When to Stop Breastfeeding: 5 Reasons for Moms to Stop Nursing

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that moms breastfeed their newborns up to six months of age for optimal development, growth, and health. After six months, a mom may continue to breastfeed her baby up to two years and also feed her with solid food. 

As a mom, all you want is the best for your little one. But surely, you want to have your body back to you in no time. To give you a guide, here are 5 signs that tell you when to stop breastfeeding

When to Stop Breastfeeding: 5 Signs Your Baby Is Weaning
(Photo: unsplash/Jordan Whitt)

Your baby is one year old

An OB-GYN and lactation consultant at Bundoo.com, Jennifer Lincoln, M.D., said that most babies do not self wean until after 12 months of age. She noted to parents that if they see any sign of weaning before that, it could only be known as a nursing strike. It could be caused by stress, teething, an illness, or any change in routine. She said that children older than one-year-old could be ready to wean. 

See also: World Breastfeeding Week: Facts Every Mom Should Know

A decrease in the number of nursing sessions

Lincoln explained that a gradual decrease in the length and frequency of feeding may mean that your little one is ready to let go of your breasts. Founder of MainLineDoulas.com, Zliza Bancoff, said that if your baby drinks from a cup or gets most of his nutrition from food, it means she is ready to wean. One clear sign to take note is that when your baby refuses to breastfeed for two weeks straight, then she might be getting ready to wean. 

Medical treatment is incompatible with breastfeeding

There are only quite a handful of treatments and surgeries that are incompatible with breastfeeding, said Lincoln. Examples of them are chemotherapy and mastectomy. A mom may talk to a lactation consultant if she needs to stop nursing her baby. The consultant will give tips on how to wean and be there to support the mom and her family emotionally. 

See also: Alcohol and Breastfeeding: Effects on the Nursing Baby

When to Stop Breastfeeding: 5 Signs Your Baby Is Weaning
(Photo : unsplash/Luiza Braun)

You feel like stopping

It is time to stop breastfeeding when you feel like stopping, said Lincoln. It could be after a few weeks to up to a few years. A lactation consultant at LeighAnneOConnor.com, Leigh Anne O'Connor, said that more often, it is the mother that feels the need to stop nursing than the infant because babies often happily nurse for years. 

You resent breastfeeding

O'Connor said that if you feel resentful about nursing your child, it is a sign that you should stop. If you feel that you are not enjoying breastfeeding, it would be better for you to stop. 

See also: How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding: 8 Effective Ways

Southgate pediatrician, Dr. Saba R. Cossor said that stopping breastfeeding depends on how the child is feeding, but also how comfortable a mother is with doing it. So if you feel like weaning before your baby does, do not feel guilty. Remember, a happy mom makes a happy baby. 

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