Skip to main content

Weaning: Gradual & Partial

There are many considerations when deciding to wean your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year. If you choose to wean before one year, first make sure your baby tolerates other foods well. Next absolutely, positively, do not wean cold turkey. Before you wean, consider your alternatives such as pumping at work or partial weaning. Partial weaning works well when a baby is older than 4 months. Moms can choose to use formula during the day while at work and still nurse in the morning and at night. This only works after milk supply is well established which is why you should wait until at least 4 months of age before employing this method and always follow the same schedule seven days per week. You cannot put the baby to the breast in the middle of the day, if you have weaned that feeding. Whether you choose to partially wean of fully wean, drop one feeding every three to five days. For example, if you are nursing 8 times per day, drop one feeding in the middle of the day, substitute formula, and continue that schedule for at least three days. At the end of the three days, if your breast have no plugged ducts or pain, you can drop a second feeding. If you feel discomfort, wait until the 5th day to drop another feeding. You continue dropping on feeding every 3-5 days until all feeding are dropped. After the last feeding is stopped, you may need to nurse or pump one or both breast a final time within the next week to make yourself comfortable. One pumping or nursing in a 24 hour period will not increase your milk supply and helps to alleviate any discomfort. This method is slow, but pain free. Sudden weaning can lead to clogged milk ducts, breast infections and even breast abscess. Both you and baby will be happy with gradual weaning.

Don't be misled by advice that tell you to bind yourself.  If you need to expedite weaning, cold cabbage leaves in your bra replaced every hour can help, but make sure you listen to your body and if it is talking to you by means of pain, you are weaning too quickly and you will need to nurse or express milk if you are feeling lumps.  If you have chills, fever or flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away.

Best wishes for painless weaning,
Tanya

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Feeding Expressed Breast Milk: Fresh vs. Frozen

Many moms are automatically freezing their breast milk each time they pump and retrieving frozen milk from their stockpile to feed the baby.  While this is ok for the mom who gives an occasional bottle, working moms should be giving freshly expressed milk whenever possible. 

     Before we list these factors, let us be clear than breast milk, fresh or frozen is immeasurably better for your infant nutritionally than formula; but to use the best at it's very best, we are explaining the changes that happen to frozen breast milk. 

     1.  Levels of pH are effected by freezing which in turn effects lipase which aids in digestion.  Lipase levels vary from woman to woman, so if you notice a soapy smell or metallic taste to your frozen breast milk, it may be especially relevant to you to give freshly expressed breast milk.

     2.  Bactericidal capacity of stored refrigerated human milk is at it's greatest within the first 48 to 72 hours of refrigeration.  (By the way, this is…

Breastfeeding Pain Diagnosis: Yeast Infection and Thrush

I would love to tell you that breastfeeding is always easy, but unfortunately that is not always the case.  When you look up the word tenacious (te·na·cious) in the dictionary, I picture the nursing mother who has been tried by the challenges that sometimes come with breastfeeding.

Today, I am addressing a challenge that literally tries a mom by fire, yeast infections.  Yeast on nipples often exhibits itself as a burning sensation and sharp shooting pains in the breast even in-between feedings.   If you have pain only during the feeding, you need to address the latch.  Yeast naturally occurs in our bodies, but the overgrowth of yeast often as a result of oral or IV antibiotics can be a real challenge.  The good news is that it is fairly easy to diagnose and curing the overgrowth is manageable, especially if you know how to avoid a recurring incidence.

Lets start with the diagnosis.  As I said, the mother with yeast will normally have burning sensation on her nipples and sharp shooting…

Why Fenugreek Isn't Working for Breastfeeding

The truth is fenugreek is a great tool to boost milk supply in most moms.  However, in the two decades that I have been helping nursing moms, I get this comment a lot, "Fenugreek didn't work for me."  How can it be that an herb with such great success stories doesn't work for a large number of mothers.  In most cases, the answer is in the quality, dosage or delivery method.

     Many moms buy Fenugreek at a local health food or grocery store in brands that are not stored or bottled in the best way to keep them at full potency.  Also, shelf life factors into this so buying from a store that doesn't cater to the largest market for Fenugreek, nursing mothers, will not have the best turn-around.  It is always a good practice to check the expiration date on any herb before using.  Fenugreek capsules work best when taken in a quality brand like Nature's Herbs or Nature's Way Fenugreek and in the appropriate dosage or combination.   The correct dosage is es…