A recent website query “I have a 1 year old that is now down to one breastfeed a day. I’m pretty sure he won’t miss it if I cut it out all-together, but my question is: can you just stop breast feeding, and that’s it, or do you need to express the first few days, to get rid of any excess milk??”
Breastfeeding and the way women’s bodies produce breastmilk is just amazing, the ‘system’ is very intriquite and unique for every women, so great to be asking the questions prior to making any changes!
If you are only breastfeeding once a day and have been doing so for at least a week, then for most women who are wanting to wean there isn’t generally much discomfort if you just drop that one feed.
If women wean abruptly or reduce the feeds per day quickly, then there is more likelihood for breast discomfort, increased likelihood of mastitis and of course for babies and children to sometimes become distressed – with too many changes too quick.
Keep an ‘eye’ on your breasts, check them every time you shower, feel for any lumps or bumps, hard areas, massage those out towards the nipple in the shower to relieve engorgement and to help empty the ducts.
If you feel very full and uncomfortable, just a little hand expressing to relieve the full feeling, remembering ‘supply and demand’ the more you stimulate the breasts the more milk you will make, so just express a little for comfort!
For your son, we suggest that you tell him your “milk is gone” and incorporate a story and cuddle into the bedtime routine rather than feeding.