Everything good must come to pass and breastfeeding isn’t free from this. Your body’s amazing capacity to produce milk does not halt in a second. Weaning is something that needs more than a few weeks for best results. Ways of reducing potential problems like with engorgement are also available when you have to immediately stop breastfeeding.
Best Time to Stop Breastfeeding
An official measure for the best length to breastfeed is “as long as possible.” It’s advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics to exclusively breastfeed till baby reaches at least six months of age. You can then add in solid foods gradually while breastfeeding until the child is a year or older.
This is the ideal, but the reality is usually different. Many mothers need to wean off breastfeeding earlier than six months or a year due to medical reasons. They may experience a lot of difficulties with getting the baby to latch on properly, extreme pain while breastfeeding or an inadequate supply of breast milk. They might require medication that would pass to the baby through the breast milk if weaning didn’t occur.
External factors can hinder breastfeeding for other mothers. They might feel that it’s almost impossible to pump where they work or they have to rely on a caregiver. It could simply be the lack of a desire to keep breastfeeding and that’s totally understandable. Keep in mind that if you’re weaning before the baby is a year old, feeding her baby formula is necessary to make sure she gets proper nutrition. Switching to cow’s milk is feasible after age one.
Best Way to Gradually Stop Breastfeeding
To gradually stop breastfeeding with no pain, do it slowly. “Progressive weaning through eliminating one pump or feeding session every couple days is generally the best way to begin,” experts say. Other than stepping back from feeding each three days or so, you could cut each feeding a few minutes short as well.
“Every mother has a different reaction to decreasing feedings,” experts add, but cutting back from breastfeeding in a steady and calculated way will further aid in avoiding engorged breasts and lower your chances of mastitis or clogged ducts including breast infections from the milk ducts.
Begin the process by weaning your baby’s least preferred session to make skipping feedings more manageable for your child to handle. Remember that the feedings at the beginning and end of the day are probably going to be last to wean. It’s also going to help occupy your baby during her normal feeding interval. Feed her something new during this typical nursing time so she’s full and nestle with her someplace other than the normal “feeding place” such as the rocking chair in the nursery room.
Children indicate that they’re willing to begin solids if they:
- Begin indicating interest while others are eating
- Begin performing gestures that resemble “feed me too”
- Stop shoving out food placed in their mouth (withdrawal of the tongue-thrust instinct)
- Begin having the capacity to hold up their head and sit with no help
Consult your maternal nurse regarding your baby’s aptness to eat.
How to Control Breastfeeding Instantly
Abruptly stopping breastfeeding is not ideal as fast weaning causes more discomfort. Possible difficulties could involve plugged ducts, engorgement or mastitis. Some proven weaning methods will decrease any discomfort. Lowering the pain and pressure through the use of a free breast pump or manually for expressing small quantities of milk helps. The goal is to express enough to allow you to be comfortable without draining your breasts entirely. Emptying out your breasts is only going to stimulate the body into creating more milk — hampering your weaning attempts.
Ice packs or very cold cabbage leaves are a tried and true weaning strategy to ease the discomfort of engorgement. Simply place them in your bra to help with pain. Lactation specialists think that they might help lower the time needed to dry up your breast milk. Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) can also assist in reducing weaning-related pain and swelling. Antihistamines and birth control pills will lessen your supply of milk as well. It’s advised by the Office on Women’s Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services to use herbs and teas like peppermint, sage, jasmine and parsley to lower your supply of milk even quicker.
How Long Does it Take to Dry up After Stopping Breastfeeding?
Numerous aspects need to be considered to know when your milk supply will decrease and stop while you’re weaning. It depends on how old your baby is and how much the parent pumped milk and the baby nursed.
After a mom stops breastfeeding entirely, the milk supply dries up usually inside of 7-10 days. You might see a couple drops of milk for even months after your breastfeeding stops. When the production of vast quantities of breast milk is continuing weeks after weaning, you could be noticing a problem with hormones. Speak with your doctor for more help to work this out. Let us know what your experiences have been with weaning your child — what approaches worked for you or someone you know?