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Tips On How To Stop Breastfeeding
Sooner or later weaning must end. But what if your baby just stops breastfeeding? Many mothers face this problem but a few simple tips can ease the pain of breastfeeding for both mother and child.
For many mothers and their babies, stopping breastfeeding comes naturally. The baby begins to show interest in the food that the people around it eat and eats solid food for itself. As the baby eats more solid food, it requires less breast milk. However, some children refuse to give up breastfeeding willingly and many mothers can feel frustrated, tired and confused about how to stop breastfeeding altogether. If you are having trouble stopping breastfeeding, then the following tips may help.
Avoid going cold turkey. This is usually very frustrating for the child, which in turn causes anger. Instead, it is better to reduce the number of feedings during the day, perhaps replacing a meal with a bottle or cup of breast milk. This gradual reduction in breastfeeding time will ease the baby’s sense of loss or discomfort, especially if he is bottle fed with breast milk. Finally, breast milk can be replaced with formula.
Many children cry when they wake up in the middle of the night. It is usually the mother who tries to get the baby back to sleep. Unfortunately, this calming process can mean weaning the baby. It may be better to have the child’s father, or someone else whom the child trusts, take care of him. Many mothers instinctively go to their baby if their child is crying, so it may be a good idea to try to stay out of earshot. It may take a while for the child to adjust to this new regimen, but consistency is key. Finally, when the children are separated from these night meals, they will return to sitting down later in the night.
With an older child—one who can speak and understand what is being said—you can start setting limits on where and when you breastfeed. Tell her, “We only breastfeed during naps and bedtime” or “We only breastfeed when it’s dark outside.”
When you’re ready to stop completely, you can simply tell her, “You’re a big girl now, and big girls don’t breastfeed”. It is important to remember that with children of this age, the emotional stress caused by the cessation of breastfeeding is enormous. So replace the lack of breastfeeding with more milk; replace her emotional dependence on breastfeeding with other physical comforts.
It is also important to take care of your breasts during this time. Any distress or pain felt by the mother will be picked up by the child and he will then become upset, thus aggravating an already delicate situation. By gradually reducing breastfeeding you should help your breasts become lighter. Your milk supply should decrease gradually. If this is not the case and your breasts are uncomfortable, then express your milk – this can be given to your baby in a bottle or cup. Cabbage leaves are known to help reduce inflammation. If the leaves do not fit the shape of your chest, crush the cabbage leaves with a rolling pin. Wrap the cabbage leaves around the chest and leave it for about 20 minutes. Twice a day is enough. Cabbage leaf treatment is usually used two to three times or less. You can use cabbage leaves after every meal and keep them until they dissolve.
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