etc… before trying the cabergoline. Hope this helps.

  78. Nicole says:

    Looking for any help I can get. I have two children. I weaned my first child at a little after one year old with the help of a bottle and some great help from my husband. I also breastfed my second child and planned to follow the same routine. My husband, however, passed away unexpectedly right before my daughter’s first birthday. Needless to say, neither my daughter or I could then handle tackling weaning; and it has been something I feel terrible about taking away from her after my husband’s death. She is now three months away from turning three. She doesn’t nurse much during the day, though she does ask and beg when she is very tired; but she is very dependent upon nursing for sleep – both getting to sleep and then 3 times or so during the night. It is becoming something I resent, and mostly – I think it is affecting her sleep. I am really ready to wean, but want to do it in the way that is the least traumatic for all of us (her, her brother, and me!). But I also don’t think I can do the “gentle” thing and take months and months, as I just don’t have the stamina being a single mother now and dealing with all of the other emotional things that are a part of this journey. Any ideas? What about drying up supply with the suggestions you made, trying to distract, and then maybe enlisting her aunts to help with a “cold turkey” weekend after a week or so of the above? I know there are no easy answers . . . just wish there were! Thanks so much!

    • Admin says:

      Hi there Nicole. First off let me tell you how amazing and brave I think you are. Being a single mother is hard enough, and to be forced into that due to a loss, is doubly hard. You sound like an amazing mother and I commend you on that. That being said, I completely understand your desire to want to wean. My best advice at this age would be to begin the steps mentioned of drying up as this will also change the flavor of your milk and make her less likely to want to latch. Then yes I would enlist your sisters to go away for a girls weekend. When you leave I would leave her with one of your night shirts that smells like you. Once she realizes she can fall asleep on her own, it will make it less traumatic. I have a book that was sent to me called, “Sally weans from night nursing” which may help you. It’s a children’s story illustrated to help toddlers learn to wean. I would love to send it to you. Please private message me via the contacts setting and I will send it your way. Consistency goes a long way too. Setting up a night routine and being consistent with it will also help her in the weaning process. Best of luck to you!

  79. jennifer says:

    thank u..i really appreciate the tips i’ve read from previous comments..i guess the crushed cabbage helped..yes,my son refused after he tasted the coffee,,in addition to that,my sister before tried red lipstick instead of coffee for her 2yr old son(he thought it was blood)and it worked,too.. i just noticed for my almost 2 years of breastfeeding: the lesser the desire of my son to breastfeed the lesser my milk production/lesser engorged breasts..

  80. Megan says:

    Hello! My name is Megan and I was still nursing my son, now almost 4, until early october (he was 3.5). We had been down to a quick nursing first thing in the morning and just before sleep for well over a year, and I was trying to figure out the best approach to weaning when my son brought home an early flu that for me, ultimately turned into pneumonia. 6 days of fever and 24 hrs in hospital later, I hadn’t nursed for a week and told my husband we’d just keep going that way because I was super exhausted and sore from the constant cough (I was off work for 3 full weeks). I had no issues with engorgement etc. and my son only asked a couple of times to nurse, so that it seemed was that. HOWEVER – from even prior to my son’s birth, I was an over-producer, leaking milk before he was born and badly engorged just 24 hrs after a c-section. I worked with an LC to get it under control and we were good after about 3 months. But now – it takes nothing for me to start producing milk again! Every time my son is sick or having trouble sleeping, I sleep with him for at least part of the night, and same with travelling. Even though he does not seek out the breast at all, the mere proximity sets me off again! I don’t make tons – just enough to be a bit uncomfortable for a few days. Any suggestions? Many thanks in advance!

    • Admin says:

      Because you breastfed for so long, it will take a while for your milk to completely dry up. It may take several months, and even for about a year you may notice fluid leaking out. I would try getting a hold of some peppermint oil capsules or essential peppermint oil pellets from doterra.com that you can take daily. This will help tremendously at keeping your milk at bay. Continue drinking sage and peppermint tea etc…With your doctor’s permission you could also start taking claritin on a daily basis, as that will help decrease the production as well. Wearing a good supporting bra will help as well. Hang in there it will eventually dry up.

  81. Amaka says:

    My breast has been leaking milk for many years now. Am not pregnant neither am I breast feeding pls admin just give me the solution to this problem. Thanks

    • Admin says:

      I would recommend going to your doctor to have them run some blood tests to make sure you do not have a cyst on your pituitary gland, which can cause milk to leak from the breasts. It also could be a small cyst in your milk ducts causing fluid to leak. If you are not pregnant, and have never been pregnant, it could be a symptom of something else going on in your body. Call your doctor and have them check your prolactin levels, estrogen levels, and do an ultrasound of your breasts. Best of luck to you!

  82. Crystal Brown says:

    I justgoi had emergency surgery 24 hours ago but have not nursed for 48 hours due to being extremely sick with appendicitis. I’m still in the hospital. I can not nurse due to medication and figured since I had been struggling to have enough milk lately for my 2 month old that I would go ahead and discontinue nursing. How long going cold turkey will it take for the engorgement to subside? I’m unable to have the access to the things you listed right now.

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your surgery, appendicitis is not fun. Depending on how much milk you had prior to your surgery will depend on how long it takes for it to dry up. I would recommend cold compresses to help with the inflammation and if possible to gradually wean by pumping would be ideal. But if you were to go completely cold turkey then it make take a week or two to completely dry up, but the engorgement should only last a couple of days. Hope you feel better.

