- You may be able to hold your baby at this time; this can be healing for many families.
- Suppression is when a mom wants to stop her body from making breastmilk. If you have given birth recently, you may not have to pump at all or for only a few days. Mild engorgement or fullness of the breast should lessen then stop when milk is not removed.
- If you have been pumping, slowly decrease the amount of times you pump each day. For example, if you are currently pumping 4 times a day, pump only 3 times the next day. You should not stop pumping quickly, it can be painful and can lead to infection. Mild engorgement is normal and necessary; it will help tell your body to stop making milk. If your breasts are very full, you may find it helpful to apply heat with a warm compress or take a hot shower. Then pump only a small amount of milk, only enough to relieve extra fullness and pain, do not fully empty your breast. After pumping, you may apply cold packs, they are for comfort but do not decrease your milk.
- If you can feel plugged/clogged ducts or areas of pain, pump a little more often and massage the blocked area. Watch for signs of mastitis or infection; symptoms can be fever, chills, muscle aches, tenderness, and red or warm area on breast. If this happens, call your doctor immediately. You may need mediation for infection. It’s ok to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for your pain, unless your doctor has told you not to take these.
- It’s normal to see drops of milk for weeks to months after you’ve stopped pumping.
- If you have stored milk you may want to donate to a milk bank. www.choc.org/milk will connect you to a milk bank that supplies our banked breast milk for babies in need. This website will guide you through the donation process. Donated milk is used by hospitals to feed premature or sick babies too little or sick to digest formula. Giving in this way can be healing for some Moms.
- If you have more questions about lactation suppression or donation, please ask your baby’s nurse or contact the Lactation Department at CHOC Children’s at 714-509-4572. One of our Lactation Consultants or Team Members will be available to help you, even if you have gone home.
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For more health information for your family visit health.choc.org