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How to Stop Breastfeeding

Are there any considerations for weaning my baby

There are three things you should consider while weaning your child off breastfeeding: (a) your child's immunity (health); (b) managing your milk supply; and (c) emotional impact, if any, on the child.

Should my baby's health be a consideration for weaning

If your child is at high risk for eczema or asthma, you should plan to exclusively breastfeed your child until at least 6 months. If your child falls sick very easily, you may want to delay weaning your child off breast milk.  Breast milk is nutritious, easily digested, and appetizing; your child may refuse other foods when he is sick but will probably be agreeable to having breast milk. 

Can I decide to stop breastfeeding cold turkey

If you decide you are going to stop breastfeeding your child all of a sudden one day (cold turkey), you may be inviting trouble.  Your breasts will continue to get filled with milk.  Since the baby will not be emptying them, they may get engorged and/or get infected, and lead to severe discomfort, at the very least.  The best way to manage your milk supply is gradually reduce your feeds.  You can do this by first dropping one feed at a time.  Then when you are on your last feed, you can reduce the duration of that feed gradually over a few days.  When you see your milk supply has almost dwindled, you can finally stop.  This is the best way to stop breastfeeding.

My child is not ready to give up breastfeeding

For many children, the longer they are breastfed, the more difficult it is for them to give it up, especially after they are a year old.  They like the protective feeling of being close to their mother, especially during the night feed.  Since breastfeeding for them is an emotional attachment, you should ensure that you gradually reduce your feeds.  They may cry a little at the time of the feed, but if you are there with them giving them all the love and affection they want, they will feel less insecure and upset.

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