- Allow your baby to nurse, pump, or hand express just enough to
relieve the pressure (not enough to completely soften). This will help
keep you more comfortable and lessen the risk of breast infection. This
will not be enough to cause milk production to continue as stimulation
AND an *empty* breast are required for production to continue at a high
- Wear a good supportive bra but do not bind your breasts.
This is an outdated practice that may put you at greater risk for
- Apply chilled cabbage leaves to your breasts. These can be
crushed with a rolling pin and chilled in your refrigerator or freezer
and then placed inside your bra until they wilt. They should then be
- You may want to apply ice packs in place of or along with the cabbage compresses. A bag of frozen peas often works well.
- Advil or Motrin will help ease any pain and reduce any swelling.
- Some mothers find that taking an antihistamine and/or drinking Sage Tea or using the herb, Peppermint, helps reduce milk supply.
- Be aware of any signs or symptoms of breast infection
as you will be at greater risk of it during the weaning process. If you
should notice any signs, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
stated before sudden weaning is not recommended, but should it be
necessary, all of the above management suggestions would still apply.
Most always, sudden weaning is not necessary. Some women are told to
suddenly wean due to needing to take a certain medication, be
hospitalized, have surgery, etc. Most medications are compatible with
breastfeeding or an alternative medication can be found that is. And
many women can also work around hospitalization or surgery and still continue to breastfeed.
Continued Milk Production After Weaning
It is normal for a lot of women to continue to produce *small* amounts
of milk weeks, months, and even years after weaning. ANY stimulation to
the breast; ie. "checking" to see if milk can still be expressed,
stimulation during sexual intercourse, etc. can cause production to
continue. Absorbent breast pads or perhaps the Blis System should
make this temporary leaking more manageable. If milk is still present,
especially if it is in large amounts, 6 months after weaning, it's a
good idea to have an evaluation by a physician, because although this
is a normal condition for most women, continued production can also be
a symptom of something else, too.
Written by Becky Flora, IBCLC, November 27, 1999
Last Revision: February 3, 2000
"The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning" by Kathleen Huggins and Linda Ziedrich
"How Weaning Happens" by Diane Bengson