Are you going to stop breastfeeding? Here’s what to expect

Are you going to stop breastfeeding? Here’s what to expect
September 04 10:15 2016

Breastfeeding creates a bond between the mother and the child that no other things are likely to produce.

The health benefits of the milk along with intimate relationship it creates makes breastfeeding something to look forward.

However, as the child grows and changes, so his habits.

A newborn baby feeds on breast milk for six months. After that, the child is more likely to stop since they can get nutrition from food.

This period is often difficult to both the mother and the child.

Here are five things you are likely to feel after stopping breastfeeding your baby.

Mood Swings

You are likely to feel sad and unhappy after stopping breastfeeding. Feeding your child is not just about food. It also creates a closeness and a bond between the mother and the baby. It is not unusual to feel even anxiety.

You feel these because of a series of hormonal changes.

Breastfeeding increases the production of a hormone that makes you calm and feel loved. That is why when you stop feeding the baby, you feel you are losing something, and you will constantly have an urge to feed them again. It is normal and happens with most mothers.

Usually these mood swings last 3-4 weeks. However, if it continues more than that, consult a doctor.

Menstruation

It is a common medical incident that some women do not menstruate while they are breastfeeding their baby. If you happen to be one of them, it is likely that your menstruation will resume once you stop nursing your child. It might not happen immediately, but it will within few weeks.

A common misconception is that you cannot conceive while you are breastfeeding your kid since many women do not menstruate. Just to explain this myth, it is not true. So, if you happen to be someone who is planning to conceive during this period, you can definitely go for it.

Breast Milk

You might happen to see that your body is still producing milk. Sometimes, milk might even start leaking from your breasts. Don’t panic young mothers.

Your bodies do not adjust all of a sudden when you stop feeding your baby. So the glands responsible for the production of milk still produces the milk.

That is when the existing milk in the breasts are not taken out; they start leaking since the milk start overflowing due to the increase production and reduction in expenditure.

Give your body a little time to adapt and you will see that eventually, it stops producing milk.

It is hard to give an exact time frame within which the body adapts since every mother has different biological conditions.

Breast size

You might notice that the size of your breasts returns to normal. In fact, they will look like they are getting saggy.

Fret not, these changes occurs due to the adaption mechanism of the body.

The cells of your breasts start shrinking, and the milk production reduces. This leads to decrease in the size of the breast, or you might say they return to the pre-pregnancy size.

Blockage

When you stop feeding your child, the demand for the milk decreases but the glands keep producing them. This over production sometimes leads to blockage of ducts.

In such cases, remove little milk from the breast regularly. Doing so you will reduce the risk of developing mastitis since removing milk regularly will be not lead to blocked ducts.

 

What to do?

To make this journey less painful, make sure you follow the steps listed below.

Make this a gradual process rather than an event. These means do not stop feeding your baby all of a sudden or as soon as six months passes. This might be painful for both you and your child. Rather stop it gradually. Day by day decrease the time on feeding. The next thing you know you will stop breastfeeding without going on all the emotional rollercoaster.

You can feed your child some baby food after feeding him milk. This way they can gradually reduce the consumption of breast milk and at the same time get accustomed to food.

Signs to stop breastfeeding

A rule of thumb is you should start feeding your child food as soon as he or she turns six months old.

You might also notice that as the child is getting older, he or she shows less interest in breast milk. This is another sign that you can start feeding your baby foods.

The color your child’s poop will change as soon as he or she start eating food.

 

Closing Thoughts

The reason this article was written to let the mothers know what lies ahead of them and what they are feeling is entirely normal. Even if this does not make their journey easier, it sure will make it less daunting.

It is not that you ought to stop breastfeeding your child. You can continue feeding them if there isn’t a problem from either side. In fact, mother’s milk have big benefits for their babies. Along with all the medicinal properties, it also helps the baby to digest food. So, if your child has a difficult time digesting food, you can consider feeding them breastmilk till they get habituated to the food.

To mothers, it might seem like a beautiful journey is over, and it is indeed true. However, the end of one journey is a sign of the beginning of another one. One thing is for sure this journey will be the most beautiful journey of your life and the relationship you are going to cultivate with your child in this period will last a lifetime.

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