How to Stop Breastfeeding

Stopping breastfeeding can be a challenging decision to make and is usually full of mixed emotions about why you’re planning to stop. I want to start this video by saying that if you want to stop then that’s A-okay! Just make sure you’re making the decision and that no one is pressuring you to stop feeding. You don’t need to stop before you’re ready to.

Now, if you do choose to stop breastfeeding, the key thing we need to understand is the typical feeding pattern - as in, when does your baby typically want to feed everyday? Once you’ve got that sorted then you need to make a plan. Your baby may still need milk and so you may be planning on replacing breastmilk with expressed milk to feed by bottle or formula. So decide on which it’s going to be, and inform those who are going to support you with feeding. If you’re planning on expressing milk to feed by bottle, you will need to factor in the time to do this as well.

I’d start with dropping one feed first. This is so your body isn’t put under too much pressure and your overall milk supply isn’t affected too quickly. This will mean you’re less likely to develop engorgement or potential mastitis.

So pick one feed and replace it with a bottle. While your baby is being fed by someone else, take the time to hand express a little so your breasts have a little milk taken out and don’t become overwhelmed.

Do this for one feed everyday, and reduce the time you hand express for each time. Over a few days, your body will slowly start to get the message that milk isn’t needed for that feed anymore and so it won’t produce milk at that time.

Continue with this method until you have replaced all feeds with bottles OR if your baby is old enough and on solids, that they have enough chances throughout the day to stay hydrated.

At butterbean, we want to be your sounding board for all things infant feeding - never a source of judgement. This is a safe space to ask questions and figure out what you want! You can reach out at any time via our midwife-monitored text helpline, for on demand advice.

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How to Stop Breastfeeding

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Stopping breastfeeding can be a challenging decision to make and is usually full of mixed emotions about why you’re planning to stop. I want to start this video by saying that if you want to stop then that’s A-okay! Just make sure you’re making the decision and that no one is pressuring you to stop feeding. You don’t need to stop before you’re ready to.

Now, if you do choose to stop breastfeeding, the key thing we need to understand is the typical feeding pattern - as in, when does your baby typically want to feed everyday? Once you’ve got that sorted then you need to make a plan. Your baby may still need milk and so you may be planning on replacing breastmilk with expressed milk to feed by bottle or formula. So decide on which it’s going to be, and inform those who are going to support you with feeding. If you’re planning on expressing milk to feed by bottle, you will need to factor in the time to do this as well.

I’d start with dropping one feed first. This is so your body isn’t put under too much pressure and your overall milk supply isn’t affected too quickly. This will mean you’re less likely to develop engorgement or potential mastitis.

So pick one feed and replace it with a bottle. While your baby is being fed by someone else, take the time to hand express a little so your breasts have a little milk taken out and don’t become overwhelmed.

Do this for one feed everyday, and reduce the time you hand express for each time. Over a few days, your body will slowly start to get the message that milk isn’t needed for that feed anymore and so it won’t produce milk at that time.

Continue with this method until you have replaced all feeds with bottles OR if your baby is old enough and on solids, that they have enough chances throughout the day to stay hydrated.

At butterbean, we want to be your sounding board for all things infant feeding - never a source of judgement. This is a safe space to ask questions and figure out what you want! You can reach out at any time via our midwife-monitored text helpline, for on demand advice.