Coming shortly after (in popularity) the question of whether to breast feed at all, tends to be how long breast feeding should continue for. We’ve all heard stories of all of those kids that seem to continue way beyond an age that most of us would consider normal, and in extreme cases see kids making it to the age of eight or nine and still latch on regularly. We should point out that no-one’s suggesting that’s normal before we continue.
When we say breast feeding for as long as you can to give your child the best chances in life, we don’t mean indefinitely, more that up to a year or so is better than giving up after a few weeks.
Ending Breast Feeding With The Least Impact On Your Child?
Stopping the breast feeding process is relatively straight forward, at least compared to learning to feed to start with. Your child will begin to need to transition towards solid food, and that time will be fairly obvious. It may be that they suddenly start to appear unsatisfied after feeds, or they may begin to chew, whether they’ve started teething or not – ouch!
This is where weaning comes in – soft foods are key – generally very healthy natural produce are the best, boiled and mashed up to a paste where appropriate. You don’t need to instantly stop feeding from the breast either – make it as fast or as slow a transition as is comfortable. Your child may even lose interest in feeding from you altogether, but that’s not always the case.
Is It Easy To Stop Breast Feeding?
You might find the urge to feed your child naturally is greater than that shown by your child. If it becomes too much, and your child is showing no interest (or you fear that weaning may go backwards) you can turn to expressing milk with a breast pump to slowly reduce your production over time. Sorry to refer to your bodily functions as if you’re a cow, but you’re probably feeling a little nice one at times!
Some mums keep on breast feeding for other reasons too – it’s a well known fact that it assists in weight loss so will help alongside exercise to drop a few pounds, so there are other considerations too in deciding when to stop.
Adult Breast Feeding and Lactation
It’s getting less common these days, but is perfectly natural for your partner to be your breast pump. What’s more, some ladies actually feel a little uncomfortable in finding the process a little too enjoyable! Don’t worry though, that’s nothing unusual, and if you think about it, in terms of the length of time that humans have evolved, the vast majority of that time you couldn’t nip down to the supermarket to buy a pump! What’s more, listening to your body is wise, as it’s probably telling you that it’s time to start enjoying a little more mummy and daddy time again – something that was probably the last thing on your mind a few weeks ago!