How do you know when it's time to stop breastfeeding?

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Breastfeeding is always the best option for making sure your baby is healthy. However, how can you know if it's time to start weaning your baby?

Breastfeeding is not only good for babies but it also has a lot of benefits for mothers as well. And doctors recommend mothers to breastfeed their babies for as long as they could.

However, how can moms know if it's time to stop breastfeeding and start the process of weaning their baby?

How can you know?

Generally, it's up to you on when you want to start weaning your child off breast milk. Some working moms find it difficult to find the time to breastfeed, so they opt to wean their child earlier.

Here are 5 signs that should help give you an idea of when you should start weaning your child:

  1. If your child is already 12 months or older. Generally, children who are more than a year old would start to show signs of self-weaning. So if your kid is already more than a year old, it's okay to start weaning her off breast milk.
  2. If your child starts to lessen their feeding. As your child grows older, they'll start to nurse less, and you'll find that they're starting to eat more solid food, and drink water on their own. If your child starts to refuse your breastmilk, then it's probably time to start weaning.
  3. You just want to stop breastfeeding. In most cases, it's actually the mom's decision to stop breastfeeding and start weaning their baby. This can happen a few months after giving birth or after a year, and it's really up to the mother if whether or not she wants to wean her child earlier.
  4. Cases of medical treatment. Some mothers need to undergo treatment that would interfere with their breastfeeding, such as with moms who were diagnosed with breast cancer. In these cases, weaning the child is unavoidable, and it's best for both the baby and the mother's health.

Don't feel guilty about weaning early!

It's totally okay for moms to wean their child early, even before their child reaches 12 months. Sometimes they just experience a lot of stress so they find it hard to breastfeed, and sometimes breastfeeding starts to become less of a bonding experience, and more like a chore for them.

In those cases, moms shouldn't feel guilty about weaning their child early. It's true that breast milk does have benefits, but these days, you can opt to give your child infant formula if you feel that you're not up to the task of breastfeeding, pumping, and making sure that you have enough milk for your child.

Don't let anyone make you feel any less of a mother just because you don't breastfeed. Choosing to stop breastfeeding doesn't mean that you're neglecting your child. The most important thing is that you're taking care of your baby, and providing him with the love, support, and care that they need in order to grow up healthy.

Source: betterhealth.vic.gov.au

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