So you’ve decided to stop breastfeeding? How to stop breastfeeding? Especially as many children refuse to stop and demand that you continue nursing. There are many techniques, one of which should best suit you and your child.
How to stop breastfeeding
One school of thought – one that was quite common in our grandparents’ day and is still common in some cultures – is for mother to take a vacation away from her child. The idea being that mother is far enough away not to hear her baby’s cries and that when the mother returns after a week, the baby will no longer want to be nursed. There are some serious drawbacks to this method. The first being, that many children will not have forgotten about breastfeeding and will demand it upon mother’s return. Secondly, and most importantly, is the emotional impact on the child when separated from mother. Adults may refer to the time spent away as ‘separation’, but it is likely that the child will see it as desertion. Each child has a threshold when it can endure a mother’s absence; after this time a child will begin to mourn for the loss of its mother. The emotionally and psychological damage on a child shouldn’t be underestimated. The damage can be life long. Many institutions and organisations now realise the harm done when a mother and child are separated; one only has to look at how many hospitals provide bedding for a child should the mother spend time in hospital. Weaning by separation is a risky strategy: avoid it.
Another ‘quick and easy’ method is to sabotage the sweet tasting breast milk. Mothers can purchase a foul-tasting liquid which is painted on thumb or nipple. In other cultures, mothers use various herbs and spices to bring about weaning. Igorot mothers in the Philippines