to stop breastfeeding cold turkey?(28 Posts)
DS is 10 months old and ebf. He's a big baby and feeds a lot more than websites say is average and now, with 5 teeth, is very strong, wriggly and bitey.
I'm sitting here with sudocrem on one hideously painful bitten red swollen nipped while he feeds from the other which is also red and sore.
I want to stop. I feel trapped and worn down by breastfeeding. Any romantic notions I had about it have disappeared. I've done well to get this far and surely he won't suffer from stopping now?
I fed DD till she self weaned at two and just cannot face going that long again this time.
AIBU to want to stop? I feel like just stopping and wearing a polo neck and offering him a cup of milk every time he wants a drink. Is that cruel? He eats 3 meals a day and loves food.
I suspect I'd crack as soon as he cried though.
Can anyone tell me how they successfully stopped breastfeeding?
Don't go cold turkey. You'll end up in all sorts of pain. Suggest you post in the infant feeding section as there are loads of experts there.
I read the thread title and thought, how do you breastfeed a turkey??
Yanbu to stop being but Yabu to stop cold turkey as you'll end up in pain.
I think you'll need to cut down gradually if you can, just speaking from personal experience but I'd have ended up engorged and sore if I just suddenly stopped. Try cutting out one feed tomorrow, two the next day and so on to give you both a chance to adjust maybe? Try the infant feeding board here too
You would leave yourself vulnerable to plugged ducts, mastitis etc. I cut mine down gradually, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Have you night weaned him? That would be the place to start imo. Then after that you could cut out daytime feeds slowly. I started by feeding at snack times (morning, mid morning, mid afternoon and bedtime, dropping one at a time and replacing with solid snacks - until I was just feeding morning and evening. I kept that up for months, eventually dropping morning and just feeding at bedtime. I never got engorged and baby (toddler) was never distressed. You might feel happier if you're moving towards stopping and you might find a level you're happy to continue for a while, or you might want to stop. You can do it at your pace over several weeks or sveral months.
I also think baby is old enough for you to say no and stop a feed if he bites. He will soon understand that biting leads to no more boob. Has feeding always been painful apart from biting? I wonder whether some help getting him to latch properly might be useful, in which case is there a breastfeeding support group near you?
You're right to recognise that you've done brilliantly to get this far, you've given him the best start and fed longer than most. Any more you can give him is great but stopping now does not mean failure - you have done brilliantly.
I went cold turkey sort of in similar circumstances at same age. I put him on bottles/sippy cup. I expressed a small amount around time of each feed for about a week
I did cold turkey, and it hurt to buggery. I wouldn't recommend it.
With DD2 I got very sick with tonsillitis and P took DC to his mums for a few days while I rested/recovered and that was the end of that. She was 20 months though.
Sorry not helpful.
I need to drop a feed. He cosleeps which means he feeds a few times through the night. We're moving him to his room and cot this week so hopefully I can be tougher.
He had a weird latch (shallow, he only takes my actual nipped and not any of the areola). I think this leads to him grazing me very easily.
I just want my body back. A social life would be nice too.
I did cold turkey, had no engorgement, and no problems, everyday when I had a shower I just held a facecloth on them and gave them a little massage, nothing exciting, was fine within a few days/week.
Looking at other people maybe I was lucky!!
10 months with a nipple latch? You're a braver lady than I am! OUCH!
When he bites does he bite and let go or does he clamp down? DS went through a biting stage around this age, he would unlatch, grin at me and then bite down and not let go. It hurt like a fucker! I would pull him right into my breast so he had to let go to breathe, then as soon as he did I'd say firmly "no biting" and end the feed.
If you're going to stop then definitely stop gradually, you don't want to make yourself ill with mastitis or a blocked duct. Day time feeds are the easiest to drop first because you can use distractions. Pick a feed that doesn't coincide with a nap. When he 'tells' you he wants a feed offer him a snack and a drink instead, if he's like DS he'll refuse it the first few times but stick with it, get out some toys or go for a walk in the pushchair, distract him. Then give the next feed as normal. After a couple of days (leave roughly 2-3 days between each dropped feed), drop another feed using the same method and so on until you've either stopped completely or have the feeding down to a more manageable level.
If you do want to stop 100% cold turkey you will need a breast pump or will need to hand express. You still drop a feed every few days but for the other feeds you express instead of feeding the baby.
If you go cold turkey you could use a pump to reduce your supply gradually.
I stopped cold turkey with a much younger baby and 2.5 years later I still wince at the pain I went through when I recall it. In fact just reading the thread title made me wince. Cut down gradually if you can.
I wouldn't recommend going cold turkey because that will be very hard on both of you. Every now and then I felt the same, like I couldn't face another feed, once one feed was dropped though, it took the pressure off and I felt happy to continue for a while. Try dropping some feeds and see if you feel better. It's really tough to have a breast obsessed baby, especially a bitey and wriggly one.
At this age, I introduced a dummy for nights for the exact same reason. And that teamed with shed loads of lasinoh and some paraffin gauze meant we managed to continue. However if you decide to stop, I agree with the others that slowly would be better for you. Try swapping out some feeds for appropriate formula, and if you start feeling engorged at any point a little manual expression and some warm flannels will help. Just take it easy on yourself!
I went cold turkey at a similar age with my first.
It hurt.. I mean was utter utter agony for days.
I really would drop a feed at a time but if you're adamant then I would say express when you're engorged and again until it gets longer between engorgements. Just give him the milk you express.
It sounds very much like his poor latch could be the root of your problems. Well done for persevering for so long through that. I'd get yourself to a breastfeeding group where a peer supporter can try to help you get him to latch better. Also, wonder if tongue tie could be causing the latch problems? Even if you want to stop, it can be made more comfortable while you do so. How's his weight gain? Poor latch could account for his frequent feeding as it can affect milk transfer.
Google the 'flipple' technique or exaggerated positioning (watch you tube videos), see if that helps him latch on better?
Ps. A friend of mine who night weaned whilst coskeeping used the 'pantley pull off' method successfully. Perhaps day weaning first would work better for you otherwise youi lose a lot of sleep as well. I can't imagine a ten month old sleepy baby being happy not to feed when he's right next to your boobs! The only way i know how to night wean is to get dh to go and settle them - and when they're not too distressed by that I consider them ready!
I also went cold turkey (at 7 months). I had a bottle refuser and one day managed to get her take a bottle, so I stopped breastfeeding there and then as I was irrationally terrified she wouldn't do another bottle if I offered boob again. (Obviously I was mad. But tired and sick of breastfeeding!)
Anyway yes it was agony... Got a blocked duct which was awful. Lumpy hard breasts, leaking everywhere, feeling like shit for about a week. Expressing a bit off didn't help.
Second baby also refused bottles. When I got him to take one about the same age I was a bit more sensible and cut one feed out every 2-3 days. Easy as anything.
Today he had a feed as he woke up at 8am then had breakfast.
I haven't fed him at all since then till now as he's very tired and is feeding to sleep in my arms.
After he wakes from his nap should I leave it to bedtime to feed him again?
I usually give him a waking up feed and then probably two more feeds before bedtime.
If you're cutting down I'd go the "don't offer but don't refuse route".
But not cold turkey. I went away for a few days when DC number 4 was 18 months and feeding only a few times a day and eating loads. I planned to use it as a weaning period as well and didn't think I'd be too engorged as he wasn't feeding that much. It was hellishly painful and by the end of night two I was in the shower hand expressly and unblocking the blocked ducts. As soon as I saw him again he asked for a feed and the relief was indescribable. Funny too, because he was quite milk drunk.
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