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Desperate to stop breastfeeding 1yo - 'gentle' weaning didn't work. How bad is it to stop cold turkey?

(8 Posts)
Mepmep Sun 04-Jan-15 14:36:26

I just can't face breastfeeding anymore and it's interfering with everything: sleep, naps, mealtimes and my relationship with my son because BF makes me feel really resentful.

He's 13 months now, and in the last two months has started to demand BF more and more often.

I am desperate to stop as I hated breastfeeding from day one, and only stuck with it in the early days as DS would not take a bottle. At 8 months, he happily took formula from a cup so I gradually, and successfully, dropped all feeds apart from the morning and evening ones, by ten months.

I was about to stop completely but then, he had an ear infection and a cold in quick succession, after which he began wanting to BF all day sometimes several times an hour. He hardly eats any solids now because he bfs all day. He's had a major sleep regression since he increased his bfing in the last two months.

I tried the don't offer, don't refuse method for daytime but it's hopeless as my ds just keeps grabbing at my top until he has a tantrum.

I'm going away for work for a few days in about a month. How bad will it be to just stop cold turkey?

Websites like LLL and Kellymom have really freaked me out about this. However, I have no intention of breastfeeding till my son 'self weans' as I will just lose the plot if I have to bf any longer.

clabsyqueen Mon 05-Jan-15 19:09:37

Hi mepmep, tonight is the night for my 16 month old to go cold turkey and I'm on the hunt for advice too. I am going cold turkey with her because both nipples are weeping puss after a 2 Christmas break of feeding every 30 minutes due to her illness. I just can't do it anymore. It's so painful today. I'll hold your hand if you like and as you've mentioned it I won't be reading about this on the web.

leedy Tue 06-Jan-15 14:17:52

Regardless of the practicalities, the main risk for you of stopping cold turkey if he's feeding a lot is mastitis, which you really, really do not want (I've had it due to oversupply in the early days with DS1 and it was hideous - awful fever, painful breast, needed strong antibiotics, etc.) - I don't think it's just websites trying to freak you out, it can be very nasty. Even if you stop feeding you'll almost certainly need to keep expressing for a while to slowly reduce milk production.

leedy Tue 06-Jan-15 14:21:22

Coming up to your trip, do you think there any way you could (via distraction, being out of the house all day, basically by any means necessary, etc. etc.) get feeds back down to just morning and evening again? Then it would be a lot easier on both of you to drop those, IYKWIM.

I'm sorry I'm not being very helpful as DS1 did basically self wean (DS2 still feeding) so was fortunately never in the position of needing to push it much.

TipTapWentTheCrab Fri 09-Jan-15 23:10:57

Lots and lots of sympathy for you on feeling shackled by breastfeeding! However, I would second that for your own sake you really don't want mastitis. When you go away, take a breast pump to relieve the fullness.

I stopped bfing DD on my timetable not hers, but not till she was 2, so my technique might not work for you. However, what I did was replace bf's with cow's milk and television (hope that doesn't make me a bad mother!). As leedy says, not being around is also worth a try.

toffeeboffin Sat 10-Jan-15 02:32:40

I stopped cold turkey as I had mastitis, breast thrush and terrible cracked nipples. After the horrid pain or all these three, it wasn't that bad!

Boobs were huge, swollen and very sensitive, felt like I'd had a boob job! Hot shower and paracetamol helped, it only lasted a couple of days. Well worth it though, I hated breastfeeding.

Not sure if you are wondering but all the milk is reabsorbed into the body, it doesn't all leak out! That was my worry, not sure if that was just me being daft hmm

toffeeboffin Sat 10-Jan-15 02:41:21

P. S. Just seconding what had already been said: you really don't want mastitis, so maybe gradual weaning is preferable in your case.

I already had it and was placed on strong antibiotics so had to stop breastfeeding immediately. I expressed some milk with a pump, but it was such hard work I only did it a couple of times!

Good luck thanks

MyNameIsButterfly Sat 10-Jan-15 02:42:38

I tried to cut down feeds but still ended up going cold turkey and it was the best thing ever. My DD hated me for a 1 day and that was it. Boobs got really sore too but it only lasted short term(cold cabbage leaves really help). I would say go out for day and when back refuse to feed, there will be some tantrums but it's only a short term thing.

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