  83. Lindsey says:

    Hello,
    I have been bf my son since birth and he is now 7 months. He has LOVED the boob since day one!! Lol I have never had to pump because I am a stay at home mom. I used to supplement here and there with bottles and formula. The problem now is he uses my as a pacifier!! He now refuses bottles and pacifiers!! I’ve tried them all and none interest him. I give him a sippy cup which he will drink a little out of but that’s it. I need to stop bf do to medical reasons. I have to take a medication that he cannot bf while im on. I feel horrible because he literally claws at me for the boob. I am not to worried about being engorged because I have already started cutting back feedings but how do I deal with the guilt when he wants it so bad for comfort?!? Any suggestions?! Thank you!!

    • Admin says:

      Great job on breastfeeding as long as you have. You should not feel guilty at all, you have to do what is going to make you the best mom possible, and you can’t be the best mom possible if you are sick. So, that being said you are doing the right thing. Let me reassure you that your baby is not going to starve himself. He will eventually take a bottle and or the sippy cup. Give him one of your shirts that you have slept with to help him settle.He is just wanting the smell of you most likely. Try not to change in front of him so he doesn’t see your breasts, otherwise he will want them. I would begin the process of weaning with the cabbage leaves as that will help change the flavor of your milk and make him not want to nurse as much. Consistency is everything. It is normal for him to protest, but he will eventually understand the change and will be okay. Hang in there, it gets better.

  84. Gwen says:

    Hi, I weaned my son when he was 10 1/2 months old because my supply dropped and he was having poor urine output. He is now 13 months old and I am still able to squeeze out breastmilk if I try. Is it normal that I haven’t dried up yet? Would it be possible for me to start breastfeeding him again?

    • Admin says:

      It is normal for women to express milk for up to a year or more after weaning. This is completely normal. If the discharge has a foul smell or odd color then it is worth mentioning to your doctor, but this is very common to have happen. Great job nursing for so long. If you wanted to continue to breastfeed again, you could absolutely begin again. It may take some work to get your supply where it needs to be, but you should be able to get there. Well done!

  85. Alice says:

    Thanks you are a great help. What have read has help me alot today. God bless you

  86. Brianna says:

    Hi , So I’ve Stop Breast Feeding My Son After He Was 3 Days Old. It’s Been 3 Weeks Now And I’ve Continued To Pump To Relieve Discomfort. I’ve Finally bought cabbage leaves and have been using then since 3pm . But now My breast are extremely full and hurts so bad and Idk what To do . I’ve also bought some peppermint tea .

    • Admin says:

      You can gradually wean yourself by spacing out the pumping sessions. Taking motrin or Advil will help relieve any inflammation. In severe cases you can take sudafed which will help decongest your breast as well. Hang in there, it does get better!

  87. Katie says:

    Hey there! I breast fed my son for the first 2 weeks and then went exclusively to pumping. He is now 5 weeks and I will be returning to work. I know it’s a law that your job has to give you time to pump but working in the crazy busy medical field in a private facility I know that’s not going to happen. I started weaning myself. I was pumping every 3 hours for 20 min. I then went to every 4 hours for 15 min and today I’m doing every 6 hours for 10 min and I started using cabbage leaves and eating altoids today. I still want to pump once in the morning and once at night for as long as I can so should I not be doing the cabbage and altoids? And should I be cutting my pumping sessions down to 10 min? I keep cutting the time because I find I’m producing more milk than I usually do and I’m getting so uncomfortable. Thank youn:)

    • Admin says:

      If you are wanting to keep producing even for a morning and night, then you most definitely do not want to do cabbage and altoids. That will dry you up all together. I would keep pumping for 15-20 min until you are empty. Your breasts will regulate and soon realize it only needs to produce milk during those specific times. The amount of minutes you are pumping, wont effect your supply as much as the amount of times you pump in the day. Hope this helps.

  88. lesleyann says:

    Hi my little boy ia 5 days old. I am in agony wen I am feeding him. I no his latch is correct as the miswife has checked for me. I jus cant keep feeding him and he seems to want to feed every 1-1.5 hours I topped him up with a bottle last nite and again this morn. I jus need to stop cold turkey along with the tips above is there anything else I should do.

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. If it is hurting that much, I suspect that the baby is not on deep enough. If a baby is latched well, you should not see your areola at all when he is latched. I would recommend scheduling an appointment with a lactation consultant to help with the latch, or another solution may be to pump exclusively and just give the baby your breastmilk in a bottle. That way there is no pain involved, your baby is still getting the benefits of breastmilk and your body is still getting the benefits of lactating. Read my articles on sore nipple management, nipple shield guidelines, 7 steps to latch, and engorgement to help with some tips to eliminate the pain. In the mean time give your breasts a break, just pump every 3 hours, and give your milk in a bottle until your breasts have healed. Hang in there, it does get better. Once everything has settled down, if you still want to wean you can do so more gradually so that there isn’t a risk of infection. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  89. Pat says:

    Hi, my son is about 7months and I noticed my right breast produces milk more than the left so I keep feeding him on the right breast, now my right breast is 3times bigger than my left breast, please help me out.

