Breastfeeding is a must for nurturing a baby. But after some months of delivery breastfeeding has to be discontinued. Generally baby should be breastfeed for six months and can either continue or discontinue breast feeding at the end of this period depending on the health of the baby and the mother.
If the child is getting sick easily then the breastfeeding has to be continued as long as possible.
This is because breast milk imparts immunity to the baby. Before starting the weaning process the mother should consider her milk production. If the milk supply is good then weaning the baby may results in breast engorgement.
Apart from the breast engorgement the major difficulty while stopping breastfeeding is the crankiness of the baby and its refusal to give up breast milk. The following tips may help the mother to stop breastfeeding with little discomfort.
Breastfeeding has to be stopped in a step by step manner. If breastfeeding is stopped all of a sudden, then the breast will get filled up and leads to its engorgement.
Apart from the infection and pain the mother may suffer, baby may also have a feeling of discomfort and a feeling of insecurity. By stopping breastfeeding in a step by step process this can be avoided.
The first step to stop breastfeeding is to skip any one feed and substitute it with either formula milk or baby food. If the mother has good milk production then the milk can be taken out in a bottle and given to the baby.
But gradually reduce the frequency of this feeding and slowly the mother’s milk production gets reduced and the baby too will get adjusted to other type of foods. Finally mother can give up breastfeeding.
If the mother still has pain in the breast then she can use cabbage leaves to cover the breast. Change the leaves when they get wilted with fresh ones. This in turn helps to reduce the milk production. If the child wakes up at night and cries then let the father to sooth the baby.
If mother tried to sooth the baby then baby will demand breast milk and becomes crankier. But care should be taken to avoid the feeling of insecurity that develops in the baby at the time of stopping breastfeed.