How to Stop Breastfeeding Cold Turkey

Breastfeeding is an important time in a mother’s life and for the baby. Breastfeeding is the bonding time for mothers and children to build a bond and be connected. There will be a time when you should stop breastfeeding.

How do I stop? Should I expect my child to cry a lot? How will my child react? How will my body react? Will I be okay? Will my breasts swell?


All relevant questions and all have different answers for each person. Most breasts swell because the milk production does not just stop. Some children are okay with getting away from breastfeeding, while other kids do not handle it very well. Your body will be hormonal and exhausted, you will be tired and sad, and you may even cry.

Maybe that time is soon, or maybe now. Maybe stopping breastfeeding cold turkey is the only option you think you have let because you have tried everything else. Before you start this process, and it will be long and hard and painful, you might want to know what to expect. I would have liked to know.

So, I will tell you how to stop breastfeeding cold turkey, because I did it and you can too.


What You Will Need

For the stopping breastfeeding cold turkey, you will need some things. These things will either help soothe you, help ease your pain, help your child, or help in routine change. These are all things I would recommend, no matter how strange they may be or how weird they might get.

1. Breast Pump

A breast pump is great to get rid of the excess milk stored in your breast and provide it to your baby. Breast milk, as we all know, is rich in nutrients that are beneficial to your child. A breast pump will still give your baby your breast milk, but not require you to breastfeed.

A pump will help relieve overflowing milk ducts, contribute to reducing swelling of the breasts, and still give some hormones you get from breastfeeding. This is a great option in case you are afraid of just stopping and getting the flood or hormonal backlash.

2. Routine for Pumping


There are numerous routines to follow, either before or after you quit breastfeeding. We will go over both. However, deciding on a method that works best for you is important, but make sure to discuss it with your pediatrician as well.

Some pediatricians may reduce or increase your times between pumping depending on the amount of milk you produce, how swollen you get, and any problems or stress caused by breastfeeding.

3. Bottles

Bottles will come in handy for storing your breast milk in for your baby. These bottles full of breast milk will be a great alternative to breastfeeding, and your child will get all the nutrients.

Bottles will also help a baby adapt more quickly if the inside of the bottle has a flavor or taste they can distinguish and recognize.

** You can see best Bottles For Breastfed Babies by click here

4. Heat Packs or Hot Water Heat Pads

Heat packs give your aching body a time to relax. The warmth allows the aches to soothe and relax your aching muscles. You can use the heat pads wherever you may feel sore at; you can use heat pads for the lower back, upper back, stomach, chest, breasts, shoulders, and neck.

Hot water heat pads are refillable and reusable, but the heat packs are a one time use. Whichever option you choose, make sure to have enough on hand or prepare to refill the bottle as often as you need.

5. Favorite Snacks

You will be hungry, and that is normal. You will want snack foods, junk foods, and carbs, Your body is going through much change at this point, so stock up on some favorite snacks and carbs.

When I quit breastfeeding, I had cravings for plain potato chips, cholate bars, and pasta. These were my cravings through the day and even in the middle of the night. When I could not breastfeed my baby, I wanted to eat, and my hormones could not have been happier.

Baby Food

Make sure to get the baby food that is appropriate for the age of your baby. Get lots of different flavors and meals to try. Most babies do well with switching to baby foods, baby snacks, and bottles. Some children might fight you, but know that you have a harder time than your child does during this process.

Baby and his mother are together in the garden. The mother is fe

When you decide to stop breastfeeding, you will have to curb the habit of breastfeeding and the child’s habit of reaching for your boobs. Carrying your baby to a high chair, holding them on your lap, or sitting on the floor is a great place to try to get them to eat new foods.

Cabbage Leaves

Cabbage leaves might just be the weirdest holistic pain reliever I have ever heard of, but you know what? It works perfectly. I was amazed at how well these cabbage leaves relieved the pain in my nipples and my breasts.

I found that the cabbage leaves help with reducing the swelling, leaking and the moisture inside my bra. The cabbage leaves are unusual, although an amazing, method to alleviate the pain in your breasts.

Pain Medication

The medication is a common over-the-counter pain medication. The pain medication helps ease the pain of the swelling and gorging of your breasts as well as reduce the swelling of your breasts.

If the over-the-counter medication does not seem to help, talk to your doctor or pediatrician about an alternative that is safe for you to use.

Time Off

Taking time off work might just be the best thing for you to do. It will be about one week for the milk in your breasts to fully dry up, and for two to four days your breasts will be very swollen and extremely painful.

Time off will also give your child a chance to bond with you away from the breastfeeding. This is a great advantage for you and your baby to get through this together.

How to Stop Breastfeeding Cold Turkey

Stopping breastfeeding cold turkey can be very scary and hard to do, but you are not alone. I am here with you through every step, and so are millions of other women. Let’s get started!

  • Step One: Pumping

If you are choosing to pump before stopping breastfeeding cold turkey, then begin with skipping a pumping once a week, then twice a week, and keep going until you can go without pumping.

If you are just stopping, you should consult your pediatrician. First, I begin pumping about every 4 to 5 hours, then pumped every 5 to 7 hours, then once a day, and then express by hand while showering over the course of one week.

The first few days are awful. I wanted just to breastfeed when my breasts swelled, and they increased when touched or brushed when my baby cried, and when I knew it was time to feed them. They just gorged with milk.

After the first couple of days of not breastfeeding; it got better, and I felt better. In fact, my child was better than I was at the time.

  • Step Two: Take Care of Yourself

During the first few days, take the time to take care of yourself. If you get the urge to breastfeed, pump. Pump, and give that milk to your baby in a bottle or try some baby food. Take the time you need to adjust to a new ritual and schedule of feeding and recovering.

Take medication and use heat packs. The medication will take the edge of the pain off and reduce the swelling. The heat packs will help with your aching muscles and swollen breasts. The two together work very well for swelling and pain.

Eat the junk food. Take the time to enjoy your chips, candy bars, cupcakes, and pizza. Enjoy yourself and treat your body to some unhealthy (or healthy if you prefer) food to make you feel better. It is okay to cry. You need to get used to the hormones running wild in your body.

Cabbage leaves. I am serious. Hear me out. Wash the cabbage, dry it, and then place them between your bra and breasts. Cover them with cabbage leaves. They will reduce the pain, the swelling, the sensitivity, everything. They will make you feel better. Try them.

  • Step Three: In a Week’s Time
Beautiful Happy Mother Breastfeeding Her Baby Boy Outdoor.

You will be okay, but you must be patient. It will take about a week for the milk to dry up and the swelling to fully go down. Your baby will have gotten over breastfeeding, and you have survived. However, make sure you take time off. You will be in pain, and you need some time with your baby, so take off from work and relax. Enjoy your baby, and enjoy being home with them.

Invitation to Discuss

Now that you know how I quit breastfeeding and my side effects from it, how was it for you? How did you stop breastfeeding?

Are you planning to stop soon? What are you most worried about, or what is your biggest concern?

Let me know. I would love to hear from you and talk with you more. If there are any topics you want to know more about, tell me!


My name is Shirley. I’ve blogged about babies and parenting for a bit over two years, and with being a mother myself, I understand the needs and concerns you have for your children’s safety as well. It’s important. I hope you enjoy your stay with us

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