L.A. asks from Kew Gardens, NY on February 03, 2011
Weaning Tips - Springfield Gardens,NY
Any suggestions/ good resources re: weaning off breastfeeding? I am a first time momma, and recently back to work. Our son is 3.5 months old. I am currently breastfeeding at 6:30 am, pumping at the office, and feeding at 6:30 pm + 9 pm but would like to stop at the end of the month. Any tips on how to accomplish this?
How do I make it easer for me? how do I make it easier for him? Do I stop feeding cold turkey? do I skip a pumping/ feeding session? do I just limit his time at the breast? I've heard that cabbage leaves are helpful. is that necessary/ reasonable? Thus far, I haven't experienced leaking, will that be a problem when I wean?
A.P. answers from New York on February 04, 2011
What I would suggest to to first start by eliminating the pumping. How many times are you pumping? Eliminate one at a time. Give yourself a couple of days between eliminations. If there is no particular reason that you MUST wean, you could still nurse at the times you currently do. If you are set on weaning at this time after you have eliminated your pumping start with the 6pm nursing. Again, give your baby and your body time to adjust to the elimination and then choose either the morning one or the late night one. Following the same pattern.
A.L. answers from Washington DC on February 03, 2011
I weaned my daughter by cutting out one feeding at a time and had no engorgement issues. I was uncomfortable for a few days while my body adjusted, but the discomfort wasn't bad enough for me to bother doing anything about. I would start with cutting out whichever feeding you feel would be the easiest to eliminate. Usually the night feeding is the hardest to get rid of, but not in every case. My daughter dropped the night feeding herself. Once you have successfully cut out one feeding and are physically comfortable yourself (i.e., your breasts aren't full at that time), cut out another one. It only takes a few days for your breasts to adjust.
Do not pump at the time you would normally feed -- your body will never learn not to make milk at that time if you are pumping.
Good luck! I'm sure you'll find it is easier than you think.
M.O. answers from New York on February 04, 2011
I hope you won't mind if I respectfully encourage you to reconsider this decision. 3.5 months, or even 4 months, really isn't old enough for your son to get the full benefits of your "liquid gold." If it's not possible for you to pump enough for all his nutritional needs, can't you continue to do what you're doing -- a mix of breastfeeding and formula? You can slowly increase the percentage of formula if you need to (and if you do it gradually enough, you'll probably resolve all of the weaning issues right there), but at least you'll be giving him the lifelong immunity, intelligence, and protection from obesity he needs! (Not to mention that you'll be reducing your own risk of breast cancer.)
C.O. answers from Minneapolis on February 03, 2011
When I weaned I did it slowly. Like if it took 1/2 hour for them to nurse then I cut it down to 20 minutes and gave them regular milk. My kids were both over a year when I weaned so we never did formula, we went to whole milk. Then after a week I went to 10 minutes and then eliminated that nursing session. I only did one session at a time and I was still pumping at my regular time too. I eliminated the pumping last and the same way. I think doing gradually was easier and more pain free. Oh you will feel pretty full if you do it too quickly.