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Breast Feeding

Stop breastfeeding

05/09/2007

Question:

My daughter is 7 months old and I was wondering what is a good age to stop nursing? My nipples are sore from her having thrush and we are both on meds for the past week but she is more aggressive at eating. If I stop her now and just substitute with food and vitamins, is this ok?

Answer:

The best age to discontinue nursing is at a year, or more if so desired by both mother and baby.

Stopping nursing abruptly at 7 months while the baby is nursing (?) “aggressively” is not advisable, because of the danger of milk stasis and mastitis.

Of course, if you mean she is aggressively eating solids, that’s different.

A yeast infection will usually resolve in about 2 weeks if both mother and baby are adequately treated with effective antifungal medications.

Your nipples also need to be treated with a topical antifungal cream after each and every feeding. Her thrush needs to be treated also after each and every feeding for at least 2 weeks. Any yeast rash must also be treated 4 times daily for at least 2 weeks.

If you decide to wean before she is a year old, it is safest to do so very gradually, over a month or so. You may pump your milk and feed it to her by sippy cup or bottle. As your milk supply goes down gradually you can and should replace it with a baby formula until she is a year old.

After one year of age, she can be offered whole milk and a variety of other beverages.

Just food and vitamins would not provide her with adequate fluids, and the risk of dehydration would be significant.

Best wishes and congratulations on breastfeeding you baby!

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati