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How to stop breastfeeding?


I've been reading conflicting advice on the internet so probably means people here may well have different opinions, so I will ask my HV when I next see her in a couple of weeks. But I wanted to ask here if any of you know the best way to stop breastfeeding?

I'm already mix feeding, but when I come to stop (I feel it may be time soon), do I stop competely going cold turkey - I've heard there's a risk of mastitis doing that. Or do I wean her off gradually?

Any thoughts here?


  • I would wean her off gradually, drop a feed and replace with a bottle - and then a few days or a week later drop another one. You can go cold turkey, but might be a bit of a shock for you daughter, plus you will probably have to express so stop yourself getting mastitis. xxxx
  • I am glad you posted this because I was going to ask something similar. He already has one bottle a day so I was planning to just swap a feed for a bottle one a week until it's just the bedtime feed and I may keep that going for selfish reasons!! I want to move onto bottle feeding but feel like crap about it and feel inexplicably sad when I think about not feeding anymore!!
  • Whatever you do, do NOT go cold turkey!! You will be in agony and yes most probably get mastitis. Try and wean her off gradually, it might take 2, 3 possibly 4 weeks but it's worth the wait. Eventually you will stop making the extra milk and you won't be producing enough for even one feed. If you don't want to waste your extra milk in the meantime you could freeze it into ice cube trays ready for weaning. This is what I did when weaning my last daughter off the breast. Then you can easily mix them with baby rice or cereal and you know your baby is still getting some goodness from you at the same time. Good luck x x
  • The way I've been mix feeding since the start is that I BF for 20 mins and then she has a top up bottle with every feed. So I guess I could make a couple of larger bottles and for a feed or 2 a day just cut out the BF.
    I feel similar to you MI. I'm not one for feeling pressurised into doing something because it's 'the done thing' or 'for the best'. Yet when it comes to BF I feel really bad about wanting to stop. I felt bad enough that baby girl wasn't gaining weight at the start on purely BF.
    My reason for wanting to stop is that she's dropped a couple of centiles on the weight charts and she's feeding badly on me - always falls asleep during and then wakes up when I take her off for the bottle! HV said it's strange as most babies would create a fuss and be frustrated, but she just seems to be chilled out and enjoy the closeness of feeding a bit from me as she knows the bottle will come after. She's a strange one!
    I've no idea if cutting out the BF would help with her weight gain though as she never empties a bottle and hasn't increased her volumes for weeks?
    Hey ho, trying not to fret, HV, hubby, friends and family keep reassuring me she's fine but I have become SUCH a worrier since becoming a mum, it's ridiculous!
    What are your reasons for thinking of stopping Miss Impatient?
  • Sorry Sugar'n'Spice, you replied whilst I was writing.
    Thanks very much for your advice.
  • If you have time (ie you don't need to stop immediately) and are willing to stop gradually, it is so much better than going cold turkey, which would almost certainly end up with you becoming engorged and possibly getting mastitis.

    When I started mixed feeding I was advised to drop a breastfeed every few days, to allow the supply to settle on its own - I had tingly boobs at what would have been feeding time for a couple of days, but nothing more than that. I kept up just the bedtime feed for a couple of months, and when I decided to stop that had no problems either, my supply had got used to just providing that feed, and I literally felt tingly at bedtime the next day, but after that it was fine. Doing it slowly is definitely better for you, you're supply will cope much better, and it shouldn't be confusing for the baby.

    If I were you, yes start by dropping the breastmilk completely from one feed and just offer a bigger bottle.

    Miss I, from reading some of your other posts, yes keep up the bedtime feed for as long as you want to, it's not selfish - I wish I'd kept it up a bit longer than I did, but thought I should drop it as I'd dropped the others
  • Thanks Sunflower. I'm still going at the moment but will keep everyone's advice in mind when I come to stop.
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