Mother Nature provides every mom an amazing way to nourish their young without spending on anything. There’s no doubt about the health-giving benefits breast milk can give during his first two years, not to mention huge savings on expensive milk substitute. Your baby can also have as much as he wants since your breast will keep making it until you tell it to stop. But how?
Lactating moms produce milk in their breasts when it senses that their baby needs more of it. In other words, if they keep on breastfeeding or use the breast pump, they’ll just keep on doing their job. However, if milk stays in the breast, it would send a signal to the brain that milk is no longer needed and would eventually stop making more milk.
It can take days or even weeks before your breast finally gets the message. Some moms suggests going cold turkey to hasten the process but it could also put you at risk of infection such as mastitis, especially for those who breastfeed exclusively since they produce milk in greater amounts. A better way would be to substitute breastfeeding with bottled formula one feeding at a time until there’s less and less milk stored in the breasts.
During the first few days to about a week, you’re going to experience some swelling and discomfort in your breast, but it’s important not to express too much milk because it might send the wrong signal thinking your baby still need it. If you have to use the breast pump, do it to manage the discomfort. Your breast responds by producing less milk until you’re completely dry.
Weaning your child from breast milk can also have an effect on your mood because of hormonal changes in your body. Somehow you feel like breastfeeding again because it felt good and you kind of missed it. There’s also that special bond between you and your baby every time you breastfeed, so yes, it does change things. But you can still experience the same closeness through other means like skin-to-skin contact, hugs, etc.
To relieve swollen breasts, some moms use raw cabbage leaves, cut up with the veins removed, and placed inside the bra. It slows down milk production and relieves discomfort at the same time. Another way to effectively relieve discomfort is by using cold compress. Just make sure it’s properly insulated to avoid ice burns. Refrain from using warm packs since they can cause milk to drip from your breast, hence delaying milk stoppage much longer.
Lastly, care must be taken not to stimulate the breast especially the nipple area. For instance, when taking a shower, try to keep your back to it. Your bra must be able to support your breast fully to avoid sagging and cause unwanted stimulation. We’re trying to take away any possibility of breast stimulation so that you won’t have to wait much longer for your breasts to stop lactating. If followed correctly, you will have dried out in two weeks time.