Tuesday, March 5, 2024

How long does it take for milk to dry up if not breastfeeding?

Whether you have decided not to breastfeed, can no longer breastfeed, or are waiting to adopt, you may be wondering how long it takes for milk to dry up if not breastfeeding. Some may experience immediate results, while others may take a few weeks to a couple of months.

In today’s blog post, we will dive into the topic of milk drying up if not breastfeeding, providing you with all the information you need to know.

Milk production and breastfeeding frequency

Firstly, it’s important to know that milk production is connected to breastfeeding frequency. As a general rule, the more a baby breastfeeds, the more milk the mother will produce. In contrast, if the baby stops breastfeeding, your milk production slows down and eventually starts to dry up.

The process of milk drying up

The process of milk drying up if not breastfeeding typically takes around one to two weeks on average. During these two weeks, your breasts will be producing less and less milk until the milk dries up entirely.

You may experience physical symptoms during the drying-up process, including engorgement, leaking, and breast pain. However, you can alleviate any discomfort with warm compresses or over-the-counter pain relief.

Factors that can affect milk drying up

It is worth noting that the time it takes for milk to dry up varies depending on the individual. Some women may experience a considerably shorter or longer drying-up period than others.

Additionally, factors such as previous breastfeeding experience, hormone levels, and medications can also affect the length of the process.

Seeking medical advice

It’s important to highlight that if you are experiencing a longer or more painful milk-drying process than usual, you should seek medical advice from your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions.


In summary, the time it takes for milk to dry up if not breastfeeding varies depending on the individual. However, most women experience the process taking around one to two weeks on average. While the drying-up process can be uncomfortable, there are several remedies to help alleviate any symptoms.

If you believe you are experiencing a more extended or painful drying-up process, you should speak to a medical professional for support. Remember, the decision not to breastfeed is a personal one, and there are many other ways to bond and nourish your baby.

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