10 On Series

10: On Weaning

Share

There’s no right time to wean but most moms will agree that saying goodbye to breastfeeding can be an emotional rollercoaster. You may be weaning as a transition to formula, or as a transition to solid foods. Here are 10 things to know about weaning.

1- Go slowly when weaning

It can take up to two weeks to fully wean a baby off of breast milk.

2- Morning milk is last

Drop your early morning breastfeed last as this is when you should have the most milk since more prolactin, the milk-making hormone, is produced overnight.

3- Try quick pumps when weaning

Avoid engorgement by pumping, but limit it to only 3 minutes to slowly reduce your supply. 

4- Cabbage leaves help with weaning (really!)

Placing green cabbage leaves, which are high in sulfur, over your breasts can help absorb additional fluids from the breast to avoid a clogged duct and reduce milk supply.

5- Weaning can be emotional

The hormones Prolactin and Oxytocin will shift (yet again!) with a change in milk supply so be prepared to feel weepy, depressed and emotional about the change. Prolactin is what delivers a sense of calmness, well-being, and relaxation to breastfeeding moms. On the flip side, some women feel elated and relieved to be done with breastfeeding. Pro tip: document your last latch with your baby for the archives of another milestone reached.

6- Tea helps with weaning

Three cups of sage tea a day may help to dry up breast milk. No More Milk Tea by Earth Mama Angel Baby also contains a blend of herbs designed to reduce your supply. Always discuss the use of new teas with your healthcare provider.

7- Cuddles make weaning easier

Just because you’re not breastfeeding, doesn’t mean you can’t hold your baby close. Extra attention and lots of affection tend to make weaning a lot easier for both you and your baby.

8- Avoid weaning when baby’s not well

Try to avoid weaning when your baby isn’t feeling well as breast milk could support their healing process and provide comfort. If you get ill, it doesn’t always mean you need to stop breastfeeding either.

9- Keep routines while weaning

If possible try to keep everything else in your baby’s routine the same during the weaning process to make things easier. But try switching your daily schedule up if you’re weaning a toddler with more ingrained habits.

10- Weaning during pregnancy

If you’re breastfeeding when you become pregnant, you’ll likely notice a drop in your milk supply due to hormonal changes, particularly during the fourth and fifth months of pregnancy. The composition of your milk can also change and become more similar to ‘lighter’ weaning milk.

Need more useful info from our 10:On series? Check out tips regarding baby gas, baby allergies, baby poop and more.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant's pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.
Share

Meet the Author

  • Milk Drunk Weekly

    Need a good read while you feed? Keep in the loop with the top pieces from the Milk Drunk team.