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Breast Feeding

How to stop lactating

06/29/2007

Question:

My daughter just had a baby which, sadly, only lived a few hours. She had started pumping before we knew the baby wouldn`t survive. Now, her milk has come in and she is very uncomfortable, physically and emotionally. How can she stop lactating? Thanks,

Answer:

First, let me express my sincere condolences on the loss of your little one.

There are a few things your daughter can do to stop lactating.

Pump only to comfort but not to empty the breasts.

Try to pump less and less frequently as your breasts make less and less milk.

The less you pump the less you will make and your pain will diminish gradually

Apply cold compresses to both breasts after just pumping to comfort.

Use clean, cold cabbage leaves with crushed veins toward the breast for about 20 minutes every 4 to 6 hours.

The active ingredient is also available in a cream called "cabocreme". This is available on line at: www.cabocreme.com.

If she does not have hypertension, and is not allergic to it, she could take Sudafed, 60 mg per day.

This is known to dry up the milk very quickly.

Other suggestions include sage tea and mint tea.

All the best!

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati