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I have 2 kids. First kid breastfed for 6 days then switched to formula. Second kid breastfed for less than 24 hours, then switched to formula.

And while I got long lists of sermons of “breast is best” and while I appreciated it, I found that I felt like more myself and a better mother for putting my kids to formula. While I do believe that breast is indeed best considering the heaps of benefits, I do believe that whatever works best for mother and child is best and beautiful.

I stopped breastfeeding my first one because I had blood coming out instead of milk. And yes, I have tried pumping. The second one, well, my nipple blistered at first suck on both breasts and it was painful and horrible and anxiety provoking to the point I felt like throwing up and shaking when my baby cries and wants a feed.

So I decided to end my milk supply. I know lots of people will call me selfish and even suggest I should have powered through.

But breastfeeding for me is physically and emotionally taxing.

The sadder thing is you do not see articles about ceasing milk supply that much. The lactation consultant will see you for 5 minutes and give you some tips but less than often, they will not invest as much to you than to the next woman who is willing to do it. And fair enough, I only want my milk to cease.

Here are things I found helpful when ceasing milk supply. I am not a doctor or a midwife and consulting someone about this is best.

1. Cold cabbage leaves. For some reason, it alleviated the engorgement and the pain. They say it has enzymes to dry up the milk supply.

How:
Separate leaves of cabbage and place in freezer. Cup the frozen leaves to breasts until wilted. Discard when wilted and keep doing so until you feel comfortable.

How long:
I did this for 3 days until I felt comfortable without it.

NOTE: DO NOT USE IF ALLERGIC TO CABBAGE!

2. Wear a tight fitting bra. A good sports bra supported my breasts well enough. When I ran out of sports bras (because they kept smelling like cabbage leaves), I used two bras (no underwire). Wear it all day and all night.

3. Drink sage tea. Sage tea is notorious apparently in drying up milk.

How: A handful of sage leaves into boiling water. Add honey and lemon to make it taste better. I didn’t like the taste of it while hot, so I cooled it in the fridge and added ice to make a lovely iced tea.

4. Can’t stomach sage tea? Try peppermint tea. And eat anything peppermint – from peppermint chocolates to peppermint candy canes. Even better, combine sage tea and peppermint tea!

5. Pseudoephedrine. I have read in some blog posts about pseudoephedrine decreasing milk supply of mothers. I tried it and it has probably worked for me. My husband has leftover Codral tablets from the last time he had a flu. I just followed chemist instructions on how to take it.

6. Ibuprofen for pain. Trust me, it’s painful so any pain relief helps.

7. Rest and relax. I let my husband look after the baby for 3 days since, with my pain, I can’t cuddle the little one.

8. They say to pump or express a little, just enough to relieve engorgement. This is also to prevent mastitis. I did not do this as I was too scared to stimulate more milk however, I kept feeling for hard lumps and tried to massage and break it down as much as I can. You can do this but it may take a little bit longer for your breast milk to cease.

9. Skip the hot/ warm shower. Heat stimulates milk flow. I turned my back to the shower.

I know I might get a lot of hate from this but I also hope I get some love from mothers who decided they can’t ‘power through’ breastfeeding. I did all of this and my milk supply ceased after 3 and 1/2 days and there is no longer engorgement.

I hope even one person finds this helpful.


Posted anonymously, 2nd February 2016


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  • All the info you have given i agree with and when i decided to stop feeding my kids i did most of the above.
    But I would love to know how to make it stop permantly. I had a baby eight years ago and my milk supply came in. Although it reduced a lot, if you squezzed a nipple liquid would come out.. Well we went on to have three more lovely delighful kids all breast feed but i gave that up fully two years ago and if you squeeze the nipple liquid still comes out. I dont intend to have any more kids and would love for it to stop..Permently.

    Reply

  • Breastfeeding varies from woman to woman. Every woman has their own unique experience.

    Reply

  • It is totally your decision. Good for you for making yourself happy. You are not selfish at all.
    I breast Fed for 5 weeks, then swapped to formula. The reason I stopped was because I got masitis. I was in so much agony. The guilt I felt for stopping was unbelievable.

    Reply

  • Look, I did ” power through” problems to breast feed (three times), and I still think you probably made a good decision. A miserable mother doesn’t make for a happy baby.

    Reply

  • Ultimately it is your decision and you should be proud of yourself for just giving it a go, especially the second time after you had so much trouble the first time. People will also judge Mums no matter what decisions we make.

    Reply

  • Why would anyone hate you ? I breastfed first one for a few hours but with great difficulty and the nurses were really helpful in helping me prepare bottle feeding and even helped me during the nights while in hospital for seven days . Second one ( boy ) was so hungry that two breasts with tops ups didn’t satisfy and did this for a month . Mind you I had a difficult birth with blood transfusions as well . I was lucky ( growing from Asian culture ) was never pressured about this part ( only other things lol) and good to hear a strong mum who can make her own family decisions . Thanks for sharing .


    • Thank you. =) i received a lot of evil eye especially at the hospital when at first when I decided to bottle feed. It felt like I was giving my child second best. My child is now 4 years old and is doing really well. Only gets sick once a year or twice at most. I just wish bottle feeding mothers receive more support and commendation too.

    Reply

  • I am glad you found what worked for you and that your husband was able to support you.


    • Yep – we all have to find the best way forward with feeding our babies.

    Reply

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