This incredible ability of the body to produce milk does not shut down in an instant and the process of preventing it will require patience, as well as possibly several months of working towards it. The decision to entirely stop breastfeeding at once is not encouraged due to the fact that babies tend to protest upon not receiving milk and the trauma caused by that is not good for the well-being of both the baby and the mother.
It is crucial for this process to be gradual for better results, as well as the convenience of all the sides involved. It is important to mention that at times for various medical reasons the mother has to prevent her milk production as soon as possible and that there are in fact safe blueprints for an immediate stoppage which this article will also discuss.
When to Stop Breastfeeding
According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, babies need breastfeeding for the first six months. Following this period, it is recommended for parents to start adding solid foods into the diet of their babies. Mothers choosing to continue breastfeeding their babies after the 6 month period may keep doing so, however it is essential for dietary changes to occur. It is important to note that there is no right age for a complete prevention of breastfeeding. Prevention should happen when both the mother and the child are ready.
While it is not the norm to continue breastfeeding your baby after a 1 year period in the majority of North American nations, an examination into the other parts of the world shows that it is common practice for mothers to breastfeed their babies even at the age of 2. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, 70% of babies breastfeed at the age of two. The crucial point to consider is that the most appropriate course of action is to decrease breastfeeding after a 6 month period while including solid foods into the diet.
How to Stop Breastfeeding Gradually
More often it is recommended for weaning to be a gradual process. According to Public Health America, inclusion of solid foods 6 months following the birth of the baby alongside a reduced breast milk diet is the most beneficial approach moving forward since it will give the baby all the nutritions needed.
To start the weaning process, it is ideal to take away feeding sessions one at a time. Which of the sessions you eliminate is up to you; however, it is endorsed for mothers to drop the one that is during evenings. The reason for that being, the babies tend to protest less when tired. The mid-day session is another ideal session to eliminate as most babies have had solid food by that time period so dropping that session will be easier.
Terminating morning and late night sessions should be kept for later stages of this process since during these two time periods the babies are known to protest vigorously therefore, it is encouraged to keep breastfeeding them in order to calm them down.
A major recommendation given by doctors, as well as lactation consultants is that mothers should wait a week before taking away an additional feeding session.
One other gradual method that can be utilized is having shorter feeding sessions. Over a certain period of time for each session, reduce the duration of breastfeeding. This method will make the overall time spent feeding the baby per day less than before which has proven to help babies become less dependent on breastfeeding overtime. These gradual processes are exemplary because they prevent stress for both the baby and the mother. It is important not to refuse breast milk to the baby.
Many mothers think they need to say no to the baby at all times; however, if the baby is continuously protesting, the experience of weaning would be bad for both sides. The objective here is not to offer breast milk to the baby, but if the baby is protesting vigorously then offering a small amount is acceptable.
How to Stop Breastfeeding Immediately
At times mothers need to stop their milk production immediately and there are several safe ways to achieve that objective. One recommended method is placing ice packs against the breast area. This practice needs to occur several times a day and it is encouraged for each session to last 20 minutes.
A proper substitution for ice packs could be cabbage leaves! Mothers need to make sure that the cabbages they use are cold and that they need to change the leaves often. One of the methods that has immediate effect but could be painful is using a hospital-grade pump. Using this sophisticated pump device helps mothers in expressing their milk thoroughly. It is recommended to pump as much milk as a baby would have at the breast.
The objective is to slowly reduce the pumping time. It has been noted that this method comes with a certain degree of discomfort for mothers and for that it is acceptable to take pain reduction pills such as acetaminophen upon the approval of your doctor.
Night weaning is when you stop feeding your baby in the middle of the night. By 6 months, there are still many babies who need night time feeding but that is the age in which many babies start to be ready to be completely night weaned. Proper meal offerings 3 times a day would help babies in remaining asleep throughout the night without much protest.
Process of night weaning has 2 key components. One is to reduce the amount of milk offered in each session at night, and the second component is increasing the difference of time in between each feeding session on the same night.
For more information regarding baby nursing please review “Breastfeeding / Lactation consultant“. NewM Clinic experts are ready to make baby nursing stress free!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take to dry up after stopping breastfeeding?
Once a mother stops breastfeeding, it takes about a few days for her milk to dry up. Mentioned methods such as using ice packs, as well as cold vegetables will speed up this process.