Stopping Breastfeeding – Tips For An Easy Transition

Stopping Breastfeeding – Tips For An Easy Transition

Stopping Breastfeeding – Tips For An Easy Transition

Are you considering stopping breastfeeding? You may be facing this choice for various reasons – going back to work, problems with breastfeeding, or just feeling like it’s time to wean. Whatever your reason, it is a personal choice, and you should not feel bad about it. Even if you only breastfed for a few days, that is better than not at all!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recomending feeding breasr for at least the first year, exclusively for the first six months. Many mothers surpass this and continue extended breastfeeding, while some might only breastfeed for a few weeks or a few days. When you choose to stop breastfeeding, you still have the option of feeding your baby breast milk by pumping, which will be more beneficial to your baby than switching to formula.

When you decide it is time to stop breastfeeding, there are some breastfeeding techniques to help the process go more smoothly.

First of all, unless you have no other choice, avoid stopping breastfeeding cold turkey, especially if your baby is still nursing several times a day. This can be traumatic for your baby and more painful for you. If you take this way, you will likely need to pump several times a day to relieve pressure and use ice packs to relieve breast pain.

want to stop breastfeeding

For best results when stopping breastfeeding, wean baby slowly 

The best method to stop breastfeeding is to wean your baby slowly. If your baby is still nursing several times, try cutting out feedings at a rate of about 1 to 2 feedings a week replaced with the bottle. Again, the most optimal method for your baby will be for you to pump and still provide your baby with breast milk during the bottle feedings. Using this method, you will get down to fewer and fewer feedings a day until your milk dries up or until you are exclusively pumping and feeding through the bottle if you choose to.

If your baby is a little older and is down to just 1 or 2 feedings a day, weaning is much easier. If the baby is old enough, talk to him about it and explain why you are stopping breastfeeding. Try replacing those one or two feedings with breast milk in a bottle or sippy cup, depending on how old your baby is. In my own experience, my baby got very sick at 16 months old with RSV and was so jammed that she could not suck and breathe at the same time, making it impossible for her to nurse or drink from a bottle. She was down to 2 nursing sessions a day by then, so it was not traumatic for her to stop nursing. I fed her breast milk from a spoon until she got well enough to suck again, and by that time, my milk was almost dried up. I continued to feed her breast milk for quite a while by using up my stock of stored milk in the freezer. Although it was unfortunate that an illness started the weaning process for my baby and me, it was a much effortless transition than I expected it to be.

Your other option is to let the baby wean himself. Many moms nurse well into the toddler years, while some babies choose to wean much sooner. Extended nursing is a personal decision and one that only you can make. If you are willing to let your baby nursing until he is ready to quit, you may find that this is a good option for you.

No matter your circumstances, and no matter how you decide to wean your baby, baby and you only know when the right time is. And remember these key points: if you breastfed even for just a day, feel good about that! And if you choose to quit before the recommended year of breastfeeding, your baby will still get the benifits of breast milk.Last of all, and most important, if you are stopping breastfeeding because you are having problems, to help you! there are many aids out there, Your first step should be to call your local hospital and ask for a lactation consultant. If they do not have one on staff, they should point you in the right direction for assistance. I was on the phone with my local lactation consultants several times during the first year of breastfeeding my baby, so I know from experience that they are an invaluable resource if you need help.


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