    • Admin says:

      In every breastfeeding mother, one breast will produce more then the other breast. It is completely normal. Since your breasts work by supply and demand the more you stimulate the more milk you will make, which is why one breast is bigger then the other. I would recommend always starting the baby nursing on the side that has the lower production and finishing up on the bigger producing breast. When the baby is most hungry he will suck harder, which will help the lower producing breast naturally increase. Also, if you have a pump, I would recommend pumping that single breast at least 3 times a day, 10 min after a feed, for at least 10 min. The added stimulation should help. Best of luck.

  90. Rachel says:

    My daughrer will be a year in a few weeks and i tried to quit cold turkey this weekend. She was only nursing early am and at night and eats so well that she really only has 2 to 3 bottles a day when i am at work. I thought since ive cut my pumping sessions down to only once per day and only 5 to 10 minutes that i would be have a easy time drying up. No such luck! Ive tried sports bras with cabbage leaves (however i didnt crush them first ) and i was in so much pain and discomfort i had to pump. Now im reading that also was not a good idea! I started Saturday morning. I emptied by nursing her at 9am and started cabbage in the bra. Now i caved thr next day and emptied at 730pm. Are there any other suggestions? Is it normal to get thst rock hard and uncomfortable? PLEASE HELP!

    • Admin says:

      Yes it is completely normal to be getting engorged like you are, which is why I recommend weaning as a process. Make sure you crush the cabbage leaves and replace every hour. If you are able to wean by gradually pumping it will be easier on your breasts. However, it is true that your breasts work by supply and demand so the more they are stimulated the more it tells your body to make milk. Icing and taking an anti-inflammatory will help with the pain, but to really help you decongest those breasts you will need something stronger. In severe cases I recommend taking a decongestant like Sudafed after consultaing with your doctor. Another more natural way, is to get a hold of peppermint oil capsules. You can usually find those at any whole foods type of story near all the homeopathic remedies and vitamins. Ingesting strong essential peppermint is the fastest way to dry you up. Peppermint tea will work also. Eat some parsley and sage too. Hang in there, it does get better.

  91. Brooke says:

    I’m prone to clogs and have been trying to quickly wean for both physical and mental reasons. I have 2 clogs right now and am debating about whether to try to pump them out or let them be. I’ve had mastitis and don’t want it again. But I know a pump will stimulate my breast to produce more milk. I’m on day 4 of cabbage and only pumping when I feel overly full. HELP! Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Admin says:

      Sorry for the delayed response. I would recommend the lecithin treatments mentioned in my clogged duct article to help eliminate some of the clogs, and would most definitely recommend weaning gradually. Hopefully by now thing an have become easier for you. Your can always use a decongestant to help with your doctor permission. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Best of luck.

  92. Maddie Stiles says:

    I lost my baby in my fourth month…it’s been six days now and my breasts are producing milk. I leak very much,I want to start the drying process. Is it too early? And where do i begin. I have never pumped before. Please help me.

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. You do not need to pump. That will only tell your body to make more milk. I would simply start with the cabbage leaves, crushed, and placed in a tight fitting bra to help reduce the supply. In your case I would also recommend getting a hold of some peppermint oil capsules that you can swallow, and also maybe a decongestant. The sooner we can dry you up the better. Hang in there it will dry up soon. Praying for you during this time.

  93. Jenndpan says:

    My son is 5 weeks old and is not gaining enough weight. The doctor has said that we need to supplement in order to get his weight up. I have to return to work in 9 days and we have decided to transition to formula. I would like to have him completely on formula by the time I head back to work. I know that there is not enough time to do a really gradually weaning process. I was considering replacing one feed a day with formula to hopefully alleviate engorgement, but am wondering if it would just be better to stop cold turkey with the tips above. I am a school teacher and am a bit nervous about being terribly engorged and uncomfortable during the school day. Thoughts?

    • Admin says:

      I would still recommend doing a gradual weaning process. Or you could just pump and bottlefeed what you are able to produce and that way he is still getting some benefits of breastmilk ontop of the extra formula. For your breasts sake I would try to gradually wean yourself so you don’t develop an infection before returning to work. What ever milk you pump out you can provide to your baby as you go along. Best of luck to you.

  94. Jen says:

    I’m now experiencing my fourth round if mastitis in 6weeks and on my fourth round of antibiotics. I decided after all this to stop feeding this morning -i was only on two feeds after doing stuff slowly.
    I’m taking sage, peppermint and b6-still filling up and getting engorged :( the mastitis and medication are really awful and u need to make the milk stop ASAP as I need rest really badly to try and get over these illnesses. Any advice please? Thank you

    • Admin says:

      In your case I would recommend (after consulting with your doctor) to take sudafed as directed on the box, round the clock. It will “Decongest” your breast just like it decongests your nose. Also I would make sure you are taking essential peppermint oil capsules. If you need to pump for 5 min to help relieve some of the pressure I would go ahead with that. Remember to ice for the engorgment, and you can take motrin as needed. Try the sudafed, that should help.

  95. Cristina says:

    My baby is about 6 weeks old and exclusively breastfeeding. I already has mastitis once when she was 4 weeks old and is deathly scared of getting it again (no fun at all!). i still want to breastfeed and my milk supply is good (over abundant as a matter of fact). Is there a way to decrease my milk supply just enough to not be engorged? I dont want to fully dry up my milk, but I want the supply to decrease. thanks

    • Admin says:

      Best thing is to try gradually by drinking peppermint or sage tea. That is often mild enough to slow down your supply without completely drying you up. Menthol and parsley also work,but just make sure to monitor your intake so that you don’t over due it and start lowering the supply too much.

