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To stop breastfeeding cold turkey

(41 Posts)
gingertessa Fri 05-Apr-13 19:09:32

My DD is 6 months old and I've just gone back to work; I will be full time but am currently using annual leave to do a phased return. My plan was to switch her to bottles of formula in the day whilst she's at nursery, then bf morning and night. But after taking bottles of ebm with no issue for months, she suddenly became a complete bottle refuser. My DP tried and nursery staff have tried, but at best she'll take an ounce from the bottle; I think she's just waiting for me at the end of the day. The good news is that she's taken to solids really quickly and now eats three meals a day with sips of water from a cup. Meanwhile, I'm having to express at work for comfort, a situation I really don't want to be in as its inconvenient, and I've got a course coming up in May when I'll be away from DD for two nights. Also she's up several times a night still for feeds and the tiredness is crippling at work, if I wasn't bf at least DP could help with the night feeds.

I think it's time to stop breastfeeding, and the only way that seems open to me is to leave her with her Dad for a night and go cold turkey, seeing as trying to phase out gradually did not work. Logically I'm ready to stop but emotionally I'm finding it really tough, and it feels so cruel to stop abruptly. So tell me, AIBU to do this?

b4bunnies Fri 05-Apr-13 19:14:49

think about it from your baby's point of view. really think. that should sort out why you say it 'feels cruel'.

as well as the above, be wary of mastitis. it can make you quite ill.

eltsihT Fri 05-Apr-13 19:15:50

The time to stop breast feeding is when it feels right for you, from your post I would say you seem like you have made the decision to stop.

I went back to work when my son was 4 months, didn't express. fed morning and nights only till ds was 8 months and then stopped, that was what felt right for me. Good luck!

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:16:26

b4bunnies. Don't guilt trip and scare the shit out of the OP!

b4bunnies Fri 05-Apr-13 19:18:35

shelly32. i don't need to 'guilt trip' her, she already knows why she shouldn't do it. and scare her? no. just not leave her in ignorance about a potential consequence of abrupt termination of breastfeeding.

shelly32. don't tell me what to do.

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:18:44

Your child will probably miss the closeness of breastfeeding but then you have to cut off at some point unles you want a 25 yr old screaming for 'Bitty!'. Can you interperse bottle /breast gradually?

eltsihT Fri 05-Apr-13 19:19:22

Should have said I also found it tough emotionally when I did stop feeding but looking back (son is about to turn 2) it was the right decision and have no regrets now

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:20:59

b4bunnies Honestly, I wasn't telling you what to do but this lady is asking for advice not scaremongering. Due to having prem babies, I breastfed for a few days until my milk dried up. I didn't suffer mastitis due to teh abrupt stop and my babies haven't suffered as a result of my inadvertant 'cruelty'.

monkeysbignuts Fri 05-Apr-13 19:22:13

Please don't go cold turkey. I done it because I was very poorly with pnd and I needed to start prozac (not compatible with breastfeeding)
Anyway I got mastitis and was miserable for 3 weeks sad
You obviously need to stop but I would really recommend doing it over 2 or 3 weeks. Good luck

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 05-Apr-13 19:22:30

I imagine it will feel hard. Doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do. You are trying to balance her and your needs. It won't be the last time either.

SofaKing Fri 05-Apr-13 19:23:04

I would not advise stopping cold turkey as I've had mastitis and its awful. Also the best treatment for it is to feed lots so you could end up no further forward.

Try speaking to a breastfeeding counsellor, they are trained to help with stopping feeding as well and should have helpful advice.

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:24:36

Jamieandthemagictorch Isn't that the truth!

OHforDUCKScake Fri 05-Apr-13 19:26:04

"Unless you want a 25 yo screaming 'Bitty,"

Way to make yourself sound like a right prick shelly

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 05-Apr-13 19:26:33

Yup, and guilt tripping is spectacularly unhelpful.

