There comes a time when a breastfeeding mother has to stop feeding her child from her breasts. Its either the child has already grown and is past the prescription time for breastfeeding or that a problem has occurred that necessitated its abrupt termination. Either way, there are several methods a mother can use, both natural and artificial, to help her in this situation.
But before you stop breastfeeding, you must first know what to expect, when you go through the process of weaning your child from your breasts. There are several sources, that you can easily get hold of, for this kind of information, like your family doctor, a friend who has past experience in breastfeeding, or even the internet, where you can find answers to whatever qualms you have. But I would like to briefly state, that the hardest and most difficult part of how to stop breastfeeding, is the effect it has on your baby.
My co-teacher has had troubles weaning her child from breastfeeding. Apart from having her period while breastfeeding, which is not normal as menstruation commonly, does not start until the cessation of breastfeeding, she had also suffered from Thrush, a yeast infection which can be passed to the baby, and had to stop breastfeeding. It was terribly hard on her baby adjusting to the sudden change. She even said that her baby became somewhat emotional to what had happened, and at first, also refused other forms of feedings such as with baby bottles and baby cups. It is understandable for the baby to feel that way because not only had he lost his mother’s milk, but also the routine comfort time he had with his mom during feeding. It was an arduous time for both of them but they eventually adjusted.
Generally, the stopping of breastfeeding is rather quite simple. Make up your mind and set a date on which you will start weaning your child form your breast. When that date comes, start to lessen your breastfeeding sessions with your child. If for example, you regularly breastfeed about 8 times a day, then make it only seven sessions after two days, six sessions after another two days, then five and four, until you eventually get to zero breastfeeding sessions in a day. During that time, it is vital to replace your lost breastfeeding sessions with feeding from a baby bottle, so that your child will not miss out on needed nutrients. It also serves as familiarization of your child to the bottle which will become his source of feeding from that time hence.
When you discontinue breastfeeding, you may suffer from breast soreness, plugged milk ducts and even breast lumps due to the fact that you are still producing milk. It is recommended to have warm showers to at least relieve the pain and soreness in your breast. The wearing of a tight fitting bra also helps the process as well as using nursing pads, to prevent breast milk from ruining clothes, as you may still experience milk leakage for several weeks. Also be aware that your breast may sag from the cessation of breastfeeding, it is normal and does not have anything serious meaning to it. If problems persist or if you are experiencing something out of the ordinary, trust your instincts and immediately consult a doctor.