Lactation Suppression Instructions

  • Don’t bind your breasts. This is an old-fashioned idea that is no longer recommended. Binding breasts can make you very uncomfortable and cause plugged ducts and mastitis. Wear a supportive sports bra instead.
  • Using drugs to "dry up" the milk is also not recommended because they are not very effective and may cause serious side effects
  • Wear a supportive (but not tight) bra for support. Choose clothing that is less likely to show wet spots if you leak, and wear nursing pads to absorb leaking milk.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Restricting fluids doesn’t help.
  • Cut down on salt intake. Salt causes your body to retain fluids.
  • Sage tea contains a natural form of estrogen and can decrease your supply and help dry up your milk. You can buy it at the health food store, or use the spice from your kitchen. Take 1 teaspoon of rubbed sage with 1 cup of hot water, [steeped for about 15 minutes]. You will want to add some milk or honey to it as it is very bitter. One full cup every six hours will usually dry the milk up quickly. Sage works best if you use it along with cabbage leaf compresses.
  • Cabbage leaf compresses are a home remedy that has been used for over 100 years to reduce engorgement and dry up milk. Here’s how to use them: Buy plain green cabbage. Rinse and dry leaves. Put them in the refrigerator. Remove base of hard-core vein and gently pound leaves. Wrap around breast and areola, leaving nipple exposed. The leaves fit nicely around the breast and the cold feels good. Cover entire breast and, if needed, the area under your arms. Change every 30 minutes or sooner if the leaves become wilted.
  • Don’t be afraid to relieve your discomfort by expressing some milk. Express just enough to keep them from feeling as if they are "bursting" or are swollen, overfilled and lumpy. Allow most of the milk to stay in the breast, which signals the body to stop milk production. If you remove a large amount of milk or do it consistently, you are telling the body to produce more.
  • Do not use heat on swollen breasts. Instead, use cold packs or compresses to reduce swelling around the milk glands and ducts.