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Thread: Stopping BFing.

  1. #1

    Default Stopping BFing.

    Hello all,
    This is my first post so please forgive me. I've been breast feeding my little girl for the last ten months. It has been a wonderful time, and I've loved it. However, I'm starting to feel ready to get my body back, and I'd like to stop in the very near future. I've kind of decided that when Alice turns one that I will stop. However, all the information I've found on line has been how to avoid engorgement and mastitis, and not how to transition my daughter from the boob to a cup.
    She will have formula (now. She wouldn't for months and months, but thats another tale) and I'm planning to swap to cows milk soonish anyway.
    So. For those that have stopped BFing, how have you done it? Have you stopped all together, all at once? Or just dropped the a feed at a time (LG is having between two and four feeds a day, depending on how she's feeling)
    Thank you very much in advance for your help
    Lynzy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    Welcome to the forum!

    When a mom stops nursing, she should wean slowly. That way she's much less likely to experience engorgement, plugged ducts, or mastitis. Her supply will disappear slowly, and when her baby is completely weaned, she should have little or no milk left to make her uncomfortable. When a mom pursues "mother-led" weaning, she should drop a single feeding, wait a few days for her supply to adjust downwards, and then drop another feeding. Eventually, all the feedings will be gone and baby will be weaned.

    The whole "breastfed until one" thing is often interpreted as meaning that a mom should be done by a year. What it actually means is that weaning should not start until a year. If you're already down to just 2-4 feedings per day, you're well on your way to weaning. How much formula is your baby taking at this point?

    A year-old baby may or may not be ready to transition from breast to cup. I know the advice is often very firm about how you MUST break the bottle habit by a year- but if you're not planning to nurse, you may need to continue to bottle-feed as your baby figures out the mechanics of drinking from a cup. Don't worry about it- if she still has a bottle at 18 months, she will not be the only one.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    Please forgive me, as this is likely not what you want to hear, but your desire "I'm starting to feel ready to get my body back" can be achieved without total weaning.

    Even if you were to maintain a couple of feedings per day--say, before naps and at bedtime-- you'd largely have your physical autonomy back and could continue to meet your daughter's needs as well.

    Breast milk and the nurturing that comes from breastfeeding are so important to young children, and the beneficial health effects of nursing grow over time. As someone breastfeeding a 21 month old intensively (8+ times/day), I can personally assure you that toddler nursing is a very real and satisfying reward for mothers and babies.

    I'm sure you've considered your decision thoroughly, but I wanted to gently remind you that breastfeeding doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition, where one party's needs are met at the expense of the other's. It's a beautiful relationship, and one that I heartily encourage you to maintain at this juncture for your mutual benefit. It doesn't have to be forever...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    I have been thinking about this for the last few months, and I am definitely ready to stop. I understand everything you are saying, but frankly I'm longing to wear a bra that has underwires and doesn't have clips on it! This is also entirely my decision, i haven't read something and gone off half cocked. I'm aware that I can continue if I wanted, but I don't (perhaps selfishly) want to.

    I'm also due to start back at work again soon, and i have some very early starts,meaning i have to get up even earlier to feed lg before i go - if my oh could just give her a bottle of cows milk it would make my life so much easier. I know I'm being a bit selfish, but at the end of the day she's had more than i intended at first to give. (i only meant to bf for a few months but then she overheard someone saying "breast is best" and decided she only deserved the best!)

