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Stopping Breastfeeding At 12 Months

Stopping breastfeeding at 12 months is an important subject and we will cover it in details in this article. Weaning begins when babies get food other than breastmilk. It ends when they no longer get any breastmilk. You could decide to stop breastfeeding when or before your baby reaches 6 or 12 months. For example, you could find that you begin thinking about weaning when you are preparing  to return to work. Your baby could even begin weaning before you are ready, but this is less common. If you begin the transition and it doesn’t go smoothly, you might take a break and try again later. You could do this if your toddler is ill and they really need the comfort of breastfeeding.

stopping breastfeeding at 12 months

how to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula?

Stopping breastfeeding at 12 months may sometimes be an emotional period for you and your toddler, it may help to cut down breastfeeds slowly over time. When you are stopping breastfeeding, it’s recommended to take it gradually. This way your baby may get used to the switch in routine and diet, and your body may get used to not making milk. If the decision to wean is yours rather than your baby’s, you could need to provide some extra comfort as you and your baby make the transition to bottle– feeding or drinking from a cup. A lot of cuddles and time with you may help your baby feel protected and loved without depending on the breast. You may wean baby to a cup or a bottle. That decision depends on your baby’s age. By 7-8 months, babies may learn to drink straight from a cup.

The age of your baby also ascertains whether to replace breastfeeds with infant formula or cow’s milk. Babies younger than 12 months must not be offered cow’s milk, so they need to be weaned onto formula. When you begin the weaning operation, the first step is to replace the breastfeed your baby appears least enthusiastic on with expressed breastmilk, infant formula or cow’s milk, from a cup or bottle. Omit one breastfeed at a time, and wait a few days or a week before you drop the next one. Toddlers frequently savor a cup of milk and a snack as an alternative to a breastfeed. It’s essential to provide an alternate milk rather than simply replace a breastfeed with a snack. This will help prevent dehydration and aid digestion. 

As well as satisfying nutritional requirements, breastfeeding is one way of providing your toddler emotional support and comfort .If you are slowly cutting down breastfeeding or stopping breastfeeding, it could help to give your baby additional cuddles and comfort. They will appreciate it if you may spend some additional time playing together, chatting to them or sitting reading with them.

After we answered the question: how to wean off breastfeeding at 12 months? now let us move to discuss about  Effects of stopping breastfeeding on baby.

Effects of stopping breastfeeding on baby

You can be able to distract your toddler with an offer of an exciting activity like a trip to the park instead of a breastfeed. This method may help cut down breastfeeding gently and lead to your child stopping breastfeeding slowly over time . All you need to do is no longer actively provide breastfeeds. Don’t decline it if your baby asks for a breastfeed but, at the same time, simply stop providing them breastfeeds like you could have previously. As your toddler gets older, more energetic and involved in activities, you could notice they naturally stop asking as often. This method can lead to you gently and slowly stopping breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding side effects for mom

If you stop breastfeeding quickly, your breasts could fill with milk (engorge) and become very uncomfortable. To prevent engorged breasts, you could need to express your milk sometimes. Express just enough for comfort. If you express too much, it won’t reduce your milk supply and weaning may take longer. Many mums must change from one feed a day to one feed every few days to avoid engorged breasts, before stopping breastfeeding altogether. Watch out for lumpy breasts. After your baby has stopped breastfeeding, you could get lumpy breasts for 5-10 days. A sore lump could indicate a blocked duct or the beginnings of mastitis. If this occurs, try massaging the lumps or expressing a small amount of milk. This could reduce the lumpiness. If any lump is painful and hasn’t gone away after 24 hours, or you begin feeling flu-like symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Breastfeeding and getting pregnant

Breastfeeding presents  some protection from getting pregnant, especially if:

  • you’ve been exclusively breastfeeding
  • your periods haven’t started again
  • your baby is less than six months old and doesn’t sleep for long time between feeds.

When you begin to wean your baby, breastfeeding could not protect from getting pregnant, so it’s a great idea to use other forms of contraception. If you are thinking about oral contraception – either the combined pill or the minipill – there are few things to bear in mind:

It’s safe for most breastfeeding mothers to begin the combined pill (oestrogen and progesterone) if their baby is at least six weeks old. Many women find that the combined pill helps to reduce their supply of breastmilk.

You have to take greater care with the minipill if it’s your only contraception in addition to breastfeeding. For example, you have to take it within three hours of the same time every day. The pill is prescription medicine, so you’ll need to see your obstetrician to get it. Your doctor will explain to you how to use it properly so you’re protected from getting pregnant.

Stopping breastfeeding conclusion

Stopping breastfeeding suddenly is not a good way, it’s better to go gradually if you can, and changing your child’s routine slowly. It’s also quite general to feel a bit down after your final feed, even if you were looking forward to weaning. Your hormones could take some time to return to normal. Many women start ovulating as soon as they reduce night feeds or start to wean, while for others the return of ovulation and menstruation takes several months.