Breast feeding is the most unique bonding between a mother and her baby, but as unique as it may be, it can’t continue forever there will definitely come a time when it has to stop.
Weaning a baby isn’t easy as it seems, we’ve heard different stories from experienced mothers about what they went through during this period and how they overcome it. There are a lot of changes that occurs in the body during this period, and changes come with pains though some mothers don’t feel pains during this period while some do. It all boils down to the kind of method they use when weaning their baby.
Here are some step by step guidance to weaning a baby:
- Start slowly: weaning your child should be a gradual process it’s not what should be done suddenly if you stop nursing suddenly your body is less likely to handle the transition smoothly and you are more likely to experience painful side effects such as engorgement of the breast, mastitis, and plugged ducts. Your body has prepared itself to meet your baby’s nutritional needs based on how often your baby nurses. Your body has not been prepared to stop producing milk at a quick rate. It needs time to realize that the milk is no longer needed.
- Reduce feeding: reduce the hours of feeding, if your baby nurses every 3 hours you can start nursing every four to five hours or skip baby’s least or favorite feeding time. You may want to keep the early morning and bedtime feedings until the very end. Stop middle of the night feedings by having your partner or someone else comfort the baby.
- Cold compresses can help reduce the pain and some of the swelling, cabbage leave can also perform the same work as cold compress. Research has found no difference in comfort between mothers who use cabbage leave or other cold compresses. Avoid hot/warm shower as these can stimulate breast milk production.
- It may be necessary to remove a little bit of the breast milk if the pain is unbearable. Only express enough milk to reduce the pain not all the breast milk if not, this will send a wrong signal to your body to keep making more breast milk.
Note that weaning your baby suddenly without following this steps or making the process a gradual one will only cause more harm than good. This process will go a long way in reducing pain and breast engorgement. Also these methods have been proven to scientifically help you with weaning your baby, however, you could develop a method that would work for you if you are not comfortable with these methods.