After 17 months of breastfeeding, one day my baby decided to wean herself. It was a good run, but it was time — she knew it and I knew it. My body, on the other hand, was still producing milk. Granted, my supply had begun to slow since about a year post postpartum and my little one was down to nursing just twice a day. Still, I was worried about what to do with what little was left. There must be more scientific explanations out there and certainly always heed the recommendations of your doctor, BUT for the most part, us mamas are left with old wives tales to guide us down this road.
I heard if you pump, it creates a demand for the milk to be produced by the body. However, if you don’t do anything and just quit cold turkey, clogged ducts can occur. Don’t get me started on how fearful I was of mastitis…I’ve heard horror stories! I knew I had to tackle this developmental and physical change head-on.
So, short of stuffing cabbage leaves down your shirt, here are some easy (non veggie-smelling!) ways to dry up your milk supply that worked for me:
- A tight sports bra: I read this suggestion in one of my online mom’s groups and although I’m not sure of the logic behind it, the idea made sense to me at the time. It was tough to squeeze me & my large mammaries into an old size small Nike sports bra, but something about the tightness & constriction worked to curb any engorgement and leaking. They say the trick is to keep wearing one for several days at a time (like, a week) and only take it off to shower…even sleep in it!
- Peppermint essential oil: One of my neighbors (and mama to 3 littles herself) who uses essential oils in all parts of her daily life gave me this tip. Get a bottle and rub a few drops on your breasts twice a day, followed by the sports bra. — Worked like a charm! I really have no idea, but I got the distinct feeling that this step was the most effective in drying up my supply.
- Mint tea: Just like there are lactation teas, teas for energy, and teas for promoting sleep, mint tea apparently can help to reduce milk supply. Same idea as the peppermint essential oil, but this is an ingestible way to get that peppermint in and go about attaining your goal. Since it’s herbal & caffeine free, I drank it as often as I liked.
***Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information represents what I, a lifestyle blogger, have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health. Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before attempting.