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30 Dec 2012
How to wean
Hi Susan, My son is 4 months old and he is exclusively on breast milk - drinking from both the breast & the bottle. I return to work in 1 month's time and will not be in a position to express at work. I would like to wean off the breast (to formula) for the daytime feeds and am hoping to continue with the 1st morning and last evening feeds from the breast once I am back at work. I basically have 5 weeks left to master the weaning process and would like to know what the best way is to avoid painful, swollen breasts? Should I just stop completely, or should I continue to breast feed less and less each day so the milk production slows down? Also, will there still be adequate milk production for the morn and evening feeds if I stop with the daytime feeds? Thanks in advance and looking forward to your feedback!
Hi Kim Weaning should always be a gradual process. When you stop removing milk suddenly, you have the increased risk of blocked ducts, engorgement and even mastitis. You can start by cutting out one feed per day and only express if you really need to. Your body will slowly adapt to the slower demand for breast milk. Basically the less you remove the less you will produce. It is very important that you keep an eye on your breast – manually check them after every feed to check that there is no engorged glands or sensitive areas. Yes you will be able to continue breastfeeding when possible. You could also increase the amount of breastfeeds on the weekend just to give your supply a boost. Just as a reminder that South African labour law stipulates that a breastfeeding mom needs 20 – 30min extra time for feeding or expressing her breast milk.
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