Drying up breast milk is very important, especially to those surrogate mothers who have decided not to pump and ship milk to intended parents. Follow these tips when you are producing breastmilk but wish to have a lack of breast milk.
Surrogate mothers, like all pregnant women, will produce breast milk naturally after the surrogate babies are born. Some surrogate mothers choose to express this milk and gift the baby and intended parents with it, while others are in a situation where that is not possible, or preferred. That leaves many surrogates looking for ways to dry up breast milk and stop producing breastmilk.
How to Dry Up Breast Milk
If not breast feeding, the breasts will fill up with breastmilk and possibly, painfully, become engorged.
The following are tips on drying up breast milk to prevent some of the pain.
- Ice Packs
Ice is your friend when you desire a lack of breast milk.
Placing ice packs across your chest will help to both ease the pain, and reduce the flow of the milk itself.
- Cabbage Leaves
An old wive’s tale that really works for drying up breast milk is frozen cabbages leaves. Purchase a large green cabbage and take the outer leaves off. Place the single leaves in the freezer. As you get them out of the freezer, break the veins somewhat. Place the entire leaf into your bra. Change leaves frequently for best results.
- Leave it Alone
Although engorgement is sometimes painful, the body will naturally reduce and dry up breast milk on its own in 7-10 days. Days 2-3 are generally the worst, and it goes down from there.
Avoid the Following
When attempting drying up breast milk, it is important to avoid the following actions which in many cases will have you producing breastmilk, instead of obtaining a lack of breast milk.
- Don’t Bind Breasts
Binding breasts, while it won’t necessarily produce more breastmilk, will be painful and could cause clogged milk ducts. This could end up requiring surgery. The best thing to do is to wear a loose, but supportive bra.
- Keep Out of Hot Water
As tempting as it is to stand under a hot shower and let the heat erase the pain of engorgement, the worst thing you can do is to warm your breasts. When you do this, it encourages them to let the milk flow, which then gets replaced by more milk and starts the drying up breast milk process all over again. Keep your back to the water when you take a shower.
- Don’t Stimulate Nipples
Stimulating nipples can make milk flow uncontrollably, and thus prohibit drying out breast milk.
Again, you’re looking at a situation where more milk will come in to replace what is expressed.
- Don’t Express Milk
It is tempting when engorged to just let a little milk go to ease the discomfort. Many mothers do this, actually. It does, however, add to the problem as more milk replaces that which is gone, and the uncomfortable and sometimes painful process is begun anew.
- Becoming a Breast Milk Surrogate
- Pumping Breast Milk
- Shipping Breast Milk
- Tips to Increase Milk Supply
- Donating Breastmilk