  96. Riri says:

    Hello, so my son is 10 and a half months I slowly stopped feeding him about 2 weeks ago due to him only feeding at bed time and once or 5 times during the night due to his teething and the fact like he bit through my nipple while going through his biting stage with his teething because his back teeth are coming through! Now his on soya milk until his 1 years old then I will transfers him to cows milk, he willingly drinks more milk 1 in the morning , 3pm snack at bedtime and sometimes at midnight or he just sleeps right through, which is bliss for me lol my problem is my breasts don’t feel empty but not engorged which is very strange because with my first daughter I only breast fed for 3 weeks and it dried up within a few days. Are these my breasts from now on or does it take longer to dry up because I have breast fed for longer?? Thanks in advance :)

    • Admin says:

      It will take longer to dry up this time around because you breastfed for so long. It can take several weeks, sometimes months before your breasts will feel like they did before you were pregnant. Hang in there though, it will eventually dry up all together.

  97. louise says:

    I have been expressing milk for my daughter for almost 4 weeks. My breasr NEVER feel comfortable and they do not seem to ever completly empty. I normally express every 3-4 hours. I have decided to dry up my milk as my daughter seems happy with formula. I have heard that going cold turkey will cause me mastitis yet some people say just express a little every few hours. The expressed before bed last nihht and emtied as best as I cojld ad I expressed for 5mins either side this morning at 11. I am in agony with them they feel very sore Nd rock hard please help!

    • Admin says:

      A baby will always empty the breast far better then a pump will, so you can always attempt to put her back at the breast and see what happens. If you are still wanting to dry up your supply then follow the steps in my blog.Your breasts work by supply and demand, so the more you stimulate the more milk you will continue to make. I do recommend a gradual approach. I would start taking peppermint oil capsules or even a decongestant, to help dry up your milk. Use the cabbage leaf treatment as I mentioned in my post and change out the leaves every hour when they get wilted. If you are engorged then I would begin icing and using cold compresses. It is a process but your breasts will eventually get the idea.

  98. Lauren says:

    Hi. I am currently nursing my 5th son. He is almost 8 months old. I have had clogged milk ducts very frequently (several times a week) over the past 8 months. I am taking the maximum dosage of lecithin, maximum dosage of evening primrose oil, vitamin C, B complex, a probiotic, zinc, and consuming 3-5 cloves of raw garlic every evening before bedtime. I have always had a huge supply of milk and extremely fatty milk (baby is probably 20 lbs or a little more). Small person, but large chested. I don’t sleep on my breasts. I either sleep sitting up or propped up on my back.

    I have used cabbage leaves without much effect. I eat altoids all the time. I have taken sudafed and benadryl without much effect. I have cut out dairy for the most part (which seemed to help some with the clogs). I use ice packs sometimes after feedings. I use a warm rice sock wrapped around my breast when nursing.

    I am down to three feedings a day and am considering slowly weaning to formula because of the continual clogs and over supply. Maybe cutting out the mid day nap time nursing. Then I would just nurse before bed time and in the morning when he wakes up. He does eat baby food for lunch and dinner.

    Is there anything else I could possibly do to stop having the clogging issues? Do you think if I am only nursing in the morning and before bed that my milk would adjust more and I wouldn’t always feel so full and have so many clogs? Since I would have two feeding approximately 12 hours apart. I don’t want to pump, because that will make me make even more.

    Feeling a little desperate. Don’t want to continue with these problems. Need to be a good mom to all of my boys and not be locked up in the bedroom for hours getting clogs out.

    • Lauren says:

      I have also used peppermint oil topically. Seems to give me some relief when I am sore.

      • Admin says:

        Sounds like you are doing all the correct steps and have come up with a good plan. One other thing you could try is ingesting peppermint oil capsules and rubbing citrus blend oil from DoTerra on your breasts at night. Parsley is also a great way to decrease supply. You could begin taking birth control pills as well if that is a method suggested to you by your cargiver. I would continue with the play you have and add the above suggested options. Maybe also start drinking some sage tea as well. Best of luck.

        • Lauren says:

          What does the citrus oil blend do to help? Birth control pills aren’t a good option right now. I have also taken sage in v8 juice. I can put a tsp of that in a cup of v8 and it doesn’t do much.

          • Admin says:

            That particular blend helps to break up any scar tissue within the breast and loosen the clogs. It would be worth a shot, if you are able to find it. The peppermint oil capsules are a must have though.

  99. Christine says:

    Hello. I have 5 kids of which the oldest is 14 and the youngest. Three weeks ago i was placed on medicatiin for gerd. nexiam. About a week ago my breasts started feeling very uncomfortable. It became painfull to touch and almost feels like it felt when i was breastfeeding before it was time for the next feed. that weard burning stange feeling. It lasts for a couple of minutes then it goes away but breasts always feel tender and sore. This far there was no discharge from eiethet breasts though it sometimes feels like it. If it was only one breast i would think it would be cancer but it’s both and though i still worry that it may be cancer i don’t think it is. My nipples also sometimes itch and they seem red but no lumps, or swolen or anything weard. is ther something i can use for the pain or do i have to see a dr first. my medical aid expired so i’m not realy keen on going to the doctor. thank you

    • Admin says:

      It could be a couple of things. How old is your youngest child? Some GI medications can stimulate the pituitary gland causing milk to increase. So if you have recently just weaned, that could be what is happening. However if it has been a while, it could just be a hormone flux, or a yeast infection beginnning on your breast. Without seeing you, it would be hard to determine what is going on. However you could start taking some prim rose oil capsules and see if that makes a difference. I would take 500 mg 2-3 times a day. That you can find at any whole food store. It should help with over all breast pain. If the pain continued then I would recommend going to get your breasts checked out.

