As much as you want to provide that nutritious milk for your baby, there are circumstances that would require you to stop. And before we talk more about it, I want you to know first that you are not alone and it’s never your fault.
One of the things you need to accept about parenthood is a great deal of it is beyond our control. No matter how we perfectly plan things out, there are a lot of factors outside yourself that you simply can’t avoid. And it’s not your fault. To be an effective parent, you need to understand and accept this.
Now, let’s go back to why we’re here in the first place.
Why do moms stop breastfeeding?
We are all aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Aside from nourishing our babies, it also helps mothers fight off diseases. Not to mention the large amount of money that we can save by opting to breast milk.
However, there are some of us who are unable to continue. The most common reasons are medical conditions and work situations. It may be because the mom is suffering from something that requires intensive medication or breastfeeding itself is the one that caused it. In this case, the mother is expected to make the necessary decision of weaning her baby.
Another common reason is the work situation of so many mothers all over the world. We all know that new mothers don’t receive as much support as they need in the workplace. A lot of companies don’t provide enough maternity leave for them to sort things out. There are offices that don’t have a designated area where new mothers can pump breast milk in peace.
These are just few of the reasons why it’s difficult for working moms to continue providing breast milk for their babies.
How do you wean your child properly?
If you need to stop breastfeeding, the first thing you need to know is you can’t do it so abruptly. If you do, it will cause a great deal of discomfort and in some cases, pain. In fact, according to experts, side effects of weaning can range from the fullness you feel in your breasts to mastitis that would need antibiotics to heal, from headaches and nausea to depression due to the fluctuation of hormones.
To avoid these side effects, it is recommended that you wean your baby gradually. Reduce the frequency or length of feeding slowly to let you and your baby adjust to the change. For instance, if you feed at an average of 8 times a day, you can start by feeding 6-7 times. Reduce the frequency in the next days.
Be sensitive to your baby as well that they won’t be distressed over the transition. If you’re short on time, you can cut the feeding frequency by half on the first day. But then again, make sure your baby is ready for that change.
You can use tactics to divert their attention from your milk. For example, you may want to increase your playing time. Using milk bottles can definitely help as well.
After you’ve weaned your child, expect that you will still be producing milk up to 10 days. However, there are cases where it took months before the breasts are completely dried up of milk. So expect a few drops every now and then.
When is the best time to do it?
It would be easier for you and your baby to wean around 4 months and beyond. By this time, they can already eat some solid foods. Weaning toddlers from breastfeeding would be a lot easier because over time, children lose interest in nursing naturally.
What if your baby can’t seem to adjust to the new setting?
It can happen that no matter how hard you try, your baby still can’t adjust to the change you’re enforcing. It is possible that they are still not ready or they may be sick. Breastfeeding can give them the nutrients they need to recover more quickly. If it’s not due to sickness, it’s obviously hard for your baby to adjust to these changes. The best thing you can do is give them the time they need as much as possible.
Weaning can be very easy to some but an utter hell for others. There’s no definite guide on how to wean a breastfed baby. There are babies who can totally do without their mothers’ breasts but there are still little ones who are so attached they can’t be weaned easily. There’s nothing wrong with this. If anything, it actually means you’ve formed quite a healthy bond.
If you have some weaning tips or you think that your success story can help other struggling moms, please feel free to talk about it below. We really appreciate it. Same goes for questions, don’t hesitate to leave a message.