Weaning occurs when your little one is ready to stop breastfeeding and start using a bottle, cup or solid foods. Weaning can be both a physical and emotional change for both you and your baby, so you may experience conflicting feelings as well as some changes to your body.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least the first year of your baby's life. However, each baby, mommy and circumstance is unique.
Many babies lose interest in breastfeeding when they learn to crawl or walk, which is a sign that your baby may be ready to wean. However, some babes do not stop breastfeeding until they are in their toddler years. There is no right or wrong time to wean, so choose a time when you and your child are ready to wean, preferably during a time when there is little or no stress in your household, like a new tooth or a big family vacation.
During pregnancy, and continuing with breastfeeding, you're a raging ball of hormones. So when you stop breastfeeding your hormone levels changes, causing your body to sometimes react. According to the La Leche League, abrupt weaning should be avoided as much as possible. A gradual weaning may not only be less emotionally traumatic for your baby, but could also reduce the chances that you'll experience physical discomfort and potential health complications.
You may not experience side effects at all when you stop breastfeeding, but a few nursing moms are not so lucky. Here are some ailments you may experience when you decide to wean, whether gradually or abruptly:
Other physical discomforts for mom during weaning, such as headaches, PMS-type nausea and irritated vagina have been reported by weaning mommies as well, which can be mainly attributed to huge hormonal changes. Most symptoms are temporary. So, although you're uncomfortable now, you can take comfort in the fact that physical symptoms of weaning from breastfeeding will soon pass as your body chemistry returns to normal.
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