When Should I Stop Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is one of the beautiful things that exist in nature. It builds a strong and healthy bond between the mother and child and gives the right amount of nutrients needed by the baby. Many moms wonder,"When should I stop breastfeeding?"
The World Health Organization recommends that all babies be exclusively breastfed for six months, then gradually introduced to appropriate family foods after six months while continuing to breastfeed for two years or beyond.
Breastfeeding even for a short time is beneficial. In the first few days after your baby’s birth, your breasts produce colostrum.
This rich substance contains vital ingredients, including immunoglobulin or cells that help build your baby’s immune system.
There is ample evidence that babies who are breastfed for the first six months of life do not suffer from as many (or as severe) episodes of common childhood illnesses.
These include gastroenteritis, respiratory illnesses and middle ear infections and so on.
Weaning and You
Breastfeeding is different for every mother and child. Some mothers choose to stop breastfeeding either at the end of their maternity leave or due to some breastfeeding complications.
However, the end of maternity leave doesn’t mean the end of breastfeeding your child. You can always adjust your time and breastfeed your child. The most feasible times are before going to work and after returning from work.
In this way the process of breastfeeding will continue. If you cannot manage your work time at all in order to express milk using electric breast pumps like Medela PISA, please visit the United States Breastfeeding Committee website for more information on breastfeeding rights in the workplace.
If you are having problems in breastfeeding your child, visit your lactation specialist for advice. If you decide to stop breastfeeding early because of pain or other complications, consult your baby’s doctor to make sure you are providing the best nutrition possible with baby formula and solid foods.
Your baby should get all the nutrients which he or she would have got from breast milk.
How to stop breastfeeding?
First decide that when you want to stop breastfeeding your baby. Then plan to wean your child gradually so that he or she gets accustomed to it.
You should not stop breastfeeding suddenly because it may take a few weeks to a few months to fully wean your child.
Also notice your baby’s reaction to weaning. If he or she is uncomfortable in the beginning, give your baby some time to get habituated. Otherwise, consult your doctor. He can give you the best advice.
The transition from breastfeeding to weaning must be smooth.
Depending on your baby’s age and need for sucking, you can wean either to a cup or bottle.
If you decide on a bottle, eventually your baby will need to be weaned from that. Start with whichever breastfeed of the day your baby seems least interested in.
Then cut out another breastfeed every few days or even each week, depending on your comfort and your baby’s willingness to cooperate.
Do not force anything to your baby because if he or she is not comfortable with something, then the child cannot grow properly.
Slowly reduce the number of breastfeeds which will protect your baby during the weaning period and will also help you avoid problems such as mastitis.
If you need to wean your baby quickly, talk to a healthcare professional or a lactation consultant about caring for your breasts.
For further information, help and advice, you may take the support of a good lactation consultant.
Author: Marissa Claire
Hi, I am Marissa. I am a wife of a very supportive husband and mother 3 precious kids. Even though my life is not picture perfect, I have too many blessings to be counted. I am an ordinary mom who has been through some tough times.
I have tried to collate the best information available and write personal & real reviews for the benefits of parents who are confused with the plethora of breast pumps available. I have made an effort to steer clear of technical jargons and used layman language which is understood by people like us.
Tags: breastfeeding, express, milk, nursing, return to work, stop breastfeeding, weaning
Categorised in: Guide