Lactation suppression: Can medication help?

content provided by

Lactation suppression: Can medication help?


Is medication an option for lactation suppression immediately after childbirth?

No name given


Medications for lactation suppression pose serious safety concerns. Injections of high doses of estrogen can stop milk production, for example, but the estrogen poses a risk of life-threatening blood clots. And bromocriptine (Parlodel), a drug once used for lactation suppression, isn't generally recommended for this purpose today because it poses a risk of heart attack and stroke — especially for women who developed high blood pressure during pregnancy.

If breast-feeding isn't possible or practical, the safest way to suppress lactation after childbirth is to let milk production dry up naturally. In the meantime, avoid stimulating the breasts or expressing milk. Over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs and a supportive bra can help relieve breast engorgement and pain — which typically peaks during the first week after delivery.

Last Updated: 2010-10-15
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version