I have had so many people asking me on tips on weaning off or stopping breastfeeding so I thought I would do a little post to hopefully help. Obviously everyone is completely different and I am in no way an expert or professional just a mama to a little girl who Breastfed for 10 1/2 months.
I know when Emelia was tiny I always said I would breastfeed until 6 months and then finish. However, 6 moths rolled around and neither her nor me were ready so I decided to carry on. We had been lucky and breastfeeding was a breeze, and at that point she fed amazingly and it seemed pointless to stop breastfeeding to go onto formula. I wasn’t working etc so had all the time to laze around feeding her. Emelia was definitely not one to take a bottle in those first months to be honest it wasn’t until I completely weaned that she agreed to have one. I was her bottle her nutrients and her pacifier all in one she needed nothing else! I don’t know if its because she seemed quite early with her stages but we got to 10 months and she was showing signs of walking real soon. The out and about feeds had become impossible, she was too wriggly and just way to distracted with everything going on around her. The only way she would nap is with a feed and she wouldn’t do this if there was something else to watch! This meant we were either housebound so she could have her feeds and naps or we payed the price when it came to bed time and she would feed EVERY hour through the night to make up for the lack of feeds during the day. This was when I knew I was ready, it wasn’t anything to do with the feeding aspect but I knew both of us would be happier and more rested and enjoying the summer if we wern’t restricted with feed times etc. To be honest she had cut down greatly at this point so it would have only meant really one feed during the day but, I knew if we were to wean it needed to be an all or nothing kind of thing.
My top tip from stopping is to literally do that. Stop. That way there is no confusion for little one on whether they are allowed to feed from you. Emelia didn’t get upset or try and feed from me once when we finished breastfeeding and it was so much less scary then I ever imagined it to be. We were both ready for definite. When she did want some milk she went from being fussy to actually taking it and because she wasn’t attached to my chest she was easily and freely able to look around and then nap! The feeds were more efficient because she wasn’t distracted and therefore she was fuller and happier. I will add that for about a month after I stopped I was still pumping to reduce the chances of getting mastitis so Emelia was still having some breastmilk. My supply gradually stopped by 11 months and I moved her onto formula because I could barely get an oz through pumping but, would you believe I still got mastitis! which you will know if you’ve had it is no fun and games. So that was it really!
Obviously every little one is different and I do feel as though Emelia took it really well but on speaking to plenty of other breastfeeding mums I have heard no horror stories from them finishing. Perseverance is key and if your strong about it, it will likely go well. The prospect is always so scary, and I know that certain times before when I considered finishing breastfeeding I felt sad as to opposed to determined and ready so you will 100% know when the time is right.