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How do I stop/cut down on breastfeeding?

(12 Posts)
KristinaM Thu 03-Feb-05 21:45:08

My baby is 9 months old and I would like to cut down the BF to just a few feeds a day – morning and bedtime with perhaps one in the day. My baby is on 3-4 meals of solids a day. He also takes formula from a bottle and water from a cup. However he LOVES breast-feeding!! He has only once ever refused a BF (when he was screaming with his teeth and I thought he must be dying!!!). He never comes off the breast voluntarily; I always have to take him off. (Yes I know you are not meant to do this, but once I left him on just to see how long he would feed for and it was I hour and 50 minutes and I’m sorry – life is too short.).

Every time he is tired or frustrated or upset he wants to nurse. This happens frequently most days as he is crawling and cruising so falls and bumps himself a lot. I have NO IDEA how many times a day he feeds. He also has proper long feeds in the morning and at bedtime. Oh and in the middle of the night.

I don’t mind feeding him when he is upset and love being able to comfort him. But I assume that all this feeding is keeping my milk supply really high and I want to cut down now. I know that the theory is to stop slowly about one feed a week. But every time I have tried to drop even one feed I get lumps and then mastitis. Last time it was tracking across my breast and I had to get antibiotics from the out of hours doctor, as they didn’t want to leave me till morning.

Any advice please? I have trawled through the old threads on this topic but am none the wiser.

KristinaM Thu 03-Feb-05 21:55:20


Yorkiegirl Thu 03-Feb-05 21:59:47

Message withdrawn

KristinaM Thu 03-Feb-05 22:20:09

Thanks YG. Are you still BF too? I think all the other April mums have given up

NotQuiteCockney Thu 03-Feb-05 22:23:18

Can you try wearing clothes that offer less access? Can you distract him? Can you get someone else to take care of him, some of the time?

It sounds rough, between the mastitis and the very long feeds. He must be comfort-sucking most of the time, otherwise he'd be rather huge. Does he suck his thumb? Does he have a comfort object or blanket or anything?

I'm a big fan of extended breastfeeding, I fed DS1 to 18 months, and DS2 is still exclusively bf at 4.5 months, but I'm sure I'd be trying to cut down, too, in your position.

SenoraPostrophe Thu 03-Feb-05 22:25:17

I had/have the same problem. ds is 12 months and on 3 feeds a day - morning, night and before nap.

It was hard when I first cut it down to 3, but he got used to it. I do feed him more when he's ill though (vurrently all the bleeding time).

I didn't have the mastitis problem though: why don't you cut one feed, but express at the same time and gradually cut the amount you are expressing? That should help.

Yorkiegirl Thu 03-Feb-05 22:35:50

Message withdrawn

HunkerMunker Thu 03-Feb-05 22:45:55

Hi KM, I'm an April mum (DS is 10 months old today!) and I'm still bfeeding.

Usually DS only has three or four feeds, other days he has that, plus a few comfort sucks, when I'm at work he has a couple of feeds and some EBM (but not as much as he gets if he's feeding I don't think).

If you can get a copy, try reading 'How Weaning Happens' by La Leche League - it has some ideas on how to cut down. One is 'never offer, never refuse', but it sounds like your DS is happily asking so it's not like you need to offer! As for cutting feeds so that you don't get mastitis - could you try distracting him from feeding and express a bit (but not as much as he'd normally have) so that your supply starts to go down just a bit?

Would sticking him in the buggy and going for a walk work to distract him? I know I don't feed DS as much if we're out of the house because there's more to see and he can't come up and pat my legs till I feed him (how much cuter can they get?!)!

Hope that's of some help hun.

HunkerMunker Thu 03-Feb-05 22:46:49

Note to self...remember to read the thread first to avoid looking a twat by offering the same advice...!

Fran1 Thu 03-Feb-05 22:48:56

Hi i breastfed my dd until just before her second birthday.

From the time she was 9mths i had begun "planning" on stopping. But no matter how much i tried to prevent her having a feed, she'd find a way. The older she got the stronger she got at ripping my clothes off me until i fed her!

I went through periods of wanting to stop, and then periods of thinking oh well, lets carry on a bit longer. From one year onwards she was only feeding at nighttimes because i did make an effort to cut out days, just by not cuddling her, and distracting her as soon as i knew she was "digging" for the boobs. I did substitute with bottles sometimes if i couldn't distract enough.

Finally in the last few months before her second birthday, i began telling her boobies were for babies and she was a big girl. If she tried to feed at night, i would laugh and say you're not a baby - she used to find this funny and then not feed, just tease and then shake her head and say i'm not a baby, don't need boobies.

Believe me it was a very gradual process! But she no longer ever requests a feed.

Now i know it was possible to give up in the end (before she got to school) i think i would relax more now with a next child and let them feed until two as well. I think first time round i felt under a lot of pressure from health visitors, family and friends who made comments about my breastfeeding and joking that she'd still be doing it at school.

Next time i'd have more confidence, knowing what a very secure little girl i've brought up and i don't see any reason why bf until 2 is a negative experience (apart from maybe frequent waking in night still!!).

I was fortunate to not suffer with mastitis, so i don't know how best to cope with that, expressing sounds like a good idea.

But really i wanted to let you know my experience. And if you have are choosing to give up because that seems to be appropriate in society - then don't let it be your only reason. I think it is wise to start discouraging daytime feeds, but you can afford to do this really slowly so that hopefully you won't suffer as you have been.

motherearth Thu 03-Feb-05 23:13:45

I had exactly the same problem as you.My ds is 19 months now and still enjoying morning evening and occassional other feeds.
Every time i cut down i got mastitis.The secret is to do it really really gradually.The side you had mastitis on may well be prone to further infections, so when you can, or at the first sign of lumps,feed lots on that side and massage the area towards the nipple.This should unblock any ducts.Its like 2 steps forward and one step back.
I ignore comments on bf`ing ds now, as i think life is too short.Do whats right for you.I think its great if your comfortable with it-well done and let us know how you get on.
((((((((( hugs )))))))))))

KristinaM Sat 05-Feb-05 13:29:30

Thank you for all your suggestions. I woudl like to cut down through my own choice, Fran, I cant believe other people made such inappropriate comments to you - its none of their business!!
For me its because my baby feeds so often, it means I'm tied. For example, my Dh has taken the kids out this monring. They have been away 2 hours and already i am very uncomfortable. Its a pain......Also baby isn't eating much as he gets so much breast milk

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