Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weaning and Cabbage Leaves

You want to take this process slowly and in a timely manner for both you and your baby. You want to take a feeding away every week. Start taking the feeding that is less important first. When I started weaning my daughter Reagan, I started with the morning feeding. When we would wake up in the mornings I would start with some solids and keep her distracted. I started this process when she turned 11 months old. Then by the time she was a year old, she would be weaned. After the morning feeding, I took away the early afternoon one, then the late afternoon one, then the night feeding. The night feeding was the hardest one, but she adjusted well. I struggled with the weaning process, wondering if I was ready, but by the time I got done weaning I was so happy to be done nursing.

Try to occupy your baby with other things, such as reading or playing or having a snack. Make sure that you offer water, so your baby doesn’t get dehydrated. Your baby should be use to sippy cups from when they started solids. You can try juice, but not to often. Some doctors say that milk is fine when they are 11 months old, but I don’t like to start it until the baby has turned a year old.

When you take a feeding away every week, then you don’t get sore breasts and infections. If you are a working mom and pumped for every feeding, then you would wean yourself from the pump just like you do with the breasts. Take a pumping session away every week.

With my second baby, Adam, he didn’t not wean. He just stopped nursing completely at 11 months old. He didn’t want me anymore and that was hard to adjust to. So I ended up getting plugged ducts and needing antibiotics to help my infection go away. I should of pumped more often and done more to empty my breasts, but I didn't think about it. If your baby just stops cold turkey with nursing and you get plugged ducts and get in pain and don’t want antibiotics, then maybe you can try cabbage leaves.

Cabbage Leaves

I remember hearing about cabbage leaves for the first time from my cousin. She weaned her little boy completely in one day. He was 14 months old and would still wake up at night to nurse. She had had enough and so she stopped nursing cold turkey. So after a day of not nursing she was really sore. Her breasts were really full and she was in a lot of pain. She went two days in pain and finally she asked her friend if she knew how she could take the pain away, and her friend told her to use cabbage leaves. Well my cousin wasn't sure about what her friend adviced her to do, so she called the doctor. When she told the nurse what was going on, the nurse told her to use cabbage leaves also. So my cousin decided to try it and she loved it. She said that it took the pain away that same day and by two days of using cabbage leaves she was pain free and milk free.

It doesn’t matter what color, green or red, you use (the red leaf will stain your clothing, so be aware of that). They both work the same. You want to lay the leaf flat and pound it with a rolling pin to soften it up. It needs to be able to form to your breasts. Then you want to wear a stretchy bra to hold the leaf to your breast. Place the cabbage leaf on the painful areas. Leave it there until it wilts and do this twice a day. Cabbage leaves are also known to dry out your milk, so that will help you also.

You can also use cabbage leaves if your engorgement is painful. They will help with the pain, but you don’t want to use them for very long because they can dry your milk up. The leaves also help with any pain you might have under your armpits after birth or when your milk comes in. If you are leaking from your engorgement, the cabbage leaves will assist in slowing down the leaking. Remember not to use cabbage leaves for very long because they will hurt your milk supply. If you are having supply issues with your milk, don’t use the cabbage leaves at all. The leaves are mainly used for weaning mother.

I really enjoy nursing and having my baby so close and spending that time together, but it is also nice to be done. You have more freedom and you are not so scheduled with feedings. You can run more errands and go out more and not be in a rush to get back home. Make sure that you find other things to do with your baby that keeps you close and connected. The babies only get more fun and enjoyable. It is great being a mother.

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