Weaning your baby from breastfeeding

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Unfortunately, pleasant times end sooner or later. You will have to wean your precious baby from breasfeeding some day. How to make this process least painful for everybody?

Unfortunately, pleasant times end sooner or later. You will have to wean
your precious baby from breasfeeding some day. How to make this process least
painful for everybody?
Let`s clarify the concept
Weaning means complete refusal from breasfeeding, but let`s arrange that
we will call so not only complete, but also partial switch to other kind of
nutrition. This will be correct, as a baby still will have to rearrange himself
in every case.
How can we learn that this moment has come?
Baby moving into adulthood - is an individual process, and milestones
on this way are rather relative. Moreover, this concerns a moment of weaning
your baby from breastfeeding. Here there`re almost no rules and laws. Everyone
relies on his own considerations while determining this stage. Some feel that
“the moment has come”, other moms orient on their babies` coevals, thirds want,
finally, devote themselves to recovery of their figures. Today many pediatrists
recommend to breastfeed a baby until you have milk. So, try to pay less
attention to other people`s words and actions. Let your own baby and his choice
be your most important reference point. Some babies refuse from breastfeeding
by themselves, but there`re few of them.
According to World Health Organization, course of breastfeeding  lasting up to 1,5-2 years is physiological
both for mother and baby. During first 6 months of life a baby should be only
if it`s possible.
One of reasons of weaning a baby from breastfeeding, which is fortunately
a rare thing, can become an extraordinary case - sudden illness and/or
hospitalization of a mother. Breastfeeding is contra-indicated, if you suffer
from: suppurative mastitis, active form of tuberculosis, syphilis, other
serious infections (scarlet fever, diphtheria etc.), oncological diseases, and
also cardiovascular, liver and kidneys diseases in decompensation stage, when
their structure and function are affected irreversibly, diabetes. If a woman
suffers from such diseases, doctors prohibit breastfeeding, to avoid risk of
baby infection through milk.
If a mother suffers from serious diseases, toxins and/or pathogenic germs
are accumulated in her organism. Moreover, as a rule, such diseases require
taking strong medicines, which can penetrate into breast milk and come to a
baby`s organism. If a mother`s disease seems to end soon, and a baby is under
year, and moreover 6 months, there`s sense to keep milk with help of regular expression of breast milk
using hands or a breast-pump, to continue breastfeeding after recovery.
How to make up your mind to this process
First of all, prepare yourself psychologically. Accept the necessity of
this fact, regardless of motives, induced you to quit breastfeeding. You
shouldn`t feel sorry for a “poor baby”, deprived of a mother by force. Your
baby will catch any of your hesitations and this will not only complicate and
slow down the process of weaning, but in general will cast doubt on its practicability.
Psychologists and teachers know from their experience, that babies, whose
parents are sure of the necessity of this step, stand any important changes in
life (weaning from breastfeeding, starting visiting kindergarten etc.) much
easier. So, if you are not quite sure yet, whether to quit breastfeeding, you`d
better not try. You will just irritate your soul vainly and make your baby sad.
So, firstly you should screw yourself up. Try to treat a baby, who will
have to stand a serious moment, not with pity, but understanding and respect.
Yes, a “transitional period” can cause tears and whims, but don`t see them in
tragic light. They always accompany important changes in a baby`s life, and are
not only signs of baby`s sufferings. Show that you understand your baby`s
feelings and share them, but don`t follow his tastes. As it`s known, babies are
great dodgers. You just have to show your weak point once, and your baby will
use this flaw immediately. So, screw yourself up - and don`t change horses in midstream.
At one stroke or little by little?
Someone can decide to quit breastfeeding in one moment, offering a baby milk substitutes
at once. To render justice, we should say, that many babies stand such switch
quite calmly and show no discontent. Others will prefer to reduce quantity of
little by little. On the one hand, this variant will give a baby possibility to
rearrange himself stage-by-stage, but on the other hand it can turn to be more
difficult for a baby. Here it`s difficult to give a simple answer. Probably, we
can recommed you to try: if a baby treats a substitution firstly of one
nursing, then in 1-2 days - another, then we can say that gradual variant is
good for you. Thus, you will reduce quantity of nursings to zero or to an acceptable
quantity. If your baby treats every substitution of nursing by a bottle or drinking
bowl painfully, then you will have to resort to a more resolute variant. It can
cause a great hue and cry, but period of adaptation will end sooner.
What instead?
Weaning from breastfeeding means switch to other kind of nutrition.
Which food should replace mother`s milk? Everything depends on a baby`s age, on
the one hand, and state of his health, on the other. If a baby is still under
months, then only adaptive formulas for healthy babies and special medicinal
ones - for babies with various problems can serve as a substitution for milk.
In latest case, of course, only doctor can prescribe them. After 6 months, if
baby is healthy, you can switch to partially adaptive formulas or, what`s even
better, adaptive formulas for babies from 6 to 12 months.
After 8 months, if there`re no contra-indications and negative
reactions, you can include kefir in daily allowance. Usually babies drink it
gladly, but still you shoulnd`t give more than half of daily allowance to sour
milk products: it`s rather difficult for children kidneys to lead acidic metabolites
out. On any stage of breastfeeding period such formula is fair: half of
nutrition is fresh (say, adaptive formula), other half - sour milk. You can alternate
formulas both in the process of each feeding (in the beginning of feeding, when
a baby is hungry, offer the one he likes less, by the end of feeding - the one
he prefers) and during a day. After 8-9 months you can include whole cow`s milk
in your baby`s daily allowance, of course, if he has no allergy on it. A baby
