Weaning – by definition means to gradually take away, to detach. My personal and professional preference would be for moms who want to wean do so, Gradually and with love. This would be an optimal way to go about the weaning process. There are times when this is not possible and moms need to dry up their supply as quickly as possible. Today’s show is all about the “not possible.” About drying up quickly, which is why I did not title this show Weaning and titled it: drying up your supply. And yet, you will hear me use the term drying up and weaning interchangeably because it just seems to be the most accepted and understood way of talking about this topic. And I refuse to have to stay the course always using the exact right technical term with moms. Lots of times they don’t care about our terminology, they just want help and if they “hear” me best when using a term they are familiar with and connect to, I will do so to best meet them where they are at.
As a lactation consultant, the assumption is that I only help mothers who want to breastfeed their baby. Of course, this is one of the important things I do each and every day. Educate through classes, blogs, and private consults and now with podcasting.
I also help moms with the weaning process. I recognize that there are many reasons why some mothers who have been breastfeeding and or pumping want to or need to stop producing milk. Since this is a choice and not an urgent matter, she can do so gradually. While there are few reasons why a mom would need to stop producing milk abruptly, these circumstances do arise.
Usually it becomes a necessity because she has a medical problem or needs to take medication that there are no other options and this is not compatible with breastfeeding. Sometimes a mom has had a breast abscess and can continue breastfeeding and other times for medical reasons can no longer breastfeed from one side and she needs to dry up that side. Good thing our breasts are autonomous .What we do with one side does not mean we have to do the same with the other side.