March 01, 2008,
R.L. asks from Round Lake, IL on February 28, 2008
Help Weaning First and Last Feedings of Day
My daughter is almost 8 1/2 months old. I have been very gradually weaning her off the breast over the past couple of months. I am now only breastfeeding her for her first and last feedings of the day. Can someone please tell me how to go about eliminating these feedings so I am not in pain all day or all night? Also, which feeding do you suggest I eliminate first? Thanks for your help!
J.I. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
Everybody's different, I guess, but weaning was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I have 16 month old twins, and we weaned back at Thanksgiving. If you are like me, then the last feeding of the day was followed by going to bed, and I didn't want their sleep routine to be messed up! So I weaned the morning one off first. I was ready for trouble when we weaned the night one, but we just offered a sippy cup of milk instead, and they actually had not problems whatsoever. (A little later we switched the nighttime milk to water, so that they are going to bed with clean teeth.) I, physically, had no problems at all with the weaning, but I have heard from many places that if you do have any pain or engorgement, they don't know why, but cabbage leaves directly on your breasts is supposed to help.
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S.A. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
I'm surprised you aren't about dried about just nursing twice a day. By the time we got to that point with my two, I was nearly dried up. Maybe you should try shortening the length of time of those two feedings by about five minutes every few days until it is just a few minutes. You should dry up pretty well.
P.P. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
I would suggest trying not to do one of the feedings (morning probably) one day and try to feed her rice cereal/fruit or whatever instead and see if she "forgets" about nursing. You can distract her with play right away in the morning ..avoid snuggle moments!! Once you drop that feeding, you will be surprised at how fast your milk may dry up with just one feeding (night) left. This happened to me with both of my daughters. AFter awhile, I didn't even know that I had dried up but they would get so frustrated and finally lost interest altogether for nursing because there wasn't enough milk there. ;)
Each child is SO different however. But, just going down to two feedings a day should dwindle your milk each and every day/week to help the "cause"! ;)
P. (nursed daughter1 for 9 months, daughter2 for 15 months and currently nursing son!)
I.D. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
R. thanks for asking this question! I never even thought to post this here. I, too, have an 8 month old that I will be weening soon. Ladies, thank you so much for your helpful responses!
D.D. answers from Springfield on March 01, 2008
Since she is only nursing mornign & evening I am guessing she a uses bottle for her other feedings? If she will take a bottle in the morning you might want to consider pumping a tiny bit just to relieve some pressure. After a few days of this your milk supply might adjust itself so you won't even need to pump. I weaned at 1 year and did it very gradually & used this technique & had absoultely no discomfort at all. A friend of mine did the same and ended up with an infected duct. Symptoms were of course pain, but also flu like symptoms...fever, aches, fatigue. Just keep an eye out. Good luck!
P.M. answers from Chicago on March 01, 2008
I just went through this a few weeks ago with my 81/2 mo. daughter. I was very afraid of the pain also, but it wasn't so bad. I eliminated the evening feeding first, this way when she woke very early in the morning, I could nurse her in bed. I think that the bottle held her over the evening better too. Good Luck! P. M
J.T. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
From my experience, my breasts seem to equalize to the number of nursing sessions we have per day. In other words, they get used to the same schedule and then you don't get engorged in between (unless you're later than usual.) Are the 2 times per day pretty regularly scheduled? If so, it seems like the engorgment/pain should subside. But, if you really want to cut back to one a day nursing, you should decide on your own which one you like better (snuggly morning time or evening) and cut the other one. If you can get your husband to give a bottle for a few days it would probably be helpful. My daughter won't take the bottle from me if my physical body/breast is in the same vicinity! Even if she is willing, I wouldn't be surprised if I would have "let down" of my milk anyway. See if you can get your husband to help. I prefer the bed time feeding to be the last before fully weening, but it's a personal choice. Maybe you would base it on when you feel the most engorged and keep that one. When you want to totally shut down the milk factory, I suggest going out of town for the weekend. See if your husband will let you go off with your girlfriends or send the kids to grandma and grandpa's. It shouldn't be that hard to deal with since you'll already be down to one-a-day feedings. Remember that if you haven't already, you'll probably start your period after stopping the nursing. Also, even if you don't have your period back yet, you can still get pregnant...so be careful! Good luck. J.
J.W. answers from Chicago on February 29, 2008
Hi, I just went through this a few months ago because I wanted to wean #1 before #2 comes in April (I know I'm a little crazy, they will only be 15 months apart!). Does she use the night feeding to go to sleep? If so, that will be the hardest to drop for her, and I would suggest doing it last. Our special time was in the morning (she would lay in bed with my husband and I to eat), so we did that last. After about a week of no breast feeding it was as though she had forgotten and she stopped trying. She was 10 months when I weaned.
As for the pain, I didn't have too many problems until I quit completely. I dropped one feeding at a time waiting a few days in between to let my body adjust. The best relief was a hot shower where I expressed just enough milk to relieve the tenderness, but not a ton like pumping that would encourage the milk supply. I was lucky and it only took one "painful" day before I was fine. I think the gradual weaning helps.