As parents, we all know that breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience with our babies. But eventually, we all stop breastfeeding - whether it’s initiated by the parent or baby. That's why we want to share some tips for a graceful and pain-free weaning experience.
One of the best ways to initiate weaning is gradually, rather than stopping abruptly. This helps reduce the risk of discomfort, engorgement, and mastitis. You can start by eliminating one feed over a series of days or weeks. It’s generally recommended to avoid eliminating the early morning or late evening feed and start with eliminating an afternoon feed.
If you’re exclusively pumping, you can start by eliminating a pumping session or decreasing the amount of time pumping. To ease your child during the process, make sure to offer them a distraction, like a toy or by having your partner initiate bedtime or early morning.
To ease your experience, wearing a supportive bra, using cold compresses, and taking over-the-counter ibuprofen will help relieve any discomfort you may have during the process. To prevent engorgement, make sure to hand express or pump but leave the breast somewhat full to let the body know that it doesn’t need to produce more milk.
It’s important to be aware of the signs of mastitis. Redness, swelling, and increased warmth of the breast tissue accompanied by fever or flu-like symptoms are indications of mastitis, which is an infection of the breast tissue. If you experience mastitis, seek help from your doctor or a pelvic floor physical therapist, who can help relieve pain and prevent future occurrences.
Breastfeeding and weaning are both unique journeys, but with these tips, we hope that you can have a smooth and comfortable transition. Save this post for future reference and feel free to share it with any new moms who might find it helpful.