Once you have made the decision to wean your baby and your body from breastfeeding, it can be normal to question how the heck you even go about it. Where do you start??
Never fear, we have you covered. Below are 5 easy steps to help you weaning. This can be applied to both nursing and pumping. Enjoy!
Step 1: Drop one pumping session at a time – Start by dropping one session every 3-7 days. You need to give your body time to adjust to the missed feeding so it can realize it is no longer needed and your supply will slowly reduce.
Step 2: Reduce pumping time for all sessions – Shorten your pumping sessions by a few minutes every few days. So if you typically pump for 15 minutes at a time, reduce all pumping sessions to 13 minutes, then 2 days later to 11 minutes and so on. If you are feeling engorged then take it slower and push it out to every 3 or 4 days.
Step 3: Go longer between pumping sessions – Try spacing out how often you pump. So if you normally pump every 3.5 hours then try going to every 4 hours. Then 3-4 days later try every 4.5 hours.
Step 4: Get down to one pump session per day – By spacing out the pumping sessions and reducing the time you spend pumping, it won’t be long before you are only pumping once or maybe twice a day. This last pumping session should be fairly easy to drop. Keep shortening the time you pump until you are getting only a few ounces.
Step 5: Stop pumping! – It can be scary to take the plunge and stop pumping altogether but if you followed the steps above and got down to just a few ounces then your body will know it’s time to give it up.
Weaning can be great and sad all at once. It’s normal to grieve that stage in raising your baby. It signals a new phase in their life. It is also normal to feel relieved that you are done and you did it! You can finally have your body back to yourself.
No matter how long you were able to breastfeed or pump or any combination of the two, give yourself a lot of credit! You gave your baby the best you possibly could and that deserves to be celebrated.
Are you starting the weaning process? Share your journey here by leaving a comment!
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