Suppressing milk supply

In most cases, breastfeeding is stopped gradually as the child starts to eat food or drink from the bottle. Sometimes you need to stop abruptly, and a gradual slowdown is not possible. This could be if you or the child get sick or if there are complications with breastfeeding that make it too hard to continue.

Ingela Ågren

2 min read

Ingela Ågren

Suppressing milk supply
Photo:Preggers

Some women have decided against breastfeeding, even before giving birth. As breast milk is made on-demand, milk production will slow down if the baby sucks less on the breast. If you have decided not to breastfeed already before delivery, you should simply ignore your breasts. If you don’t stimulate your breasts, milk production will cease. The breasts can still be tight and sore the first few days after giving birth but will then soon get soft again. It is normal to leak milk in the beginning, but this will stop within a short period of time.

When you want to suppress milk supply make sure to wear a firm bra such as a sports bra. Avoid wearing a wired bra as it may increase the risk of mastitis. If your breasts are tight and painful, you may need to take pain relief medication, for example, paracetamol or Ibuprofen. The tightness and pain normally ease after 3-5 days. If the pain is unbearable, you can try to release the pressure by filling a bowl or a basin with hot water and dipping your nipple in it. This will usually encourage some milk to come out, without stimulating the nipple. You can also take a hot shower and stroke your breasts without a hand express of the breast. If you still need to pump or hand express milk, stop just as the discomfort eases to ensure you don’t stimulate increased milk production.

Ingela Ågren

Ingela Ågren