The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that you breastfeed your baby for the first 2 years. When the time comes to stop breastfeeding, it is advisable that you try and do it as naturally as possible without having to resort to medicinal aid unless completely necessary.
Here are some tips that may help
- Start the entire weaning process in a gradual, slow manner. Any abrupt cessation of breastfeeding will confuse the body. Your body has prepared itself to meet your baby’s nutritional needs based on how much milk your baby has been requiring. Your body has not been prepared to stop producing milk at a quick rate. It needs time to realize that the milk is no longer needed. If you abruptly stop nursing, your body is less likely to be able to handle the transition smoothly, and you are more likely to experience painful side effects as a result.
- Massage the breasts immediately after you begin the weaning efforts. Massage can help prevent the milk ducts from becoming plugged up. Massage as often as possible and always use gentle, circular motions.
- Drink lots of water. If you become dehydrated, you will actually start producing more milk, and your discomfort will increase.
- Take a cup of sage tea every 3 hours. You can get sage tea in health foods stores or you can get the spice, steep in boiling water, add some honey and drink.
- Watch for the development of any lumps or sore red areas in the breasts. If this occurs, it probably signifies that a plugged milk duct is present. Begin paying extra attention to the area and increase massage time to it. The point is to break the plug up with the massage. Warm showers can be beneficial in helping the massage work more effectively.
- Apply warm compresses to the breasts if they become tender. Cold compresses, generally used when engorgement has occurred, can be beneficial for some women. Determine which offers you more comfort and incorporate your choice into a routine as necessary.
- Avoid nipple stimulation, as this will trigger milk production. Wear a supportive, but a not-too-tight bra. Begin wearing a good fitting bra, even during sleep. Too small or too large of a bra will defeat the purpose. Avoid bras that contain underwires. Another trick is to bind your breast a bit with a khanga or leso at night.
- You can have over the counter Ibuprofen as a pain reducer if the pain becomes too great to bear.
- Place some large cabbage leaves into the cup of your bra. This has been used for centuries to help hasten the drying-up process of breast milk.
- Do not pump the breasts until they are empty when you are decreasing your feeding sessions. Doing so will trigger the body to replenish the milk. Instead, drain a little bit of milk from the breast to prevent the breast from becoming engorged. Do this as often as needed if the breasts become too full. A warm shower can assist with allowing the milk to leak out a bit.
- Try to keep in mind that your baby may be having some difficulty adjusting to the change. Not only did she lose her mother’s breasts, but she also lost her comfort time with her mom.
- Use distraction methods to prevent your baby from craving your breasts. Distraction can be accomplished easily and in many different ways. Anything that averts your baby’s attention from the breast is a successful distraction tactic. Find alternative ways to comfort and reassure your baby that do not involve the breast.