up to 7-8 months will, most likely, prefer switch to a bottle, older babies can
learn drinking from a drinking bowl or even a cup.
Some ruses
  1. If a baby treats your
    attempt to offer him a bottle negatively, ask some of your close people to
    feed a baby instead of you. It`s quite possible, that in this case he will
    treat this fact better. This concerns also night feedings in full measure,
    if you are not planning to keep them. Moreover, associations with sleep
    are usually more stable, and deviation from them can be treated more
    seriously. Allow father or grandmother coming to your baby: a baby will
    agree trying formula from a bottle sooner, without feeling smell of milk.
  2. To intriduce a strange
    taste of formula to your baby, you can firstly treat him from a spoon.
  3. For some babies place of
    feeding is of great importance. It`s quite possible, that in atmosphere,
    which he doesn`t assosiate with breastfeeding (for example, in other
    room), he will treat a bottle better.
  4. If a baby demands breast
    hard, refusing from a bottle, nothing will help you, except your own persistency.
    Be cunning. Give him a possibility to refuse at this moment, but when he
    becomes hungry again, then, most likely, he will accept a “mom`s substitute”
    with less hostility.
  5. At this moment a baby
    needs your kind attitude and caress like never before: he needs to ascertain
    that he is weaned only from breast, not his mother in general. For
    example, at night, when your baby starts crying desperately, trying to
    persuade you giving up your own prohibitions, you can swing him, walk
    along a room with him and sing a lullaby, even if usually you don`t swing
    him before going to bed. This stage is considered a new one, because it
    requires a refusal from old established rules. You can try switching your
    baby`s attention on some other thing: interest him with torches, he sees
    from the window or headlights of night cars. The main is to distract his
    attention from his own negative emotions.
  6. Weaning a baby, who
    receives breast only in the evening or at night, is quite similar to other
    weaning (see points 1 and 5), i.e. it`s better, that some other person
    would come to a baby with a bottle at night. If a baby keeps on refusing
    hard, show persistency, trying to distract your baby`s attention on some
    other thing.
If a baby is 1 year and older already, then probably, there`s no sense
to switch him to night formula feedings. If you decided to wean him from
breastfeeding finally, then it`s better to teach him sleeping during whole
night, without awaking for “snacks”. In this age night feedings are not
necessary from the point of view of physiology, they are rather kept like a
habit, connected with stereotypes of sleep and falling asleep.
Some words about mother
When you wean your baby from breastfeeding, your own organism also needs
time to rearrange itself and stop producing milk. It`s almost impossible to
predict the way this period will pass for you. There`s some connection: the
less problems mother had during beginning of breastfeeding, the easier this
process will go back.
If you stopped on gradual weaning, your lacteal glands will get
used to reduction of “load” little by little and will start slowing the process
of milk production down. Breast will be tensed firstly. Try to find a golden
middle: on the one hand, increase of pressure in adenomeres slows down further
milk production most efficiently, on the other hand, you shouldn`t permit
serious coarsening at the same time. Rack milk little by little, to relieve
yourself from serious discomfort, but not completely. If milk is removed
completely, organism will treat it as a signal for its further production. Some
mothers prefer to nurse their babies, when they feel tension and pain in
breast. Of course, it helps, but remember, that in this case you choose a “way
back” and will have to start the process anew.
You can start
taking diuretics. It`s better, if they are “soft”: kidney Java tea
or weight loss tea. Some rather zealous women even start drinking laxatives.
It`s difficult to say how efficient they are in this case, but if you have too
much milk, you can try. They also should be “soft”: for example, the same
weight loss tea or various vegetable remedies.
If you
wean your baby at one go, your organism will be in difficult conditions. In
this case you can face some problems (it doesn`t mean at all that they are
difficult and insoluble), but the whole process of extinction of lactation will
take much less time.
How to
deal with urgent weaning?
In this
case a woman asks a question, what to do with milk. We already wrote that if
you wish to keep on breastfeeding after your recovery, you can just rack milk.
But if you`re not going to turn to breastfeeding again, then you should
suppress lactation.
Here`re some of recommendations:
  1. Try to observe drinking
    schedule, like during first days after delivery, i.e. drink no more than
    500-700 ml of liquid per day, including first courses and juicy fruits.
    This may seem difficult for you, but don`t worry: you wanted to drink a
    lot after delivery, but now it`s another matter.
  2. Attitude to breast tightening
    is quite discrepant today. Those who used this recommendation are usually
    but experts consider this procedure harmful: sometimes it leads to galactostasia
    development and mastitis.
  3. Doctor
    can prescribe you a medecine, suppressing lactation - bromocriptine. It
    stops production of anterior pituitary hormone prolactin
    (this hormone causes milk production), and thus, lacteal glands
    lose a “guiding thread”.
You can use same recommendations while planned weaning from
Be patient and good luck!
When you shouldn`t wean your baby from breastfeeding?
You shouldn`t wean your baby from breastfeeding during hard periods for
him (illness, first days with a nanny) and you (attendance, move, change of family composition).
If you can predict some event, which will become a reason of refusal from
breastfeeding, it`s better to wean a baby beforehand.
Mother`s acute infections (SARS, light or middle food poisoning,
appearance of herpes etc.) are not contra-indications for breastfeeding, if she
cures only with vegetable or medicines for external use only.
If a woman has airborne infections, then she should take preventive
measures while breastfeeding: a four-layer gauze face veil.

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