How and When to Stop Breastfeeding: Should I Stop?
- Use a Breast Pump to Stop Baby Breast Feeding
Learn how to stop breastfeeding or feed pumped breast milk to baby. Tips on how to stop breastfeeding no matter what your reasons for wanting to stop breastfeeding. Answer to the question how do I stop breastfeeding and advice on when to stop breastf
- Heal Cracked Nipples and Engorged Breasts by Using a Breast Pump
Engorged breasts and cracked nipples can make many women want to stop breastfeeding. If they can learn how to soothe engorged breasts and solve other breastfeeding challenges by using a breast pump, they may continue baby breastfeeding, therefore pro
How Much Is Enough?
The American Academy of Pediatrics wants you to breastfed for at least a year. However, before we send mothers everywhere packing for a guilt trip, remember that the thick, nutrient rich substance known as colostrum is present in the very first milk produced by a new mother. First milk contains highly concentrated antibodies and helps to prevent jaundice and also makes your new baby produce that first adorable poopy. But remember, the good stuff is there at the very beginning.
If you breastfeed for even one day - congrats to you. Pat yourself on the back and go from there. After a week or two, colostrum gives way to regular breast milk. Continuing to breastfeed is one of the healthiest and intimate things you can do for your baby, but at some point, you've got to stop. There are no booby-breaks in Kindergarten.
Pregnant? Great overview of online resources here.
When Should I Stop?
There are only two people who can tell you it's time to stop - your baby and you. If it's your baby's idea to wean, he'll let you know. He may be restless at the breast, sucking for a while then turning away. He might play with the breast without latching on. If he shows interest in others while they are eating or drinking from a cup, he may be ready.
Even if your baby is still perfectly happy at the breast, you've may have had enough and that's okay. Breastfeeding gets old. Working moms suffer through pumps and uncooperative childcare providers. Moms at home may have other children to care for. Sometimes you just get tired, milk production drops, and baby needs a supplement. The best reason I know to stop? Nipple as teething ring.
Breastfeeding can be a grind. Whatever length of time you have offered the breast has benefited your baby and when it's time to move on, do so confidently.
Get This Kid Off Me!
A gradual decrease in time at the breast is best. Once you begin to supplement with a bottle, you'll be surprised how quickly the little traitor switches loyalty. Your baby loved breast milk, but the easier flow of a bottle is just as nice. If she rejects the bottle at first, try different nipples. You also may want to express some breast milk and mix it with formula, gradually changing the ratio until she gets used to the new taste.
Most children will self wean by age two or three, and much younger once they start eating other foods. If you're having trouble convincing an older child to give up the breast, appeal to her pride. Big girls drink from a cup. When she reaches for your nipple be firm and cheerful. All gone!
Weaning your child, whether your idea or his, is one thing. Stopping lactation may be another. Downsize the milk factory slowly to prevent engorgement. If milk is still plentiful, wear a snug bra and avoid stimulating the breast. However diligent you are, your baby's cry can send you streaming. Try letting milk out a little at a time to relieve the pressure. Or get into a warm shower and let nature take over. If it still hurts, apply cold packs and take some ibuprofen. Stay away from drugs that dry up the supply unless you absolutely must take them. Pretty soon your breasts will get the message that their productive days are over - at least for now.
Deciding when to stop breastfeeding is so personal. Talk to other mothers, get the facts, get support for your decision. Once you've made your choice, feel good about it. And if you still can't decide, consider this - if your kid can hold a cookie in one hand, and grab your breast in the other, it may be time!