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How to Wean Your Baby from the Breast and Prevent Mastitis

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
How to Wean Your Baby from the Breast and Prevent Mastitis

I get asked most weeks about how to wean from the breast safely and not get mastitis. So, of course, a blog was born!

You may want or need to wean for many reasons and yes, of course, it's good to breastfeed for as long as is possible but it's not always possible.

Going back to work, illness/surgery that requires medication toxic to babies and you may have a baby that decides to self-wean are all reasons for knowing how to stop breastfeeding safely.

breast feeding

It's really important that you reduce breastfeeds slowly especially if you've been breastfeeding for a long time. Sudden cessation of breastfeeding can lead to mastitis.–mum/mastitis

    • Cut out one breastfeed every 3-4 days and don't cut out a back to back feed. Try and cut out alternate breastfeeds so for example if you feed at 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 6pm you'd stop the 12pm feed first and then the 6pm in the next 3-4 days.
    • At the feed you're stopping make sure your bra is supportive and may need the straps tightening, and take paracetamol for comfort.
    • If they get very painful take off enough for comfort but not the whole feed. And continue till you're down to either fully weaned or as many feeds as you want/need to do.

If you can leave it till baby is ready for solid food, i.e. 4-6 months old it becomes easier once food is introduced, especially at 6 months. Once your baby is on solids, they naturally reduce their food intake on their own.

Also, it's easier to go straight from the breast to a sippy cup so avoiding the bottle altogether. So leaving it till 6 months can have lots of benefits!

If baby is under 12 months their main milk drink still needs to be either breast milk or formula. After 12 months your baby can have full cream cows milk as the main drink and they need to have 500mls a day or 3 servings of dairy.

I worked with a mum who need to wean because of IVF and you can read her story here.

Feel you need support on your weaning journey?

Tap into my 3 decades of experience as a registered midwife and child and family health nurse via my Nurture Sleep Program.

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? FOODS that promote baby sleep
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