  100. Shanterria whitehead says:

    I’ve been breast feeding for 11 months and today is the day I want to stop my breast don’t fill up a lot but I can still feel the heavyness when I know my milk is there I’m using the purple cabbage leaves do you think sense the longer I breastfeed will take longer to dry up my milk ? How long do you think it will take for my milk to dry up?

    • Admin says:

      You want to make sure you are using green cabbage, not the purple. The green cabbage has the best enzymes. I would also recommend peppermint oil capsules and sage tea. If it gets really bad then you can maybe consider taking a decongestatnt to help, but I would make sure you get your doctor’s permission first. It can take several weeks before your milk is completely dried up. I would recommend a more gradual approach. Follow the steps in my article and if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Best of luck to you.

  101. Katie says:

    I weaned my 1 year old from breastfeeding 8 days ago and my right boob is totally back to normal but my left one is still real hard and hurts when touched but it doesnt leak and is only super hard on one side of the left boob. What is this? Or what do I do to help this?

    • Admin says:

      I am hoping that your breast is feeling better by now. It often takes several weeks for the breast to return to its normal state. Hang in there and keep following the steps, it should settle down soon. It most likely was the side that produced the most milk. If it gets worse or you start noticing flu like symptoms please contact your doctor to make sure you are not getting mastitis. Great job on nursing for up to a year!!

    • Admin says:

      Most likely your left breast was the bigger producer so it will take longer for it to go down. My best advice would be to use cold compresses of ice to help bring down the inflammation, and begin the cabbage treatment. Your breast is just trying to figure out what to do. You can always use some citrus blend oil from DoTerra to help decrease the clogs as well. Hang in there , it gets better. Great job on nursing your baby as long as you have.

  102. Jessica says:

    Hello, I wanted to say I found the information you provided to be very helpful. I recently stoped breast feeding my daughter I put alovera sap around my ariolas she hated the taste and refuses to eat which is a good thing but, I feel this great sadness like she will no longer need me I know that is silly to say but it’s how I feel. I’m in a blues because of it

    • Admin says:

      You should be very proud of the accomplishment of breastfeeding your daughter as long as you did. What a wonderful gift you gave your baby. You should feel very proud of yourself. And although she may not need you for feeding, per say, she will always need her momma for comfort, love, and support. And it sounds like she has a pretty awesome mom to provide all those things. What a blessed child she is. Well done girl!

  103. Kaylyn says:

    Hello! I stopped breastfeeding my baby when she was 12 months old, that was about two months ago. I’ve never totally dried up. I’m 8 weeks pregnant and noticed some yellow milk coming out of my breast. Is this normal? it seems to early in the pregnancy.

    • Admin says:

      Hi there! I apologize for the delayed response. Yes the yellow milk coming from your breasts is completely normal. That is colostrum which begins to be produced between 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. Because it had not been that long since you last breastfed, it is not surprising that your milk( colostrum) has begun to leak early. Just means when your new little one arrives you will have a good ready supply for him/her.

  104. Ade says:

    Hi, I have a one year old baby and we’ve started the wean process. My breasts are no longer rock hard though its still hard and its a not painful which I’ve been using ibuprofen and I’ve been using cabbage but I noticed my breasts started leaking for a day now. It this normal. Thanks

    • Admin says:

      Yes this is normal. In fact some women will leak for up to a year after the weaning process has begun, not much leakage, but still some. That is to be expected as your ducts continue to dry up.

  105. Jane says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t read your article and already began cold turkey weaning last night. I didn’t pump first because I was afraid I was going to produce more if I pumped. I put on cabbage leaves and a tight bra but I’m really engorged and leaking. Should I pump everything out and start all over (I just started last night so it’s been 10 hours since I started weaning and 16 hrs since I last pumped) or should I just continue with the cabbage, tight bra and mint as I have been and deal with the pain? Also how long does it usually take for the breasts to stop producing and get relief? Thank you!!

    • Admin says:

      Hi there. Hopefully you are feeling better. It can take several weeks to completely dry up, but know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You may benefit from taking a decongestant to help. At this point, I wouldn’t pump out and start from fresh. I would continue doing what you are doing with the cabbage, and peppermint. Hang in there. It does get better. As for the pain, cold compress will help as well as any anti-inflammatory such as motrin or advil. Please let me know if I can be of any further help to you.

  106. Shanterria whitehead says:

    It’s been 2 weeks an my boobs are not engorged but there still heavy with milk they don’t leak but there hard in some spots in my breast do I have matisis ? Or some type of infection I stop using the cabbage leave cause they were drying out my breast really bad causing them to itch terribly donyou think I need to go to OB?

