How Long Does It Take for Breastmilk to Dry Up? The Facts You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered when your breastmilk production would start to wean off? Many mothers have also thought about this and begin to hope that it does soon, especially if they have stopped breastfeeding for certain reasons.

But when it comes to breastfeeding and your milk production, there is more to it than simply waiting.

You can find that there are tips on how to dry out your breastmilk to avoid it from overflowing and feeling the discomfort if you have stopped breastfeeding your baby already.

But how long does it take for breastmilk to dry up and how can you help quicken the process?

Read on as I show you about your breastmilk drying up and what you can do to make it start.

Why Do You Want Your Breastmilk to Dry Up?

There may be some people wondering: Why are there mothers who would like to finish up their milk supply when you can find others who need it when breastfeeding?

Some mothers choose not to breastfeed for certain reasons. It may be due to them preferring feeding them from the bottle and using milk formula, while other mothers have certain health and skin conditions that deem the breastmilk they produce unhealthy to consume.

Why Do You Want Your Breastmilk to Dry Up?

Other times, women would like to know about when breastmilk dries up because it’s been very long since they last breastfed and they would like to know when it should be stopping before seeing a doctor or following any remedies.

If the breastmilk will not be consumed or used, then it’s best to avoid the discomfort or unexpected milk flow through drying it out. After all, mothers who aren’t breastfeeding wouldn’t want droplets leaking out of their shirt or having to breast pump to ease the discomfort.

When Should You Start Drying Up Your Breastmilk?

There are certain times when mothers would like to start weaning off their breastmilk supply.

Like mentioned, some mothers opt not to breastfeed and would rather have it dried up during the early days after giving birth. Other times, mothers have certain medical conditions that have them stop producing milk or breastfeeding, though this can be temporary or permanent (for the former, it’s best to consult a health care provider).

Mothers who have experienced a loss and would rather not pump and donate their breastmilk can also stop producing it as soon as possible.

No matter what the reason, it all boils down to when YOU want and the situation you are in. You can wean off your breastmilk supply anytime, through using various methods or waiting for the time it should stop.

If it would help ease your mind, then it’s best to contact your doctor to find out if it’s best to continue pumping breastmilk or to begin drying it up.

How Long Does It Take for Breastmilk to Dry Up?

Before knowing about how long it takes until your breastmilk begins to dry up, here’s a quick fact about milk production!

Once you have given birth and the placenta has shed completely, your body will start producing milk. This is because of prolactin, which is a hormone that is released while you nurse to make more milk.

So if you are not breastfeeding or pumping milk, then instead of prolactin, your body will soon release PIF, or prolactin inhibiting factor. This is another hormone that indicates your body doesn’t need breastmilk, drying up along the process.

When Should You Start Drying Up Your Breastmilk?

Drying up your milk simply takes a few days of waiting and without any nursing. If you stop breastfeeding or pumping milk, then it will take about seven to ten days after you’re born for your body to balance out its hormones to its pre-pregnancy state.

But do take note that it may take a few weeks or months until everything is gone.

When you begin drying up your milk, your breasts may become fuller or heavier from the milk. It feels swollen and painful, so you may feel the discomfort at first and want to express milk to reduce the pain. BUT, you’ll need to do it carefully to avoid stimulating the prolactin hormone. I’ll be showing you some tips in the next sections.

Tips on Drying Up Your Breastmilk

Now that you know about when your breastmilk would usually dry up, the next question is: How can you stay comfortable while drying your breastmilk? Here are some quick tips to follow proven by mothers and studies:

  • Use cold packs to relieve to pain, which will help reduce the swelling. If the coldness isn’t helping, then a warm shower may help.
  • Certain anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve the pain, but you will need to check with your doctor before taking any suggested.
  • Wearing cabbage leaves in your bra can help relieve engorgement, which results to dry up your milk. Make sure you wash and dry the leaves, cutting out lumpy veins to avoid pain. Cool the leaves in the fridge as well before placing it in your bra and change it every few hours.
  • Do NOT bind your bra or drink medication claiming to dry up breastmilk, as they have serious side symptoms and increase the risk of blocked ducts.

In Conclusion

When it comes to keeping your breastmilk production to the minimum until it dries up, you can do more so than to simply wait it out, as it would depend on your body as well. Through following efficient and proven tips to dry up your breastmilk, you can stay comfortable during the process and be free from droplets or the flow of milk coming in again.

I hope that this article answers your question: “How long does it take for breastmilk to dry up?” Now that you know the answers and a few tips on how to do so, why not start following any of these ways today, if needed?

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on drying up your breastmilk supply, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.