It is totally your choice when you wish to stop breastfeeding your baby. You should never feel pressured whenever you want to do that. There can be lots of reasons behind stopping breastfeeding, but it is always recommended to consider these reasons before making the final call. The question is how to stop breastfeeding?
Reasons of Stopping Breastfeeding
Before answering that question, let’s have a look at some common reasons to stop:
- Pain during nursing
- Cracked nipples
- Long feeds
- You are loosing too much weight and not making enough milk
- You have to rejoin work
- Your partner wants you to stop
- You have to take some medications due to which breast milk can become unsafe for your baby
How to Stop Breastfeeding?
If any of the above mentioned is your reason to stop, your next concern should be how to stop breastfeeding.
There is a whole process to follow if you have plans to stopping breastfeeding. Once your baby has started eating a variety of foods, it is wise to cut down the supply of breast milk. You will go through the following stages:
- Stage 1: Let your baby enjoy the feed to his/her full and then offer a small portion of food. You might have to make purees, in the beginning, to help your baby get used to new flavors.
- Step 2: Once your baby has started eating well, it is the right time to switch. Try offering food to your baby before breastfeeding. As your baby gets used to this routine, you won’t have to worry about breastfeeding all the time.
- Stage 3: This is the time when you have to completely stop breastfeeding. If you are worried that your baby is not taking much liquid, give him/her water in a spouted beaker. This will serve as a substitute for breast milk.
The process of how to stop breastfeeding will not happen all of a sudden. It may take a few weeks till you actually say goodbye to breastfeeding. In some cases, it may even take 1 to 6 months, depending on how bored your baby is with the breast milk.
How to stop breastfeeding slowly is obvious to everyone, but what if you want to stop it quickly. You will have to plan ahead for this purpose. Express so that you can reduce engorgement but be careful as it can increase the supply of breast milk. Apply the cold compress to your breasts to ease the discomfort. If you stop breastfeeding all of a sudden, you must check for signs of mastitis. You will experience swelling, redness, lumps and even burning but this can be reduced with gentle hand expression.
What if the Baby does not want to Stop?
You may know how to stop breastfeeding but what if your baby is not ready for this change? You will have to apply tricks like postponing the feeds and look for other ways of nurturing your child. The transition might be hard and slow in the beginning but eventually, you will be able to pick your moment.