Breastfeeding is an integral part of pregnancy, which strengthens the bond between the mother and the child. However, eventually, the time comes when breastfeeding needs to be stopped. The ideal approach is to let the process of weaning take over gradually so that both the mother and the baby get time to adjust to the change. However, sometimes, a mother wants to ensure that stopping breastfeeding does not take up a lot of time for a variety of reasons. Hence, she looks to find a way how to stop breastfeeding in an effective manner. If this is what you are looking for, we are going to shed some light on stopping breastfeeding in a way that would not be hard for the mother and baby.
The Right Approach
One thing that you need to know when it comes to how to stop breastfeeding is that the right approach is of importance. Abrupt ceasing would not be good for either the mother or the baby. Therefore, paying attention to the approach and conduct is important.
Transition To The Diet Of The Baby
Before stopping breastfeeding, you should decide the diet for the baby. You need to ensure that your baby has an appropriate diet that would be able to satisfy his hunger without breast milk. This depends on the age of the baby. If the baby is less than a month old, transition to a formula that would fulfil his caloric requirement. Babies of this age cannot digest cow’s milk, which is why a formula made especially for them is what you need. For babies older than six months, solid food items such as purees would work well, while a baby can be started on cow’s milk after the age of one. You can also ask your paediatrician regarding the ideal diet for your baby that is appropriate for his age if you want to know how to stop breastfeeding.
Before stopping breastfeeding, you should ensure that you stock up on the food that you would use for your baby as a replacement for the milk. Babies get hungry every few hours, so you need to have something available at all times.
Sometimes, weaning is not something that can be handled by the mother alone. Some babies tend to put up quite a bit of resistance against weaning and at such times, help from other trusted adults need to be sought. It is the father or some other known adult who should offer the bottle to the baby. Babies may refuse bottles from their mothers but accept them from their fathers or someone else they know. It would be a good idea to have someone stay with you during this period if the father is unable to give the required time or is out of the picture.
No Compromise On Nutrition
If you are wondering how to stop breastfeeding, you need to understand that measures need to be taken to ensure that the nutritional requirement of your baby is fulfilled. Babies are susceptible to malnutrition as they are transitioned from breastfeeding, so you need to ensure that he takes an adequate amount of nutrition.
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Explain It To The Baby
Do not thrust the change on the baby all of a sudden. Endeavour to explain it to him in simple terms that breastfeeding is no longer his source of food and he will now be fed from other means. Be persistent and do not give in on his insistence, as this will only prolong weaning. When a baby tries to be breastfed, give him something that would serve as a distraction.
You need to understand that breastfeeding is not just a source of nutrition. It is a connection between the mother and the baby. It is the time when the baby gets to cuddle with his mother and gets her undivided attention. Therefore, the period of transition can be hard on him as he might feel abandoned. You will need to be patient and give him some time to adjust to the change.
Dry up The Milk
It is not just the baby who needs to be prepared for the change. Before stopping breastfeeding, you need to know that your breast milk would need to be dried up. This is quite a lengthy process, and it would be some time before your breasts stop the production of the milk completely. It can be painful as well. To deal with this in an effective manner, various measures can be taken. Make use of a snug fitting bra that would serve to provide compression to the breasts and slow down the production of milk.
How-ever, ensure that it is not so tight that it plugs the milk ducts. During showers, keep your back to the water and do not expose your breasts to the direction of the water. The temperature of the water should also be warm. Express milk only when it is essential. You can use a pump for the purpose or do it manually. Express only the amount which is essential to relieve the pressure.
Get Acquainted With The Change
Stopping breastfeeding can lead to engorgement of the breasts, so this is something that you need to be prepared for. Sometimes, the breasts can feel tender and bruised. You might even find them warm to the touch. If you run a fever, you might have an infection, in case consultation with a doctor needs to be sought.
- You should be prepared for leakage from your breasts which is quite common and can last for several weeks.
- Weight gain can also occur when breastfeeding is stopped, so do not be worried if you gain some weight.
- It is a drastic change that your body will take some time to get used to. Do not be alarmed by some of the changes that your body undergoes during the period.