There is a huge genetic variation in how long it takes breast milk to dry up. Certain life changes, such as pregnancy, can increase the rate breast milk will dry up. Also, breast milk will dry up at different rates depending on how long you have been nursing.
If you have only been breastfeeding for a few months, your milk supply will usually dry up quite quickly. Generally, the longer you breastfeed, the longer it will take your milk supply to dry up. If you have been breastfeeding for over a year you may find you can express small amounts of milk for over a year after you wean your child.
Eventually breast milk will dry up on its own. In the meantime, if you feel a slight engorgement, or if milk is leaking, try placing fresh cabbage leaves over your breasts to help dry up the milk supply. Drinking a cup or two of sage tea each day can also help dry up your milk.
Jack Newman, M.D. is one of North America's most respected breastfeeding experts. He is the author of Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding (Canada) and The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (United States). Dr. Newman's breastfeeding information is available at www.drjacknewman.com