    • Admin says:

      You do not have mastitis. You would most definitely know that. You would have a fever, chills, red spots that are hot to the touch on your breast. This is just part of the drying out process. Your milk ducts are still shrinking and drying out. As long as you do not have any pain or fever you should be okay. It can take a while for the milk to completely dry out.

  107. Kumudha says:

    My Son is close to 19 months and since 12months of him only i had started to feed him only once a day. I planned to completely stop nursing. Now its been a week that i have stopped and for that week i dint encounter much pain. But 8th day its become rock hard and paining alot. Also this pain is not always there in duration of 4-5hrs brests become easy i mean i dont feel that heaviness but its only for some half an hour. I am getting severe giddiness also since the brests have become heavy. As per your blog i have adopted warm water bath. Please suggest me some way to get rid of this pain. Also can somebody let me know how long will this pain remain..

    • Admin says:

      Follow the steps in the article to help with the engorgment. Ice packs and anti-inflammatories such as advil or motrin will help decrease the discomfort. I would recommend getting some peppermint on board as that will help to decrease as well. The cabbage leaf treatment as mentioned in the article will do a great job of reducing the hardness of the breast. It will last about a week, but each day will get better.

  108. Amy says:

    My son is 10 months old and I have had over supply of breast milk since the beginning. I have a very large stock of frozen milk to get through to 1 year. I have tried weaning slowly and have ended up with mastitis twice in the last 6 weeks. I have finally gotten better and now want to try weaning again. I am going to try peppermint and cabbage but any other advice. I am scared to leave my breasts “full” for too long in fear of ending up with another round of mastitis but I also would like to be done breast feeding as it’s no longer enjoyable for me after dealing with the pain of thrush, mastitis, and biting.

    • Admin says:

      You have most definitely been through a lot, and you lasted a lot longer then most moms have. Well done! I would absolutely recommend weaning gradually due to your history. You may be a good canidate for taking sudafed or any other decongestant to help decongest and dry up your milk. I would continue with the cabbage, crush the leaves first and replace when they get wilted. Peppermint and parsley are also really good for decreasing your supply. Try to get peppermint oil capsules if possible. Feel free to pump as needed and just gradually decrease your pumping as the time goes on. Best of luck to you.

  109. Amy says:

    My son is 9 months and I am trying to wean, after having mastitis twice in the last 2 months. I have had an overabundant milk supply since the beginning, and I am very scared to leave my breasts too “full” for fear of developing mastitis again. But between the mastitis, thrush, and biting, nursing is no longer enjoyable for me as I am constantly worried about getting so sick with mastitis AGAIN. I am planning to try peppermint and cabbage leaves. Any other tips for me? I was planning to wean slowly, but I am always sooo full that I end up pumping or feeding to help keep my milk flowing. I don’t think my breasts are responding to my weaning attempts as much as I would like!

    • Admin says:

      You have most definitely been through a lot, and you lasted a lot longer then most moms have. Well done! I would absolutely recommend weaning gradually due to your history. You may be a good canidate for taking sudafed or any other decongestant to help decongest and dry up your milk. I would continue with the cabbage, crush the leaves first and replace when they get wilted. Peppermint and parsley are also really good for decreasing your supply. Feel free to pump as needed and just gradually decrease your pumping as the time goes on. Best of luck to you.

  110. Tasalima says:

    Hello,
    I’ve been looking for someone like you for such a long time! Everything else that I’ve read has not been as helpful. I’ve been nursing my daughter for 17 1/2 months now and I know I’m ready to stop. The issue is that she is VERY VERY VERY attached. She uses me as a pacifier to go to sleep and she cries and screams if I don’t give in. I’ve been pretty consistent about cutting out one feeding at a time. We’re down to 1 and rarely 2 a day. However we’ve been going at this pace for about 1 month and she hasn’t lost interest completely. She still cries and screams. I’m thinking that if I dry up the milk she’ll eventually realized that breastfeeding is over. I’m also dealing with guilty feelings about being selfish and wondering if she still needs it. Is this why she’s so relentless? Please help I’m ready to have my own body back.
    Thanks!

    • Admin says:

      Hi there. First off, great job on nursing for as long as you have!! Way to go. You are at the perfect age for nursing. She only needs, from a nutritional level, to be breastfed for a year, so to have made it beyond is just wonderful, and you should not feel guilty at all about wanting your body back, you have earned it girl. Her feelings right now are strictly from a comfort level, not a nutritive level. So I would suggest to go ahead with the weaning process, as you begin, the flavor of the milk will change and become more bitter, so she will most likely not like it anyway. However, one thing I have found that works great with weaning older babies and toddlers, is to go away for the weekend. Take your partner away from her (adults only weekend getaway) where she will be forced to cope without nursing for a couple of days. Leave one of your shirts for her to have and be comforted by, but this is the best, and less traumatic way on you and her, to officially and finally wean. There is always a little bit of saddness that goes along with weaning, but you and your daughter have done a fantastic job. You should be very proud of yourself. Enjoy your mini vaca!!

  111. Samantha M says:

    Hi I was expressing for my son in the nicu for 3 weeks but ended up getting thrush and then mastitis bad. I decided I needed to stop because I breast went from 120ml to 20ml in 2 days and wont build up again and the other went fro. 120ml to 35ml. Im taking antibiotics for the mastitis for the next few days. And docs have given me 2 tablets to take to stop the supply (1 taken every 12hrs) im also put in frozen cabbage leaves and refrigerated them for comfort. With pumping ive gone down to 10mins but how do I put it down to get none. Do I completely stop or go to every 3 mins for pumping every 4 hours? And was pumping every 3 hrs for 10mins???

