Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On Weaning and Cabbage Leaves

I'm a little shocked and admittedly saddened by how quickly I was able to wean Luke.  He had been nursing less and less for some time but he always turned to nursing him to calm his moods.  If he had gotten hurt, angry, or was feeling a little sleepy, he always turned to me to comfort him by demanding to be nursed.  I also must admit that I was getting tired and a little uncomfortable when he'd demand milk, say in the middle of Panera when I was having coffee with a friend. 

I became intent on stopping the nursing when my Doctor gave me meds for my back a couple weeks ago, that weren't compatible with nursing.  I had been feeling like it was time to stop but didn't have the heart to do it because Luke may very well be my last baby.  That doesn't mean I wanted to continue nursing him forever, I just needed a little more time.  I took my back ache and prescription meds as a sign that it had become time to stop.

I figured the easiest thing to do would be to cut out the daytime feedings first.  In order to help with the pain of engorgement I used a trick that I learned after Isabel was delivered.  My milk had come in, even though I didn't have my baby and it was a very difficult time.  I was home from the hospital, absolutely beside myself because I lost her and then it milk came in.  Talking about rubbing salt in a wound. 

The advice my former Dr. gave me was to try binding the breasts in a tight fitting sports bra, but that didn't work at all.  I remember telling the nurses at his office how it wasn't working.  That everytime I checked milk would squirt out.  I remember sitting in the exam room waiting for the Dr. and hearing the nurses laughing saying that if I kept squeezing my breasts, the milk's never gonna dry up.  Thanks so much for your compassion. 

I had to take matter into my own hands and began to ask around and finally found someone who knew what to do.  The answer was cabbage leaves.  I feel compelled to say that this is a very personal post for me and the only reason that I'm going into such detail is because I have a lot of readers who find me through the Babyloss Directory as well as Glow In The Woods.  If this can help someone that's going though what I have, it's worth it to me to put myself out there like this.  I wasn't so brave at first though and ended up deleting a post on this topic after publishing the first time.

So what's this about the cabbage leaves?  Well, for some reason they work like a charm at drying up breast milk.  I'm assuming there's some chemical in it but haven't done the research to back that up so if any of you know what their magical powers are, please share your knowledge with all of us by leaving a comment in the comments section.

All I did was insert cold cabbage leaves into my sports bra and once they began to wilt I replaced them with new ones.  It only took a few days to work and dry up my supply.

I decided to do that with Luke and once again it worked like a charm.  I was no longer engorged and in pain during the day so it was easy for me to resist the urge to feed him in order to relieve the pain.  If I had fed him, my supply would have remained high and naturally, it wouldn't have helped the weaning process.

I think I was holding on to nursing because somehow in my mind, it meant that Luke was still my baby.   In the end I am extremely proud that I committed to nursing him for so long.  Longer than many do and I'm going to give myself credit for that. 

Please let me know what your experiences with weaning were like. Are there any tips and tricks that you'd like to share?


  1. Using cabbage leaves really works. Cabbage leaves had enzymes in it so that's the trick tin drying them up. :

  2. Thanks for your post :) I lost my son shortly after his delivery and I will always be thankful to the nurses who gave me mers to prevent my milk from coming in. At such a horrible time i can't imagine having my milk come in. They too told me to wear tight fitted sports bras...taking that advice as I wean my daughter...totally does not work for me. My breasts became even more sore. Cabbage leaves are saving me and providing sweet relief!