When to Stop Breastfeeding
If you are enjoying your breastfeeding relationship, you can continue
to breastfeed until one of you decide that you would like to stop.
is recommended to breastfeed for at least one year, but you can
continue for much longer. In some countries, it is not uncommon for
mothers to breastfeed their babies up to the age of 4! There is no set
time to end breastfeeding, it is best to wait until you are both eager
to stop. You do not need to feel pressured either way. It is always your
decision to make, and you need not feel guilty about it.
When should I Stop Breastfeeding?
Exclusive breastfeeding is advised for the first six months of your
baby’s life, this is to give him/her the best possible start in life.
Breastfeeding for the first six months will dramatically reduce the risk
of lung infections, allergies and gut issues. After these six months, you can still continue to breastfeed exclusively (if your baby shows
signs of unreadiness) or you can start to introduce solids at your
baby’s individual pace.
Baby led weaning is a way to get your baby to set the pace.
What are the readiness signs that your baby can start solids?
Breastfeeding Exclusively for Seven Months and Longer...
Babies can thrive on breast milk alone for the first seven months and in some cases even longer.
small amount of milk is beneficial to your baby and the longer you can
breastfeed, the better. Breast milk is often referred to as “liquid
gold." At the very least it is essential that your baby receives the
first milk called colostrum. Colostrum is full of immune-boosting
substances that protect your baby.
Stop Breastfeeding Early
If you are still in the early stages of your breastfeeding relationship, and feeling overwhelmed, you should remember that babies breastfeed less as they grow. Breastfeeding around the clock during
the first few weeks is normal.
Whether you want to stop
breastfeeding earlier (it's always your choice) or continue to
breastfeed longer than the “norm," it's a good idea to surround yourself
with the appropriate support. Find other women around you who have
similar goals. How to handle breastfeeding criticism.
There are so many benefits of breastfeeding.
Before you stop, please read the following, so that you can make an
Why should early weaning from breast milk be avoided?
Babies who are weaned from breast milk before 6 months:
- May show digestive issues
- Skin issues such as eczema
- Higher risk of ear infection and colds and flu
If you decide to stop breastfeeding before your baby turns 1, you will
need to give your baby infant formula. After 12 months infant formulas
are no longer necessary if your baby is eating well.
breastfeeding issues can be overcome with the help of a lactation
consultant, but sometimes a mother is forced to stop breastfeeding...
support group for mothers who cannot breastfeed.
When you Feel Forced to Wean
If you are
returning to work soon, you should know that it is possible to continue
to give your baby breast milk. Breastfeeding in the evenings will also
allow for that extra bonding time needed after a day apart from each
If you become pregnant while breastfeeding, you may continue to
breastfeed and then tandem feed.
If you would like to conceive a child, but think that
weaning is the only way to do this, please read our article about
fertility and breastfeeding.
How do you Stop Breastfeeding?
If and when you do decide to wean, stopping breastfeeding cold turkey is a bad idea. The best way to stop breastfeeding is gradually. This is to avoid mastitis and to give your baby some time to get accustomed to the idea. It could be traumatic for your baby to lose that connection with you all in one go. It is important to replace that close time with lots of touch and cuddles.