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear you were having so much trouble. I would at this point just stop all stimulation and continue with the cabbage and peppermint as mentioned in my article. Best of luck to you in the future.

  112. Jackie says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for your weaning advice. It was very helpful. I have breastfed my daughter for two years and your advice to go away for the weekend while using your techniques was perfect. Thank you so much for the advice. You are so kind to care for us mommas with your insight!!

  113. Jackie says:

    Sorry – one more question – I was only down to a night and morning feeding before I followed your weaning advice. I did the cabbage and everything! My breasts feel fine, but maybe like there is still milk in them, but definitely not engorged. If this is my 4th night of not breastfeeding is it safe to say the milk is entirely dried up? How long will it take until the milk is finally dried up? I want to know because I’d like to start running again and losing weight, now that I finally have my body back! But I want to wait until I know there is no more milk. Thank you in advance!

    • Admin says:

      Hi there! I am so glad that you found the article helpful! If your breasts are not engorged you can absolutely go running. You will probably be able to express “Some” milk for up to a year after weaning, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are still lactating. If your breasts are soft and no longer leaking you should be good to go! Way to go nursing so long by the way!!

  114. Laura says:

    Hi I was seeking a little advice. My daughters 2 years old now and I breastfed her for her first year. So it makes it just over a year that I haven’t been feeding, how ever my main breast that was my fav to feed her on is quite larger than my other one. I still have some yellow mixed with watery liquid coming out when squeezed. Iv popped along to my doctor which recommended Me to not to touch it at all and just leave it well alone. It’s been about 6 months since then and I’m still in the same position, my breast and feel I little sore sometimes also. Any advice or tips would be helpful just on how to reduce the size of my breast and how to get rid of the liquid I’m there.
    Thanks in advance.. Xxx

    • Admin says:

      It is pretty common to have residual milk in the breast for over a year after weaning. I would agree to not try and express it. However, if your breast is significantly larger and you are able to express large amounts of liquid you may want to have an ultrasound or ductogram done to make sure there are not tiny masses in your ducts. Also is it possible that you could be pregnant again and producing colostrum? You can follow the cabbage regimn as listed in the article and see if that helps. But it will eventually go back to its normal size.

  115. Jodi says:

    Hi! I’m currently newly pregnant and trying to wean my almost 19 month old. It’s been a rough process! He doesn’t take a bottle or sippy cup very well, although sometimes his baby sitter does get him to drink somewhere between 4 and 8 ounces of water or milk on a given 8 hour day. At this point, my thinking is to go cold turkey. I can’t do the sage tea, from i understand, and my doctor would like my fully weaned in 6 weeks because of my history of miscarriage. Any guidance would be really helpful! Thanks so much l.

    • Admin says:

      My best advice to you would be to have you and your man go away for the weekend, and leave your little guy at home with a sitter or grandma. That tends to be the easiest “break” for a toddler. He wont starve himself, and when you are not around he will be forced to drink out of a cup or bottle. You and your honey will get some much needed alone time before your family grows, and then you can begin the weaning process with the peppermint tea/ peppermint oil capsules (which works really well) and wearing cabbage in your bra. Remember to crush the cabbage first. Those things will help to greatly decrease your supply and quickly. Peppermint oil is amazing for this. Decongestants work well also, but I would check with your doctor before taking any over the counter medications. I have a great article on what to do when your baby wont take a bottle which may provide some great tips on how to get the older one to take it. Best of luck and congrats on the new baby.

  116. […] Weaning from Breastfeeding:How to Dry up Breast Milk Supply – Please help my baby have a horrible rash on his bottom duecto my breast milk and I csnnot breast feed him due to my engorgement I am trying to wean off cold turkey …… […]

  117. Candy says:

    Hi, I’ve been trying to wean my son since he was 1 month old because I had bad nipple pain. I was down from 8 feedings to 5 in a few days for 3 weeks and I’m not sure if it was because the weaning was done too quickly that I had inflammation. So I was suddenly back to nursing/ pumping 8 times a day for 3 weeks now. I’ve been having thrush for a while and even nursing 8 times I still have hard huge lumps in both sides. I don’t feel much engorgment pain when I try to space out the feeding but when I’m done with a feed, the lumps (feel like long tissues that go from deep in the breasts towards the nipples) would be painful to touch, but some lumps that are hard like steel are not painful at all. I’m lost whether I should wait until the thrush is clear to wean or are clogged ducts supposed to happen? I’m just worried that even at 8 times a day I’m having clogged ducts, then weaning would worsen and I may get mastitis…

    • Admin says:

      I am so sorry to hear you are having so much breast pain. If you have a clogged duct, which is what it sounds like you are experiencing, you want to treat that first. Try soaking your breast in a bowl of warm water with epsom salt for about 10 minutes prior to feeding or pumping. Then once you go to pump or feed, placing a warm moist washcloth on that area and massage down towards the nipple. This may take a few times to do, but it will work. Also you can get some essential oil from DoTerra (citrus blend) mix with coconut oil, and rub on the effected area. You will find that this will help to unclog as well as prevent mastitis. Lecithin capsules, which you can find at any drug store or whole foods store, is a great way to make the milk less sticky, allowing it to flow better. If you have been diagnosed with thrush by your doctor, I would wait until that is cleared up. However, often times thrush is overly diagnosed on the breast when in fact it is a bacterial infection you are fighting. I would recommend having your milk and nipple cultured to rull out any other form of infection. Thrush on the breast really is not that common. If you do have it, then continue with that treatment until healed, and then begin the weaning process. In the meantime I would recommend pumping and providing your breastmilk to your baby. This way baby is getting the benefits of the breastmilk, and your nipples are not in too much pain. I never recommend drying up your milk supply cold turkey unless it is absolutely necessary. The gradual approach is much easier on the breasts. I hope this helps.

