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Weaning - What Is Expected

Common concerns

  • I'm pregnant. Should I stop breast-feeding my first child? No, you can continue to breast-feed your first child while you are pregnant. But talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs and other issues you should be aware of. For more information, see the topic Breast-Feeding.
  • I want to become pregnant. Should I wean my child? You can continue to breast-feed, but breast-feeding may make it harder to become pregnant. For more information, see the topic Breast-Feeding.
  • When I wean, should I be concerned about my baby's teeth? Be sure to give your baby adequate nutrition to build healthy teeth. And as you wean your baby from the breast or the bottle, limit sugary liquids, especially at bedtime. This can cause dental cavities. Don't put your baby to bed with a bottle. And after 12 months of age, stop night breast-feedings. For more information, see the topic Teething.
  • What can I do if I want to stop breast-feeding, but my baby does not? If possible, continue breast-feeding a while longer. If this is not possible, offer breast milk or formula in a cup and/or give extra hugs.
  • What can I do if my baby does not want to give up the bottle? Slow down the weaning process, or offer a stuffed toy or blanket for comfort, instead of the bottle.
  • What if I develop pain and tenderness in my breasts while trying to wean?Breast engorgement is less likely to occur if you gradually wean your baby rather than suddenly stop breast-feeding. Weaning from the breast is easier when your baby is already taking solid foods and has been breast-feeding less often. The pain and discomfort from breast engorgement improve as your breasts stop making milk. You will likely feel better in 1 to 5 days. Home treatment, such as applying cold packs to the breasts, may relieve some of your symptoms. For more information, see the topic Breast Engorgement.
  • Should I start or stop giving supplements to my child? Most doctors suggest daily vitamin D supplements for children. Talk with your doctor about how much and what sources of vitamin D are right for your child. Babies who are breast-fed may also need a fluoride supplement starting at 6 months of age.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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