Weaning from Producing Milk

I want to be crystal clear: Once you stop the lactation process (making milk), it is essentially impossible to properly restart lactation in this postpartum period.

It will not affect your ability to make milk with any future babies you may have.

You may see or read some things about “re-lactating” or bringing your milk back. This is possible, but rarely works the way it is touted online.

When making this decision, I suggest this definitive mindset:  “If I choose to stop lactating, I cannot re-lactate for this baby.”

Timeline to Complete Weaning

  • Block one to two weeks to center the weaning experience.
  • You’ll need extra help at home so you can focus on your body, so see who you can ask to help you care for the baby. 
  • The more milk you are making, the longer and trickier this process. If you are making a full milk supply, be prepared for this to take up to two weeks or longer. 

The Physical Risks when Weaning 

  • During this process, we are strategically leaving milk in your breasts, not draining the milk out like your body expects you to. Inevitably, your body will get upset and confused about this. 
  • A low grade fever (99-100.3) is sometimes seen during weaning. Your body may feel tired and sore. This is within normal range for the weaning process. 
  • If your tired sore body starts to shake, get the chills or “feel like it is getting the flu,” be ready to take your temperature. 
  • If you spike a fever of 100.4 or higher during this process, call your OB or midwife. Let them know that you are weaning and ideally do not want to drain your breasts fully to remedy the mastitis. They will most likely offer you an antibiotic. That’s good. Now you can continue to wean and the infection will be well controlled. Be aware that their advice will likely be different from your weaning strategy because they are used to giving advice to clear mastitis by draining your breasts. If this is the case, please repeat to your OB/midwife “I had made the definitive decision to wean and I would like to continue along this path while I take the antibiotics. Are you comfortable with that?” 

Ok, now that we are clear about the reality and risks of this decision, let’s wean.