Suppression of lactation is the act of suppressing lactation by medicines or other means. During the suppression of lactation, the breast becomes engorged and painful.
Reasons to suppress lactation
Lactation is usually suppressed by
- Mothers whose baby is born dead in the neonatal period
- If someone does not like to breastfeed their baby
- When breastfeeding is contraindicated due to disease conditions
- Women who are breastfeeding may need to stop breastfeeding to bottle feed the baby or to start weaning.
When you stop breastfeeding, it may lead to severe engorgement, extremely painful breasts and sometimes mastitis.
Methods to suppress the lactation
There are two methods by which breast milk can be suppressed and are found effective. These are-
Use of hormonal drugs
- Use of bromocriptine orally twice for 2 weeks to stop the prolactin (the hormone responsible for milk production) secretion.
- Tab. ethinylestradiol can be used but has side effects too.
- Combination of testosterone and estrogen preparation (mixogen).
- To stop milk production you should stop breastfeeding.
- You should not express or pump out the milk from the breast during the process of suppression of lactation. You might feel heaviness, pain and discomfort in the breast so you can pump out after 3 days of the stopping of breastfeeding (if necessary otherwise don’t) to prevent severe engorgement and mastitis. Thereafter, don’t pump out the milk again.
- Don’t stimulate the breasts after birth, after a few days the production of milk will stop.
- You may apply a tight compression bandage for 2 to 3 days.
Suppression of lactation is a very painful and dis-comfortable process. During this time, you will feel severe pain which can be relieved by taking analgesics. Be careful, your baby should not hit at your breast during the suppression of milk otherwise it will result in a very painful situation for you. This process may take two weeks but if you feel any problem you can consult your health care provider.
In the above post, we discussed the suppression of lactation, its reasons and methods.