    Mommal - she's already having formula from a trainer cup (its basically still a bottle really isn't it lol) and she's having that once a day at night. I dropped the night feed first as I also have some lateish finishes at work and once I start back I won't be there at a few of madams bedtimes. She doesnt generally wake up in the night, little bed slug
    I was expressing but I could get so little out I was struggling to keep up with the demand of one feed a day! My main concern is that I'm just going to give in if she screams at me in the morning... Would the best thing to do when the time comes be to give her breakfast first, then a bottle/cup of milk? Change her routine entirely? Normally I get her up, she comes into our bed, has a feed and then about half an hour later I make her breakfast. If I swap it round, will that make a difference? I realise that I'm maybe asking the wrong questions...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    Okay, so she's nursing 2-4x per day and having a few oz of formula at night? The rest of her diet is solids? If that's correct, I think you should speak to the pediatrician about how much she's eating, what she's eating, and the proportions of food (i.e. breastmilk vs. formula vs. solids) that she is eating. The reason I think that you should take this route is that until a year, babies are supposed to get the majority of their nutrition from breastmilk, or formula if breastmilk is not available. The reason for this is that breastmilk, and to a lesser extent formula, has all the right nutrients to support healthy growth during the first year when a baby is developing really, really fast. It's very difficult to match that balance using solids, especially given the erratic eating patterns of the average baby. Until your baby's first birthday, I think you might want to either nurse more or use more formula. Most women who are nursing their 10 month-olds on demand are probably nursing at least 6-8 times a day, and many are nursing more frequently than that.

    A lot of women wear underwire nursing bras. I always did- there's no way I could get enough support from the wireless bras, and underwires never gave me problems. If the lack of underwire is getting you down, you could always try an underwire bra and see if it works for you. If you get a ton of plugged ducts, then it'a probably a failed experiment. If not- yay!

    I think the question of what to do if she screams at you in the morning is a tough one. If it were me, I'd simply continue to nurse in bed- you're already not wearing a bra, it's a good way to transition both your baby and yourself from sleep into the day, and it doesn't require you to pop up out of bed and immediately start messing around in the kitchen. And as Alphawoman said, nursing doesn't have to be all or nothing- you could keep that one morning feeding and be weaned for the rest of the day. If you don't want to keep the morning feeding, then I do think you need to experiment with different routines- try making breakfast first, try having daddy handle wake-up time, etc. There are no guarantees that changes in your routine will preclude screaming, because babies this young only rarely self-wean. They're just not developmentally ready, no matter how mom feels about nursing. And because they are not ready, they often fight pretty hard to keep nursing.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    My friend weaned her daughter by replacing one feeding a week with yogurt smoothies that she was making. You could do that with bottles of formula and slowly transition from nursing to the bottle.

    I agree with mommal though - solids are just for fun until one. Breastmilk and/or formula should make up the majority of their diet for the first year.

    I always wore an underwire nursing bra and am now mostly wearing non-nursing bras even with my baby nursing.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    I just have to chime in on the bra issue, too
    I'm nursing a 14 month old and I probably only wear a nursing bra 1/2 the time. The rest of the time I'm back to my favorite pre-baby bras. These days, my baby is nursing reliably after work, before bed, sometimes once at night and early in the morning. Otherwise, she can usually be happy with a cup of cow's milk or water during the day while I'm at work or if we're out and I don't want to nurse her at that moment. Of course, when we are at home, she nurses more often and if I'm not wearing a nursing bra, I will just lift up my regular bra. Or if we're going to be in a place for several hours where I want to be able to nurse discreetly (eg. in a restaurant), I will be sure to wear a nursing bra. But day-to-day, eg. when I am spending the day at work or we're just around the house, I usually wear a regular bra. One of the many reasons I love nursing a toddler

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    Thank you for your advice. I'm still deadset on stopping though. I really do feel like its time. I think, to be honest, I came to the wrong place to ask this question if I'm honest. Thank you for your time, I do appreciate it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    I'm sorry you feel that you weren't heard here! Do take weaning slowly though so you don't get mastitis. As I said, my friend dropped each nursing session one week at a time and replaced it with something else. I think that's the most common way to wean a baby under one! Good luck mama. Congratulations for nursing your baby as long as you have - no matter what anyone else thinks - you have done a great job and given your baby an awesome start!
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Stopping BFing.

    Lynzy,

    You might want to copy your OP into the section on weaning. As this is a sub-forum for people nursing older children, there is a mental bias toward continuing nursing here. When you posted regarding your 10-month-old, people may have assumed (like me) that you were trying to nurse to the year mark. You're more likely to get procedural feedback under weaning.

    Good luck!

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