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TheITbaby’s complete guide to stopping breastfeeding

Since roughly half of the search engine traffic is on stopping breastfeeding, how to stop breastfeeding, and how long does it take milk to dry up after you stop breastfeeding, I’m going to attempt to put together a really short guide that will eventually be complete.

Stopping Breastfeeding

A less than complete guide

Updated 6/25/13

Stopping breastfeedingPreface

You’re probably not a horrible person so get that out of your head. Sometimes you just have to. As long as you did it for two or three days in the beginning you’re golden. Sometimes you just want to, who cares? If you’re resenting your baby for titty twisting and unable to sleep because your boobs hurt all the time, what good is that doing anyone?

How long after stopping breastfeeding does milk continue

All depends on how you do it. See the how to stop breastfeeding section.

How to stop breastfeeding

… as written by a dude

Every time you empty your breasts you trigger an order for a new full load of milk to be produced. As you get near topping off your body slows down requesting production, and near bursting it’s telling all systems to keep producing, but drop down to a trickle because something’s not right.

Short answer here is to express a bit of milk, but leave it near full. Pump the pain away, but don’t drain. If unused milk is left sitting, after a while the body’s orders for milk decrease. By some accounts you can almost completely stop producing milk in as little as 18 days, but a month or so seems like a more reasonable timeframe. This site says 2-3 weeks.

I have nothing but lots of reading on the internet to back this up

How to transition a baby to formula

Give it to them. Hold them. Have some Gripe Water or baby gas-x handy as their stomachs are not all that great at change.

If you can, start mixing it in with breast milk and increase to ratio as you gear down operation mammary.

Your baby will vary in what you need to do. Stopping breastfeeding doesn’t mean you have to stop cuddling baby while feeding.

Dealing with giving up breastfeeding

I look at it this way. Baby’s getting fed. Whatever reason you had for stopping is getting met. Whether this be hooking up to a pump over and over again, sleeplessnes, or severe pain and resentment.

Your baby’s babydom is too short to spend it feeling bad that you couldn’t do something.

Alternately, you can believe you’re a horrible person or that people who choose to stop are horrible people and go on being all judgy McJudgerson. Your call.

Misc stuff to do or dispell

  • Do not tightly bind your breasts, actually works against you.
  • Lower salt so you don’t retain too many fluids.
  • However drink normally, drinking too little doesn’t do what you think it does.
  • Take 500mg b6 daily, supposedly helps, can’t hurt. Probably take in the mornings.
  • Cabbage leaf compresses are the same as cold compresses but stinkier.
  • Warm showers sooth pain and you can dump some milk also.
  • Drugs are not particularly effective.
  • Antihistamines and cold medicine dehydrate you and make you feel worse, but might shave a day off of your pump schedule.
  • Baby doesn’t care if it’s coming from you or if it’s in a bottle. Baby wants you, food, warmth.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.