Dear Chubbysan,

As Cara said after you have been breastfeeding for around six weeks the way the breasts work are they replace the milk that you or your baby has removed. The more you breastfeed, and so the more milk the baby removes from your breasts, the more milk you make. If you keep breastfeeding there is no way that you won’t have enough milk.

The more breastfeeding you do the more milk you make is also the case in the first days and weeks of breastfeeding but at this time your body also needs the boost of hormones it gets when you breastfeed to maintain the milk supply. This is why we encourage direct breastfeeding for the first four to six weeks so that your body gets the maximum hormones every few hours.

After the six week mark your body is much more able to cope with things like pumping instead of direct feeding and longer spaces between feeds, for example when the baby sleeps a little longer.

By the time you’ve been breastfeeding for six months it will actually be quite difficult to lose your milk. It is estimate to take around six weeks (42 days) for you to stop having milk after the last breastfeed.

So for the 1st year, breast milk should still be the main food for baby?

When should we slowly wean or cut down the numbers of feeds? Is it after they reach one year old?
I think it would be easier for you to think of keeping the same number of feeds and slowly introducing a little solid to the meals you want to change to solids. Start first by breastfeeding and then giving a teaspoon or two of solid. Slowly over the next few months increase the amount of solids. Around about the one year mark give the solids before the breastfeed and slowly over the next six to twelve months you will notice that your baby takes more solids and less breast milk at each feed.

This idea of giving a breastfeed before the solids is not always practical, especially if you are giving hot food. And if you are giving your baby part of your own meal it might mean delaying your family meal just because the baby is breastfeeding. So you don’t have to use this advice as a rule – more like a guideline. The aim is to introduce the solids slowly – so slowly that the baby doesn’t realise that solids mean no more breastfeeding but rather than solids mean a new and exciting activity.

Best wishes,