Stop breastfeeding without pain or depression (the exact blueprint)

Ahmed@breastfeedo.comStandard0 Comments

stop-breastfeeding without pain or depression

Why Stop breastfeeding (Weaning) may be accompanied with Pain & depression

  • Because you don’t have enough knowledge about the weaning process.
  • Natural breastfeeding stop should not be accompanied with pain or depression.

What should I do to properly stop breastfeeding with minimal complications 

  • The timing of weaning process is crucial.
  • It shouldn’t be before 1 year of baby’s age.

To wean definition


It is the teaching of breastfed baby to change the habit to feed otherwise than from the breast.

  • Thus it is the end of feeding on your breast to start a new way of feeding by gradual replacement.
  • Your baby has rights. One of this rights is to be breastfed baby. And for what time, see what experts say:

WHO recommends

  • Continue breastfeeding up to 2 years of child’s age

American Academy of Pediatrics policy

  • Maintain breastfeeding up to minimum 1 year of baby’s age
  • Exclusive breastfeeding:  giving no other food or drink – no water, formula, juice, solid foods – except breast milk for your breastfed baby during the first 6 months of baby’s age.

So, before stop breastfeeding, give your baby the chance of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding + minimum other 6 months of breast milk when solid food is introduced

Understanding Natural
-Mutual- Weaning process

The normal process is gradual & slow happening as follow :

1- Decreased amount of breast milk naturally

  • When solid food introduced at the 6th month of your baby’s age.
  • Food is considered as a replacement for breast milk for your baby. So, his need to extract milk from your breast diminished. Thus your supply of milk also decreased.

2- Your Lactation Hormones dropped down

  • Prolactin & oxytocin hormones are lactation hormones.
  • When breastfeeding ends , drop in your blood levels of these 2 hormones . That is combined with change in mood ( postpartum depression)
  • And this is why breastfeeding moms have least opportunities of postpartum depreesion ( due to elevated Prolactin levels)

Why Pain or Depression happened ?


  • Due to Sudden weaning ” Cold Turkey ” which accompanied  with :
  1. Sudden drop in Lactation Hormones leading to mood changes & depression – frustration
  2. Blocked duct of breast milk & breast engorgement . Where breast milk accumulated without extraction.
  3. Advanced stage of blocked duct is developing Mastitis or Breast abscess (infection)
  • Cold Turkey weaning should be limited to rare cases when immediate breastfeeding stop is needed ( Example: Infantile Galactosemia.) In that case, follow this tips:
  1. Extract milk: to remove pain and distension.
  2. Apply cold compresses ( gel pads) to your breasts. By doing that, you decrease the blood supply needed to stimulate milk production.
  3. Avoid warm compresses, hot bath, clothes friction.
  4. U may need to analgesics (paracetamol or ibuprofen ).
  • Don’t : Do much extraction ( pump or hand ) to avoid stimulation of milk production
  • Don’t : Bind your breasts tightly would worsen the case . It may result in more pain
  • Don’t : Limit your fluid intake . That will not reduce the milk supply
  • Don’t : Increase your salt intake which may lead to increase swelling & inflammation

How to stop breastfeeding ?
Weaning techniques


  • Put in your mind 2 Objectives:
  1.  Change the setting of your body.
  2.  Teach your breastfed baby new habits of feeding

Keep calm, stay away from nervousness zone. It simple, natural process

Gradual weaning ( The drop way)

  • HOW TO: Start to drop 1 breastfeeding session every 5-7 days time.
    After, you can think about losing another one.

Take into your consideration during gradual weaning:

  1. Babies respond differently:  so it’s a matter of going by sense.
  2. For a baby under 12 months: drop the feed your child is least interested in first. Leave the ( Nap time + 1st at morning ) ones the last to be cut as these are the most preferable to your infant.
  3. Be patient. As much milk, you produce, as long as it takes to dry up your breasts. It may take more than 1 month to accomplish that task.

Replace the dropped feeding

You (by weaning your baby ) break a survival habit of 1 year or more.  Be smart and introduce the suitable replacement for the dropped session.

If your baby between 6-8 months:   Give plenty of other drinks ( u may use baby formula in bottle or cup )

If baby younger than 1 year: Use Cow’s milk or Snack of his favorite food

Increase the gaps between the times you feed your baby


 Don’t offer   or   Don’t Refuse   


Wait to be asked from your sweet.  It is another approach is to adopt. Within reason, you comply, but actually, you don’t sit or lie down as you might once have done, and offer.

Use cold pads

Between feeds, if the breasts are feeling a bit full and sore. That would decrease the breast blood supply, which inhibits more swelling or inflammation.

Reduce express time

In the case of breast pumping: gradually reduce the expressing sessions. You may also reduce the power of suction if an electrical breast pump is used.

Use baby pacifier

To satisfy your baby’s sucking need. Don’t dip the pacifier in sugar or honey before baby use.

One breast only

To be introduced at each feed

Change the routine

Modify the position, place, go outside, the timing. All that factors may contribute to making your baby less interested in breastfeeding cession.

Keep the physical closeness

Remember : Your breast is not only for feeding . It is the source of comfort & calmness for your breastfed baby . Cuddling and playing plus skin to skin contact with your baby may be suitable replacement
Hand express for comfort only.


Apply Breast massage 


  • with the flat of the hand towards the nipple in a hot shower. To relief distension & stimulate the blood circulation which contain natural anti-inflammatory .
Not reasons ( but common) for stopping breastfeeding
  • Lack of Knowledge .

Improving support for information can help prepare mothers for extended breastfeeding. The online information is a good choice to armed with data & facts.

  • Back to work, study. Besides the lack of maternity leave.

In 2009, USA women (20-44 years ):
50 % of all mothers: with children younger than 12 months were employed
2/3 of those employed: worked full-time (35 or more hours per week).

Employed women have been less likely to initiate breastfeeding. Or they tend to breastfeed for a shorter length of time.

  • Sore Nipple or engorged breasts or breast infection

Bad latching is the cause in most cases. Learn more or hire a breastfeeding consultant to correct your latch.

  • Combining breast milk and formula

Especially before 6 months of age. That could diminish your baby’s need to the breast, where he gets his feeding needs from an easier way (bottle).

Note: Your breasts are bigger, thicker, heavier for your baby than a baby bottle.

  • Adding solid food

It is an add not a replacement for breastmilk.
Cow’s milk is downright hazardous for your baby under 1 year.

It is hard to be digested at this period. It may cause anemia due to intestinal blood loss from your child under 1 year.
Many babies get their first teeth between 6 and 9 months of age. That does not mean that you have to wean.

  • Not enough Milk (quantity) or quality issues
    ‘thin and watery’ or ‘wasn’t rich enough. Some nursing moms said about their breast milk. Mature human milk is naturally bluish and looks thin when compared to other milk types. Watch for your baby’s feeding cues and be sure to feed your baby as soon as he asks to be fed.
  • Community pressure ( Embarrassment ) 
    Perhaps from your family, friends or neighbors. This is when you need the moral support of other mothers of older breastfeeding babies
  • Social Norms
    Many people see breastfeeding as an alternative rather the routine way to feed infants.
  • Sick baby or Sick mother

Only in very rare cases, sickness is a real cause of weaning. But in 90% of cases, you can continue to breastfeed. Listen only to your physician, pediatrician or Lactation consultant.

  • Baby’s trouble with biting

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