  118. Maria Fahlsing says:

    For several reasons, my body simply cannot and will not lactate sufficiently. Since the day my daughter was born, I have had setbacks: my breasts didn’t get bigger, no engorgement, I don’t feel “let down” happen, I had two infections resulting from delivery (which dries up supply), lactation cookies made no difference, Mother’s Milk tea made no difference, pumping only yielded 2 ounces per day (very low supply), pumping was extremely painful (my insurance only covered a pump that is much too strong for me), and my daughter’s powerful suction bruised my nipples and made me dread each feeding.

    So, after a month of struggling, feeling stressed out about it, and driving myself nuts with tips, tricks, and potions to increase my supply all to no avail, I am quitting breastfeeding and switching to formula.

    As I make so very little milk, will quitting cold turkey work well for me? How quickly can I stop lactating?

    Breastfeeding has been really hard for me and I’ve had a lot of hardships and setbacks. When I was pregnant, my breasts did not get any larger. I suffered heavy blood loss during delivery and tore severely, which required a round of antibiotics (both complications can dry up supply). After my daughter was born, I did not experience engorgement and I never felt my milk come in. When feeding, I never felt let downs. My baby’s weight dropped dramatically in the first few days of her life as an exclusively breastfed child. It was clear that she was not receiving enough milk from me, so we started supplementing. As I continued to breastfeed and pump, I was only able to make 2 ounces per day. My body simply was never going to lactate well.

    So, after 30 days of struggling and failing to breastfeed, I am switching to formula and am wanting to know if quitting cold turkey is okay and whether it will work especially as I make very little milk.

    Thanks.

    • Admin says:

      Hi there,
      I am so sorry to hear you have had such a hard time. It sounds like you did a great job of trying to increase your supply, and what a gift to your daughter that was. Just shows what a good momma you are. Antibiotics usually do not cause your supply to dry up, and most women do not feel their milk let down, so that isn’t an indication of no milk, however severe blood loss can absolutely affect your milk supply. You had a lot of hurdles that is for sure. The good news is that if you decide to breastfeed another child in the future, most likely it wont be like this. Most mommas who have a hard time the first time around do much better the next time. Breastfeeding is different each time. You gave your daughter a great source of vitamins and nutrients for 30 days, and that is something to be very proud of.
      As for weaning. It is possible that when you stop cold turkey you may experience some engorgement. I would follow the rest of the step listed in my weaning article to help you dry up completely. I would still attempt a more gradual approach, but it sounds like it should be a smooth transition for you. Let me know if you have any further questions. Best of luck!

  119. Marley Cherry says:

    I’m a brand new mom and my son will be two weeks old in one day. I had to recently give up breastfeeding/pumping because of anxiety and other issues it created for me. I called my pediatrician and they recommend using half formula half breastmilk until I run out of breastmilk. (What I have stored). I have done this for one day total now and he isn’t having as many bowl movements. But as far as my boobs go, I have two sports bras on and I’m using ice for some relief. Tomorrow I’m getting peppermint essential oil that is supposed to dry my milk up. . . I’m so nervous that I will develop mastitis or clogged ducts, is there anyway to prevent this from happening?

    • Admin says:

      Hi there. First I want to congratulate you on 2 weeks of giving your son a great start. You should be very proud of yourself! Breastfeeding those first 3 weeks is hard, but you have to do what is going to make you the best momma for that baby. You have done great. I do recommend weaning gradually for your breasts sake so that way you wont develop mastitis. Because your milk just came in last week, your body is still trying to figure out how much milk it was supposed to make. So, for your comfort, since you have a pump, go ahead and space out your pumping to every 4 hours. Pump both sides at the same time for about 10-15 min. What your pumping give to your son. (This is a great way to get him the benefits of breast milk why you wean. I have several mom’s who choose to strictly pump and bottlefeed their babies breastmilk instead of having the baby feed directly from the breast. This may be a good option for you through the winter so that your baby is protected from all the viruses that winter/fall can bring. Even if he had half his diet of breastmilk, every drop is like vitamins and immunity against illness. Just a thought if you wanted to continue pumping 4 times a day) If you decide to continue to pump and provide I can help you set up a plan for that. If you would still like to dry up your supply, then gradually space out the pumping to 3 times a day, then 2 times a day, and then finally when you are ready to completely stop you pump to empty and begin the cabbage treatment listed in my article. Then you can of course add in the peppermint oil that you need to ingest, along with decongestants, eating parstley etc…. As for your baby not pooping. It is very common initially for a baby to initially become constipated once formula is first introduced because it is a different protein. When bovine protein mixes with human protein it can cause temporary constipation. If it continues for more then 3 days let your pediatrician know. Hang in there girl you are doing great. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

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