Breastfeeding your newborn baby is the best and there is no doubt about that.Breastfeeding lets you develop a strong bond with your baby and we all know about the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the child.
As with all good things,breastfeeding has to end at some point in time. This is what is known as weaning. It is important to understand the signs that tell you that it is time that you stop to breastfeed your baby.
Your child is a year old
Most babies will not self-wean. If your child starts to wean before that then this is what is known as a nursing strike. This could happen because your child is under stress. Your child may be ill, teething or because of some change in routine, she may not be nursing often. However, if your child is older than a year then this could be a signal that your child is wanting to wean.
The nursing sessions are lesser
Eventually, some children will lessen their nursing sessions. This may be gradual where the length and frequency of nursing may start to decrease. Other signals that indicate that your baby is ready to wean could be when she starts to drink from a cup and is getting most of her nutrition through solids. If your child refuses to breastfeed for more than two weeks then this is a clear indication that you should wean off your child.
If the mother does not want to continue
If you as a mother feel that you have had enough of breastfeeding your baby then too it is a good sign to wean off your baby. Children may continue to breastfeed for many years and this is when the mother may take the first step to wean off her baby. If you feel resentful and you are breastfeeding your baby only because you know that you should do it, and you are not enjoying breastfeeding then this will not do any good for the both of you. It is the time that you wean your child.
Your doctor may suggest that you wean your baby in some situations. It could also be that some medications that you need to take or some surgery that you have to undergo is not compatible with breastfeeding. This could be some treatment like mastectomy or chemotherapy. In these cases, the mother will have to wean her baby because she has to prioritize her health. In such cases,meet a lactation consultant who can help with the right techniques to wean the baby.
When you decide to stop to breastfeed your baby, then it is important that you do it gradually.If you stop breastfeeding your baby all of a sudden then this could cause breast engorgement, mastitis, and your ducts to be blocked. It will also affect your baby and disrupt her digestive system. Her immune system will not be able to cope with the sudden change. It maybe emotionally difficult for both of you.