While many of these answers are founded in science, the best source of information on how to stop breastfeeding comes from other moms.
10 tips from moms
- Make sure your baby is ready to stop breastfeeding before you attempt to dry up your milk supply. By ready, I mean taking a bottle or cup.
- Feed baby already pumped milk to relieve pressure on breasts. Some believe breastmilk changes as breasts dry up preparing your baby for life without breastmilk.
- Restrict movement and friction against the nipple. Friction stimulates the nipple and promotes milk letdown and production.
- If baby co-sleeps and breastfeeds throughout the night, move your baby out of your bed. She will normally nuzzle your breast and try to feed during the night.
- Plan to stop before you actually stop. Skip a pumping once a day for a few weeks and then skip two. Eventually, you’ll be down to one pump a day and you’ll have your breasts back.
- Let it happen naturally. As your baby consumes more solid food and other liquids, they won't turn to your breastmilk as often and your milk supply will naturally dry up without the pain.
- Wash and dry cabbage leaves and place them between your nipple and bra. It may sound gross, but the cabbage relieves the pain.
- Take the first two days off work if you are going to stop breastfeeding cold turkey. Your breasts will be rock hard and it’ll hurt to move your arms.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce pain.
- Don’t rush it. The slower you take with the process, the less pain you’ll feel.