Shelly32 Fri 05-Apr-13 19:28:45

I was just being facetious and trying to inject a little (obviously ill placed) humour into the thread. I didn't mean to offend B4bunnies or anyone else. I think 'prick' is a little over the top. Past wine o clock for you love?

MissSG Fri 05-Apr-13 19:32:51

If you feel like the time is right to benefit you and your DD then that is a decision you need to make for yourself. There is no need to feel guilty or think that you are doing wrong by stopping.

If you do stop though I would express at least once a day just to prevent developing mastitis and then gradually cut down on the amount of milk you express.

FierceBadIggi Fri 05-Apr-13 19:40:13

Can she take milk from a cup rather than bottle?
You should stop if that's what you want to do. I do wonder if the plan to leave for a night would really work - wouldn't she just wait till you're back and demand it again? Bf is very adaptable, I would not expect you to need to continue to express at work for long. I have done full feeds (ie lots a day) moving to morning and evening, and then evenings alone (before self-weaning at 2, not 25 thank god!). But I can't advise you on the best process if you want to keep the bf going, however folk on the breast/bottle feeding threads could. Aibu won't get you the most thorough advice on such a topic.
I do think it is quite hard on a baby to get used to full-time nursery AND no more bm all at the same time.

ConcreteElephant Fri 05-Apr-13 19:44:37

Putting aside my mental image of someone breastfeeding cold turkey I would say this...

Many congratulations on reaching six months, it's often hard work and you should feel no shame in now wanting to stop.

I wouldn't go cold turkey though, your supply is well established and it's not a good idea due to risk of mastitis. You'll get some great advice on how to stop, deal with a bottle refuser (at six months perhaps try a cup instead?) on the bottle and breastfeeding topic under Feed the world. Sorry I can't link, am currently feeding DS as it happens ;)

Best of luck easing over to other ways of feeding. You do need to keep getting fair amounts of milk into DD at this age, regardless of her solids intake and it would be good to seek professional advice if the methods suggested by the wise folk on bottle and breastfeeding don't work.

CreatureRetorts Fri 05-Apr-13 19:44:41

No I wouldn't. Night feeds are hard when you're working. No bf doesn't meant she won't wake sadly! She might wake because you is what she wants not boob.

I'd feed morning and bedtime plus one might feed. It's an adjustment for her and you with you not being there do that could've a compromise.

I'd also ask on the feeding boards not in AIBU

ConcreteElephant Fri 05-Apr-13 19:48:51

fiercebadiggi a much faster typist than me apparently smile

gingertessa Fri 05-Apr-13 19:53:41

Thank you for all the useful advice so far, if I do carry on feeding her morning and night how will we both cope with two nights apart in May? This can't be avoided unfortunately.

CheshireDing Fri 05-Apr-13 19:55:42

As everyone else says cold turkey and leaving her with DH will probably only result in a screaming baby and a stressed out DH.

If you are going to stop then you need to gradually do it over a good couple of weeks but as someone else said that won't make her sleep through the night. She is still very young with a little tummy so it will fill up quickly/be empty quickly (hence she will wake up).

CheshireDing Fri 05-Apr-13 19:56:54

Can DH and baby come and stay at the hotel with you in May (and they do their own thing in the daytime)?

RevoltingPeasant Fri 05-Apr-13 20:00:03

OP I don't have DC yet so no experience, but a friend at work just went through exactly this. She also felt her baby was 'waiting for her' and worried about her getting dehydrated etc. Anyhow, she just did it gradually over 2 weeks as more experienced people on here have said, and her DD settled into and is now fine with bottles.

Good luck smile

elvislives2012 Fri 05-Apr-13 20:05:58

OP please don't stop suddenly, it can cause all sorts of problems. Mastitis being one of them. I think you need to guide the baby into taking less feeds. Have you tried one if the helplines? The NCT one is 03003300771 and they're open 7 days a week. They'll be able to advise and you don't need to be a member.
Good luck. Remember it's up to you when you stop as only you know what you're comfortable with. Good luck grin

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