Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Drying up my milk?

I have to stop breastfeeding because of medication I need to go on for cluster migraines and continued high blood pressure (issues from pregnancy and hormone issues).  I know there are a lot of well meaning mom's out there, but trust me, I've tried everything to continue to breastfeed, but I'm at the point now where my health is in danger and I can hardly care for the baby about 4 days a week because of the migraines.  I feel awful about it, but am trying to come to terms with the fact that the baby needs a healthy mom.

What I'd love some advice on is how to dry up my milk?  I've tried just stopping breastfeeding cold turkey and it is painful!  Any other tips on how to adjust better?

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Re: Drying up my milk?

  • pump.  Pump when you feel uncomfortable full, just to relieve yourself.  And every few days drop a pump until you feel comfortable dropping the last one.
  • I stopped recently and I pumped so many times a day and just gradually dropped one at a time over the course of a few weeks. No real pain, but I did go through a day or 2 that I felt really full.
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  • Sudafed from behind the pharmacy counter will help, but I don't know if its ok for your migraine or if you plan to use your bm while your drying it out.
  • Sudafed helped me (the real stuff you have to get from the pharmacist now, not the over the counter).  It did hurt for a couple days, so bad so that I could barely stand to hold DS.  I continued to feel full and leak for about 2 weeks, then it finally went away.

    And don't feel bad.  I beat myself up about stopping, but DS and I were both miserable (I had supply issues and DS isn't a strong sucker).  We're both much happier now.  You are doing what is best for you by stopping.  Like you said, your baby needs a healthy mom.


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  • With dd1, I stopped eping cold turkey, but I was only pumping 4 times a day. I took sudafed, used ice and cabbage leaves. When I felt really full or started leaking, I would hand express until I was a little more comfortable. It took about 3 days before I stopped feeling really uncomfortable and about a week before I was completely dried up.
  • cold cabbage leaves, cold compresses, tylenol.  dont do cold turkey.  just pump less and less each day.  took me about a wk.  if you get a clogged duct, massage it out in the shower, dont bf.  i read on the net you can take a dose of sudafed and it helped me but maybe ask your dr before doing that.
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  • ditto on pumping. only pump about an ounce at a time and gradually your body will start to stop producing milk.

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  • I totally feel for you.  I had a terrible time switching from breastfeeding to formula.  hope you start to feel better soon, for both you and your baby.

    I'm not sure if this is the best way, but i dried up by taking cold meds.  i did have a cold at the time though so it wasn't like i was feeding myself something unwanted.  i would also suggest getting rid of a pumping and making them shorter too.

  • I had to pump, but only 2x a day, i was also massaging during/after hot shower where the lumps and bumps hurt the most.  Target sells these ice packs you can put on your boobs (I think NUK makes them) and they were great!  I didn't start to get my milk in until Sat & I only leaked once yesterday, a very small amount.  They still hurt but only if they get hit, not constant pain.  They also aren't as hard.

    GL.  The pain from it sucks.

    DD1(4):VSD & PFO (Closed!), Prenatal stroke, Mild CP, Delayed pyloric opening/reflux, Brachycephaly & Plagiocephaly, Sacral lipoma, Tethered spinal cord, Compound heterozygous MTHFR, Neurogenic bladder, Urinary retention & dyssynergia, incomplete emptying, enlarged Bladder with Poor Muscle Tone, EDS-Type 3. Mito-Disorder has been mentioned

    DD2(2.5): Late term premie due to PTL, low fluid & IUGR, Reflux, delayed visual maturation, compound heteroygous MTHFR, PFAPA, Bilateral kidney reflux, Transient hypogammaglobulinemia, EDS-Type 3

  • Thanks so much for the excellent advice!  Sudafed really works (here in Canada we can still buy it off the shelf) and I pumped a couple of times a day.  Now a few days later, I'm just leaking a bit after a shower, but the painful engorgement is gone thankfully.
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