friends hugging after loss of baby

What To Do With Breast Milk After Losing a Baby

Dealing with the death of a child is an unimaginable loss, and it brings about a unique set of physical difficulties amidst the emotional turmoil.

One of our core philosophies is that we want to help you thrive, not just survive, especially if you have experienced such a tragic loss. While there are so many things you’re likely considering, it's crucial to recognize that alongside emotional support, your breasts require some love and attention during this trying time.

The arrival of your breastmilk can not only be a painful emotional reminder, but it can also be physically painful. Coping with intense grief, leaking breasts, discomfort from let-down reflexes and engorgement can add insult to injury. So, how can you navigate this aspect of your postpartum journey with care and compassion for yourself?

Understanding Breast Engorgement 

It’s natural for breast milk to come in after the delivery of a baby, and when there is no baby to nurse, engorgement is likely to happen (1). Engorgement occurs when the breasts fill up with milk suddenly and become hard and painful. 

The duration and intensity of this experience vary from woman to woman, contingent upon factors such as milk production levels, prior breastfeeding or pumping routines, and the elapsed time since childbirth. 

Engorgement Comes in Different Scenarios

The circumstances surrounding your loss can help you understand the best approach to managing engorgement. In cases of early miscarriage, the absence of nursing stimuli typically limits the full development of milk supply (meaning your milk may not come in at all). 

While if your loss was at 20 weeks or post delivery, the engorgement may be more severe.(3)

For mothers who have been actively breastfeeding and encounter a sudden loss, milk production may return in full force. 

Gentle Care for Tender Breasts

We’re deeply passionate about supporting loss moms, and CaboCréme Extra Strength offers a gentle yet effective solution to alleviate breast engorgement by providing soothing relief through the power of cabbage extract. By applying CaboCréme Extra Strength as soon after delivery as possible every 2-3 hours, you can have control over suppression of breast milk. By starting early, oftentimes the milk will not come in at all. 

Find relief from engorgement while you focus on your emotional healing. Breast milk is good, just not right now. 

Another Option: Consider Donating Your Milk 

Consider donating your breast milk through organizations like the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, offering a cathartic means of connection to your child while helping others who can’t produce milk. (4) Use CaboCréme when you’re ready to dry up completely.

Our Condolences

We understand how difficult life is right now. CaboCréme can help you suppress breast milk so you can get rid of engorgement pain and get on with healing. We’re here for you if you need any additional support.


  1. Warr D. After the Loss of an Infant: Suppression of Breast Milk Supply. Neonatal Netw. 2019;38(4):226-228. doi:10.1891/0730-0832.38.4.226
  2. Cole M. Lactation after Perinatal, Neonatal, or Infant Loss. Clinical Lactation. 2012;3(3):94-100. doi:10.1891/215805312807022897
  3. Boss M, Gardner H, Hartmann P. Normal Human Lactation: closing the gap. F1000Res. 2018;7 doi: 10.12688%2Ff1000research.14452.
  4. Ward, Gráinne, et al. “Bereaved Mothers’ Experience of Expressing and Donating Breast Milk: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study.” Maternal & Child Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2023,

  5. Walk With Me Foundation - Devoted to giving practical, financial and emotional support to families who are learning to live in the wake of their child’s death prior to or shortly after birth.

  6. PLIDA - Dedicated to promoting the highest quality of evidence-based care for all families, considering perinatal bereavement care as an imperative rather than an option.