So much we have heard about a beginning of perfect breastfeeding, but the least about how to stop breastfeeding, didn’t that leave you amazed?
When we expatiate the state of motherhood in its initial phase, breastfeeding comes out as an innate consequence of it which can’t be undermined or ignored. Just like every other task which begins, it ends, same applies to breastfeeding. The start of the breastfeeding course seems naturally simple, but its finish might not be an easy one. The transition can be gradual or immediate, depends on you and your baby’s need.
This article is the ultimate guide you will need to understand in very simple words, as how to stop breastfeeding once you have begun it.
When Can I Stop Breastfeeding?
Various Health organisations and Councils share their views on when to stop breastfeeding or when do babies stop breastfeeding. Their findings are based on extensive amount of research. So, we bring to you, the recommendations by the most trusted Health related world organisations.
The World Health Organization and National Health and Medical Research Council when asked, when to stop breastfeeding, advised breastfeeding until the first six months of the first year is nonnegotiable, which will ensure a healthy early life to your baby.
After the first nine months, the baby can be given family food or drink along with the breast milk. Breastfeeding continued for the first year along with the solids after the nine months, has the best impact on the baby’s brain and body development. Now, this is the point in time when weaning is the easiest and most desirable.
UNICEF and World Health Organization strongly recommend 2 years of breastfeeding. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers should breastfeed for at least a year while it reaffirms exclusive breastfeeding of at least six months and cheers its continuation if liked by you and your baby. An astonishing fact is also that, mother who breastfeed for a longer duration of time has a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
How to stop breastfeeding? : tips to stop breastfeeding
Most indispensable thought that a breastfeeding mother keeps churning in her mind is about how to stop breastfeeding and what a great help would it be to get to know about the tips to stop breastfeeding.
Naturally weaning off or Baby-led weaning
By the time, naturally, the baby loses interest in nursing because of its growing interest in solid food. Also, the growing activeness in the baby’s body might lead to its inclination towards solids, as the toddler wouldn’t want to stay confined to a place for being fed.
Your baby will start giving you sign; your task is just to read them and act accordingly. It might bother and get exasperated when tried to breastfeed. This is when you should start weaning, moreover support or direct weaning, as the baby itself is prepared to move to family food.
Even after 2 years of breastfeeding, weaning off shouldn’t be extremely sudden, if your baby isn’t ready. Gradually weaning your baby off of the breast is highly recommended as this reduces the risk of various problems such as mastitis, blocked milk ducts and other infections to the mother.
Best and most effective tips to stop breastfeeding
Cut one breastfeed a day
If you want to wean off just after six months, ideally it is advised to cut one breastfeed a day. To its compensation, you can go with the bottle formula for it. This will probably get to your notice that, your breasts will begin to feel full and tender as your body starts producing less milk. Keep in mind, this also might lead to discomfort, so express a little amount of breast milk to handle it, without stimulating your body more, because that might lead to more milk production.
Start cutting on more breastfeeds
When, your body gets accustomed to this new volume of milk produced, within a few days, start cutting on another feed. This should be continued until you’ve completely stopped breastfeeding and the baby is completely weaned.
Consult a Specialist
Exclusively, it is advised to consult a healthcare professional specifically a lactation consultant, Maternal or child health nurse or the Australian Breastfeeding Association, if, you intend to wean off quickly.
Introduce your baby to solids
Weaning becomes easier any time after six months of the baby’s age, as they start having solids you will naturally experience a significant decline in its wish to get breastfed.
Within another six months of time, the baby might cut down to a couple of feeds a day, which obviously shall be complemented by healthy family food and snacks, keeping in mind what suits your baby’s digestive tract.
Taking care of this, root vegetables are the easiest to digest and certainly unlikely to aggravate any kind of reaction. Steam them and mash them to a smooth texture before being fed to the baby.
- In Vegetables, food which offers naturally sweet taste like breast milk includes parsnips & sweet potato, they can be the best to begin with, while gradually transforming from breastfeeding to feeding solids.
- In Fruits, banana, papaya, and peach can just be mashed with no steaming required and could be fed.
- Formula Milk, can also be offered to the toddler.
- Feeding cow’s milk is advisable not before the little one is a year old!
How to stop breastfeeding quickly?
To all the breastfeeding mothers, who need a guidance about how to stop breastfeeding cold turkey, I’d say, there is no perfect time to stop breastfeeding your little one. Weaning should be a gradual process, but there are several unavoidable factors, which at times govern your daily schedule. The hindering factor might be your irregular office hours, or you can be undergoing specific medication which would restrict you from breastfeeding. If you really feel it is the right time to stop breast feeding your baby few cold turkey tips are always there for you.
How to stop breastfeeding COLD TURKEY?
