How To Stop Breastfeeding While Keeping Yourself And Baby Happy
Weaning decision will be emotional for both mother and child.
Start Communication. Once made decision, start talking it to your child in simple language may be with help of stories or songs which will help toddler to accept new change as they are ready to understand. Also communicate with your family as they will be of big help in achieving the goal.
Work on it slowly as this will help child to adapt new change in diet and routine as well as mother’s own body will learn to gradually slow the production.
Don’t Set deadline to achieve goal. It may take few weeks to months to achieve complete weaning as it is highly individualised Process. Mother may even need to slower the pace if child becomes too fussy/ clingy / not well / teething.
Provide Extra comfort, cuddle and time when you make transition. It will help toddler to still feel secure without breastfeeding. Remember breastfeeding provides lot of sense of security to the child .
Start one thing at a time, either day / night weaning, Preferably day time weaning first. Organise and identify the total no of breastfeeds in 24 hours and drop one feed/ week . Start with less important one. Note naptime , bedtime and first feed in the morning are usually last to go. Once you built confidence and comfort you may accelerate this process by dropping one feed every 2-3 days.
Take a help below techniques
- Communicate clearly it is not the time for feeding and offer distraction as a substitute for feeding eg. Games, story time, outdoor play, walk , music, colouring, books, snack, toys, activities or play time with grandma/grandpa/ father.
- For night feed – if they wake up, don’t switch on the light nor take them on lap but with help soft humming sound and gentle back pat/rub, try to make them sleep at the same place. Fathers can be involved for it and mothers can stay away As “out of sight is out of mind”.
- Also Try to anticipate their demand to breastfeed and plan in advance distraction technique.
Postponing Techniques :
- Again communication is key and also let the child know when is their next feeding time /session as it will provide them assurance, trust and security. One may use event / routine rhythms while communicating eg: “I will give My milk- before going to bed, when will return from work, after you comes from bath/ evening play or sunrise/set, moonrise etc. Most of the time in postponing process child may forget as s/he gets will very busy and also it will helps them to learn waiting skill.
Last technique that can be used are like
Shortening the length of breastfeeding session than usual which mother is trying to drop off
Wearing of cloths that are less accessible for breastfeeding and avoid doing those things that remind / gives cues to the child for breastfeeding eg sitting down at particular place / chair.
These may help some mothers .
Be aware about changes that mothers may experience
- Emotional : Feeling sadness, sense of loss This is partly due to close relationship with your child and partly due to hormonal change. Mother-child dyad can perform closing ritual /pray at start and end of complete weaning process.
- Fullness/Engorged / lumpy breast : If Breast fullness/ lump is discomforting then kindly express the milk only till it make mouther feel comfortable DONOT OVER DO OR TRY TO EMPTY WHOLE BREAST AS IT WILL SEND FEEDBACK TO YOUR BODY TO PRODUCE MORE. If any lump which is painful and hasn’t disappear after 24 hrs or mother start having flu like symptoms in such case kindly contact your primary health care provider.