The decision to wean from breast/chest-feeding/pumping can be super emotional! Sometimes, it’s you that decides to wean. Other times, your baby may not tolerate breastmilk due to intolerances or allergies or your baby may self wean. Read below for 5 signs that it’s time to wean.
1. You’re ready.YOU MATTER.
Breast/chest-feeding is a two way street! If you’re feeling ready, it’s time. Formula or combo of previously expressed milk and formula (or whole milk/milk alternative if age appropriate) is a GREAT option. You matter more than breastmilk. The stress of breast/chest-feeding and pumping SHOULDN’T be taking a toll on your mental health. Weaning just one or two feeds (or all!) can significantly improve your mental state and help improve your lifestyle.
2. Baby is disinterested at the breast.
Babies sometimes self wean, especially as they reach the 6+ month mark. If you’re finding that baby just isn’t as interested as before, it could be time to wean. Babies can get disinterested for other reasons too – such as becoming efficient and speedy at the breast, taking in more solids, or needing to rearrange when you breast/chest-feed during the day. Not sure if your baby is self weaning or not? This is a perfect video chat session with Natalie or Lauren – as breastfeeding experts, they can help assess what’s going on at the breast and get the baby interested again if you wish to keep breast/chest-feeding.
3. You have repeated rounds of mastitis or blocked ducts.
OUCH! Some breast/chest-feeding/pumping parents are more prone to mastitis (Kate is!) than others. If you’ve had it, you know it’s the PITS!
If you’re having continued bouts of blocked ducts and mastitis, and you’re feeling ready, it may be time to wean. Many factors can lead to this (stress is #1) including anatomy issues with you or baby or even poorly fitting pump parts. We can assess all of this in a virtual session.
**Don’t miss our Mastitis and Blocked Ducts Blog Post.
4. Breast/chest-feeding or pumping isn’t working for your lifestyle.
Having toddlers climbing on you, unplugging your pump and screaming as you pump, or working 12 hour shifts in an ICU with no time to pump – this lifestyle isn’t sustainable! Or maybe your baby has an intolerance that requires you to cut foods, which may not work for your lifestyle either. When weaning a few feeds or all feeds is right for your lifestyle, it’s time to wean. IT’S OK TO WEAN. Weaning doesn’t have to be all or nothing, either!
5. Your supply causes stress for you.
Whether that’s an oversupply or undersupply, the stress of breast/chest-feeding or pumping shouldn’t consume you. There are ways to battle supply issues, weaning some or all feeds can be the answer. Supply is nearly all GENETIC. Triple feeding is never something we recommend at bumblebaby because the stress on YOU will be more detrimental to your body and supply. We can work with you to find a happy medium, all formula or not!
Want to wean but not sure where or how to start?
Check out out WEANING CALENDAR E-GUIDE for a step-by-step, day-by-day, 3 week calendar to help you wean safely and show you how to introduce formula in the best way for your baby.
Want more personalized support? We highly recommend booking a weaning consultation with a breastfeeding expert to have support available at your fingertips.
Tip: Try this Cabo cream to help with the suppression of your breastmilk when you start to wean. It’s made of all natural active ingredients and was created by an OBGYN who is a mom!
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above