- No pump or less pump – In order to relieve yourselves from engorgement and pain which arises due to filled milk ducts of your breasts, you intend to pump out the milk, but avoid doing this. Minimum stimulation of the breasts is suggested in order to prevent more milk production. The milk will in due course dry up and get reabsorbed by your body. Usage of anti-inflammatory medicines might help to relieve the pain.
- Promote bottle feeding – You can try bottle feeding your baby and reduce skin to skin contact.
- How about an Ice Pack?
- Ice pack can be used to relieve pain due to engorgement. This is an ideal trick suited only when you are at home, with no one intervening your privacy.
- Did you know, trying Cabbage leaves helps? It’s a proven ritual for quick weaning mothers. It helps great to cure sore breasts. You can simply slip them in, through your bra or use just as ice packs. Ultimately it absorbs some amount of the fluid and helps in drying up quickly.
- Reduce Friction – Again, to reduce stimulation of your nipples, you should avoid friction. As, stimulated breasts can activate milk production and let down more milk out of your ducts.
- Your Sports Bra can do wonders – Tight fitting sport bras also deters production of milk in your breasts.
- Natural Remedies – Stress relieving oil, like peppermint oil helps great. Some women, also found out that drinking black coffee also helped in dissuasion of milk produced.
Most important of all, Time it Right! Find the perfect time to go cold turkey. It infers, finding of the time when, you and your baby both are in good health. Because, sudden decrease in breastfeeding, when the baby is already suffering from some kind of illness, might make the impact even worse.
If, you still feel you want more advice on how to stop breastfeeding cold turkey, you can always consult your midwives or a lactation consultant.
What happens when you stop breastfeeding?
Inflammation and pain– When you were breastfeeding, your body was habituated to produce an amount of milk as required by your baby. Did you ever wonder what happens when you stop breastfeeding? Now, since you are undergoing the process of weaning, excessive accumulation of milk in your breasts results in its expanding and causes discomfort. This results into inflammation and causes breast pain.
Intensification or depression – Sudden feeling of detachment from your baby due to weaning breastfeeding might grow a sense of incompetency within you. This gradually leads to aggravation of depression. Also, it’s a fact that hormones like prolactin and oxytocin which keeps mom and baby happy, face sudden withdrawal. Henceforth, leading to stress and dysfunction of emotions.
Abscess or breast infection(mastitis) – This doesn’t really occur to all the weaning mothers but can be considered as a potential threat. Its symptoms might include swelling, redness of breasts and sudden fever. Its wise and advisable to visit your health consultant as early as signs begin to occur.
How to take care of breast after stopping breastfeeding?
Intake of Saturated Fats – To cure post-pregnancy losses, do not cut on the consumption of saturated fat. Eat food with adequate amount of saturated fat, since cell membranes of your breasts are made up of saturated fats. This also prevents shagging of the breasts, skin damage and stretch marks around your breasts.
Begin exercising – Ladies, gear up, exercising is the key to any gain ideal shape of any body part, be it your breasts!
Massage your breasts – Its recommended to massage your breasts with any kind of herbal oil which suits your skin type or even olive oil would do.
Sleep easy and wear the right bra – You should wear the right bra to regain your breast shape. Avoid wearing loose fitting bra and clothes. Well, while sleeping ease off your breasts and sleep without bra, this increases blood circulation inside your breasts, resulting in healthier breasts.
How to stop breast pain when stopping breastfeeding?
Use ice packs to relieve yourself from breast pain or slip in cabbage leaves, these remedies cold compress your breasts and makes you feel comfortable. Go for stress relieving oil, like peppermint oil, apply it on your breasts whenever you encounter pain or engorgement.
A common question which comes to every weaning mother’s mind is how long will my breasts hurt after stopping breastfeeding?
In case you are wondering this, first piece of advice would be to remain patient. Commonly, women dry within a week after weaning off, leading to significant decline in any sort of breast pain. While for some it even might last for a month, with gradual decrement in pain. Its all due to fibrocystic changes. If you continue suffering for longer, its recommended to see your gynaecologist.
How to make weaning easy?
The mother might be ready to withhold breastfeeding but the child might resist it. To make it easy, you need to add extra efforts unquestionably.
- Replacing your baby’s scheduled feed with plenty of cuddles would keep baby close enough to you and happy.
- You can also grow a habit of playing some game which your baby best responds to and shows enthusiasm about.
- Offer your baby some drink, preferably some fruit juice or purees and some snack, also share it with him/her to make it enjoyable. This way you can divert your child from breastfeeding, eventually weaning it off!
Breast feeding can be considered as the best mothering tool to grow an incomparable bond between you and your offspring. Weaning off, would be a great shift for you and your baby, both emotionally and physically. So, don’t forget to be thoughtful and benevolent while you do it!