Welcome mom and author Wendi Blaire as this week’s guest blogger
The pace you need to wean from breastfeeding depends on how fast or how slow your child wants it. The ways to stop it however, will completely come from you. Then you will wait for the child to either accept it or reject it.
But before anything else, here are ways you shouldn’t do it, as this will possibly affect you physically and your child emotionally (contrary to what other people may say):
Medication. Some well-meaning friends may advise you to take “milk drying-up” medication to abruptly eliminate your milk production. These drugs may have possible adverse effects, inhibiting you from producing milk ever again. These may also lead to mastitis (inflammation of the breasts) as the milk ducts will be blocked, giving the remaining milk in the duct to calcify and may give you pain ranging from moderate to severe.
Weaning by separation. This has been recommended by our elders, saying that this will be good for the child and when mommy returns after a week, the child will completely forget about breastfeeding. This is definitely not good for the child as it will cause a negative emotional impact and may see that his/her mother has abandoned him/her. Plus, the child will not forget about breastfeeding; it will only complicate things. If the mom comes back, the child will possibly become clingy, believing that mommy may just up and go again.
“Sabotaging” breast milk. The most common way for this would be to put something on the nipple (either an herb, something bitter, something sour, or chili pepper). The notion is for the baby to dislike what he/she tastes, thereby making weaning much easier. Again, this would have an emotional effect on the baby. Not only that, it might cause the baby to suffer from serious abdominal harm (since we really shouldn’t be introducing strong substances to a baby just yet).
Bind the breasts. Binding the breasts was said to help stop milk production. But it also puts you at risk again, for mastitis and clogged milk ducts. When the trapped milk calcifies, it would most likely cause you pain.
What you should do is…
- Gradually move baby from breast to bottle. Cut one feeding at a time. If you’re doing 5 feedings a day, cut it down to 4. If done slowly, your milk production slowly decreases as well, giving your body ample time to respond to the lessening milk need.
- If the baby is having trouble accepting formula milk, try expressing your milk and combine it with the formula milk. Slowly but surely, your baby will begin to accept the milk as you also lessen the expressed milk over time.
- If you are having engorged breasts and feeling a little pain, try to take a hot shower. In this way, the breasts will leak out the excess milk. If a shower is not possible, try to express a little of the milk via pump or hand. Taking out just a little milk will cause milk production to decrease little by little, gradually making your body adjust.
- If you’re still smarting from the pain, try putting cold compress on your breasts. Chilled cabbage leaves are said to bring comfort to the breasts at the same time releasing an enzyme that helps in stopping lactation.
Stopping breastfeeding is not an overnight process. It takes time for you and your little one to get used to.
Being a mom and seeing first-hand how the weaning question should be seriously addressed, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to write about it. Using what I had learned from my own experience, the extensive research I had made on the subject, countless interviews with doctors, doulas and lactation consultants and with moms who have weaned their babies at different ages, I am pleased to present to you the product of my work. For more information, please refer to my website: http://www.byebyebreastfeeding.com/
If you are looking for more tips like this on how to gently wean your baby from breastfeeding, check out Wendi Blaire’s Hello Milk, Bye-Bye Milk: An Expert Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding and Weaning. Her ebook answers all of your questions on weaning such as how to express milk, how to spot signs of readiness for solid foods, and how to address your own problems associated with weaning such as engorgement and breast pain.
You can win a copy of Wendi’s ebook here. To enter simply leave a comment below.
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Filed under: Parenting Tagged: | avoiding and treating engorgement, Gentle weaning, giveaway, Hello Milk; Bye Bye Milk, Parenting, Tips on weaning from the breast, Transitioning from breast to bottle, Wendi Blaire