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Stopping milk supply before it starts(5 Posts)
I’m not sure if this is the right place but I figured there would be lots of experts here.
I’m having my baby in a couple of months via a planned caesarian. For reasons of my own, I do not wish to breastfeed. I will however endeavour to express some colostrum.
Is there a way to prevent or minimise my milk coming in? Or reduce my supply and therefore my discomfort? I’ve read things about cabbage and decongestant but I’m not sure if anyone has any sure-fire ways to minimise it?
You can't really stop your milk coming in altogether as that is entirely hormone driven, but there are things you can do to reduce it and to improve your comfort. The drugs that used to be given fairly routinely to dry up the milk of mothers who didn't wish to breastfeed have been found to have potentially dangerous side effects so they are now only prescribed rarely, when the benefits are felt to outweigh the risks.
The other drug that tends to dry up milk pretty reliably is the combined oral contraceptive pill its the oestrogen that does it) but you need to wait at least 3 -6 weeks after the birth, depending on your individual risk of a deep vein thrombosis. As you are having a section I would imagine your doctor is likely to err on the side of caution and not prescribe the pill early, but you could discuss it.
There are a number of herbs which can reduce milk supply, including sage, but none is guaranteed I'm afraid. Take care not to over stimulate your breasts and once your milk comes in, if you need to express for comfort then be sure to express the minimum to relieve the pressure - don't try to "empty" your breasts as this will just increase production. Wear a supportive but not tight bra and take simple analgesics like paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain. You could try taking your paracetamol as a cold remedy actually, as the decongestant pseudoephedrine can reduce supply.
There is a lot of good information on the topic in the Kellymom website actually. Although it is a breastfeeding support site there are articles on suppressing supply as some mums need to reduce an excessive supply or thise with established supplies nay need to stop for some reason. The articles may not be describing your exact situation, but I think the suggested techniques would still help you. I haven't figured out how to post links from my new phone yet sorry, but if you Google "Kellymom lactation suppression" you should find the relevant articles.
Also, when you express colostrum I would suggest you do it by hand rather than trying to use a pump. It is a fairly thick and sticky fluid and you are likely to get only a few ml at a time. If you use a pump it is likely that you will end up with it stuck to the insides of the pump and not have anything to feed baby. Hand expressing is gentler and less likely to over stimulate your breasts and make you sore. I have met a few people who have successfully expressed colostrum with pumps and ended up with bottles full, but they are in the minority! Most people find the best way is to hand express into a syringe and then to feed it to baby from the syringe. Your MW or the infant feeding specialist in hospital (hopefully there will be one) should be able to show you what to do and provide you with syringes.
(Sorry for wasting your time if you already know all this.)
If you are lucky having a c section may help your milk not come in. I never had any swollen boobs or anything afterwards, I was in high dependency & pretty sick afterwards due to pre eclampsia & too out of it to attempt much bf ( much to the midwife disgust) & I never had any leaking nipples or any feeling of milk coming in. Put on your birth plan that you are formula feeding & if they start to try to persuade you then just refuse. Take some ready done packs of bottles with you.
Thank you everyone. All really useful advice, especially hand expressing the colostrum. I wouldn’t have thought of that and saves me getting a pump.
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