Weaning

A mum can wean her baby at any time. She can choose between medication-induced and natural weaning. Experience shows that both of these processes take about two weeks. Abrupt weaning can lead to engorgement and breast inflammation.

The principle that milk supply is regulated according to demand applies to weaning too. Breast milk production gradually falls off when the frequency and duration of breast feeds are reduced slowly. That means you only breastfeed your baby for a short time or only express a small amount of breast milk when you notice an unpleasant feeling of tightness. This makes it possible to wean slowly and gently, without medication and its potential side effects.

Baby-led weaning, depending on the needs of the child, is another way to end breastfeeding. In this case you gradually replace breast milk with other foods from about the 6th month until the baby slowly gives up breastfeeding altogether. You can carry on breastfeeding just in the mornings and evenings for several months, for example. The moment when the baby stops wanting to drink from the breast is different in each individual case, as with all developmental stages.

WHO and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and then slowly introducing adequate additional foods while continuing to breastfeed until the end of the second year of life or later.