Learning how to dry up milk supply without getting mastitis is difficult.
Breastfeeding is an excellent experience for both the mother and the baby, but it needs to stop at some point. Maybe your baby is now old enough to do without breastmilk, you’re taking some risky medication, or you want them to switch to formula.
Whatever your reasons may be, your body may not get the memo immediately, and you’ll have to find ways to dry up your breastmilk. So if you’re wondering how to dry up milk supply without getting mastitis, here’s all the information that you need to know.
What is mastitis
Mastitis is an infection of the breast, caused when bacteria enter the breast through a cracked nipple. It can also result when the mother goes for long periods without nursing or completely empties the breast. Mastitis is a very painful infection, and some of the other symptoms include inflammation of the breast tissue, fever, and chills.
How to dry up milk supply without getting mastitis
When trying to dry up milk supply for good, mastitis is a major concern for most mothers. Your breasts will be engorged and quite painful as the produced milk tries to find a way out. However, some of the tried and tested methods that can help you to avoid this include:
1. Sage tea
Age is one if the best herbs to dry up breast milk. Since it contains a natural form of estrogen, sage can help you to dry up milk supply. Just steep a teaspoon of it in a hot water cup for about 15 minutes and drink a glass of sage tea every six hours or so. You can even add honey or other sweeteners if it’s too bitter for you.
2. Cold turkey
If you feel like you can no longer breastfeed, you can stop doing it, and your body’s supply of milk will slow down. However, going cold turkey like this takes time and can be very painful due to inflammation. Ensure that you use ice packs and pain medications, and invest in the right support bra.
3. Cabbage leaves
Cabbage leaves placed inside your bra can help with the pain and reduce inflammation. All you have to do is wash the leaves of green cabbage, and put them in the fridge to chill for a while. Then, place one on each breast inside your bra. You can change it up every 1 hour or when the swelling goes down.
4. Birth control
Estrogen-based birth control methods are linked to low milk production. Your doctor should be able to direct you to the best option for drying up your milk supply.
5. Gradual weaning
Weaning your baby is the best and easiest way to dry up your milk supply. You can start by reducing the breastfeeding sessions with your baby and introducing something new to their diet that replaces breastmilk. It would be best if you also stayed away from pumping or massaging your breasts at this time; otherwise, your body will be tricked into thinking that it needs to produce more milk.
Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply, where your body will continue to produce milk if it feels like there’s a need for it. However, once you learn how to dry up milk supply without getting mastitis, you’ll gain control of your body again.