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Thread: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    173

    Default Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    I have been back to work since September (LO is 8.5 mos old). I work 3 days per week and pump 3X each workday. I usually nurse around 6:30 am and pump at 9:30, 12:15 & 3, then nurse again around 6pm. DD drinks (3) 4-4.5oz bottles while I am gone, around the same times that I pump (ideally). I almost always pump enough from my 3 sessions but lately I am having to pump for 30-35min to get enough. I get about 5.5-7oz the first session, 4-5 at the second, and 3-3.5 at the third (is it normal to get less & less each time?). I also pump each night before bed & consistently get 3-4oz then (sometimes more). With the night pumping, I have more than I need for her bottles so I am considering dropping to 2 sessions at work and pumping around 10am & 2pm. DD would still be drinking her 3 bottles.

    I am not trying to pump wean yet, but I'm getting pretty frustrated by all the time I spend pumping at work (close to 3hrs a day total with set up & clean up). I just wonder if 2 (maybe longer) sessions might be a better use of my time. My only worry is that my supply will decrease and I won't have enough for LO on the days that I'm home with her (we nurse on demand at home). Also, my pump irritates my nipples (have tried lots of things to remedy this & it's tolerable, but I think that cutting out a session would help).

    Just curious what others' experiences are with this. I want to nurse to at least a year, then we'll see what DD wants to do after that I am more than willing to keep the 3 sessions if it's the best thing to do, but I would love to drop down to 2 if I can (without hurting my supply). Should I just try it for a week or 2 and see what happens?

    Also, one more thing...I work Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, and it seems like every Monday I get 1-2 extra for the day, but by Thursday I come up a little short. Is it normal to pump less later in the week?

    Thanks so much for reading!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    1,293

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    i would drop pumping at night/at home. and decrease your time pumping if you are getting more than enough.

    i would keep your pumping at 3 hr intervals still since you are before the year mark. so basically, i would not drop that session.

    where do you pump at work? i like to leave my pump all set up in the room i pump in when i can. so i just walk in, hook up in under a min and go.

    i would also say you can just quickly rinse under water until the last pump. that should save you some time as well.

    keep up the good work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    Thank you for the reply! Unfortunately I can't really drop the night time pump session - though I would definitely love to! I tried to drop it once before but since my baby doesn't nurse during the night (usually goes 8:30p - 6:30a or so), my supply dipped when I stopped pumping at night. She would get really frustrated at her last feeding before bed & seemed to have trouble getting a let down & enough milk to be satisfied. It was like my body had already shut down for the night, kwim? Her bedtime goes much smoother & she sleeps better b/c she gets more at that last feeding if my body knows there is another "feeding" afterward. So I think I'm stuck with that one for awhile

    The reason I have extra milk is b/c of that daily session, I don't get much extra (if any) from my sessions at work. I was hoping to drop one b/c I don't really need to keep stocking my freezer and am quite sure I can get enough for her bottles from 2 sessions each workday and my nightly bedtime sessions. After the one year mark is it easier to drop sessions and still maintain supply? My main goal is of course to keep supplying my baby w/breastmilk (she has never had formula and I'm pretty proud of that! ) so I don't want to do anything to hurt my suply. But am soooo sick of spending hours of my work time hooked up to a pump! Especially since my last session I pump for 30-35min usually and only get 3-3.5oz...

    I pump in a private office at work and I do leave my pump set up, plugged in w/the tubes and all, but I use a hands free set up so it takes me a few min to put everything together & get all set up. I usually take the flanges apart & rinse/sterilize them or use the wipes after each session. Guess I could just rinse and not worry about the cleaning/sterilizing...old habit from when I thought I had thrush.

    Thank you again!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  4. #4

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    Quickie answers, but YES, I did find it normal to get less from each pump as the day went on and YES, I did find for some reason that I got less as the week went on - I think it had to do with relaxing over the wekend and stres building over the week...

    I recently went from 2 sessions at work to one and I'm about to wean off pumping at work and I found my supply didn't suffer at all dropping that one session during the day. I get some nipple irritation, too and I found that the fewer sessions seemed to help with that...
    Marley & Emily 9-24-10
    (Done as of 5-23-12)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    It's totally normal to get less milk as the day goes on and at the end of the week, especially if you are a mom who might not respond as well to the pump.

    You could try dropping a session at work and see what happens. If you have to, add one back in. I would drop a session that provides extra milk, as you don't need it at this point.

    Nurse n demand at home, and you will have enough. Your baby is also old enough that you could nurse, offer some solids and then nurse again if baby seems hungry.

    You dont even have to rinse them off I just put them back in the fridge as is, and at work, I pop the whole thing into a cooler as is. I don't spend any time cleaning the horns. It save that time anyway,
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    173

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    Thank you for the suggestions! I'll respond again later when I have time to write more
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    It's good to know that it's normal to get less as the day/week go on. Today I got at least 1.5oz extra, but by Thursday I'll probably get just enough or even be short some . Weird...I thought maybe it had to do with nursing all weekend & maybe that boosted my supply some for the start of the week, but who knows.

    I think I'll experiment with dropping a session as you suggested Susan. Depending on when DD nurses in the morning, that might work better some days than others. This morning she wanted to nurse at 5:30am so I had to pump as soon as I got to work, which meant I had to do 3 sessions. Tomorrow is a shorter day so I may try to do just 2 and see how it goes. I'll be home earlier than usual so I can nurse earlier if I need to.

    marley-n-emily - I'm glad to hear that dropping sessions helped with your soreness - that's what I'm hoping for! Don't think I'll be using this pump again for my next baby...hopefully there is another one out there that won't be as painful for me!

    Thank you again for the advice!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    It has to do with the pump beng less effective than the baby. As you rely on the pump during the week, your supply dips because it's not as effective as baby at removing milk and stimulating production. It's very common for moms to have less milk at the end of the week. And this is why exclusive pumping does not work well for many women who try it, and this is why pumping for FT work doesn't work for some moms too, or it takes a lot of work to keep supply in those situations.

    The key to this is being flexible. Nurse as much as you can and use the pump as a supplement, and you will make it to a year, at which time many moms find they can pump wean and nurse at home just fine.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    Yeah...pump is definitely less effective than my baby. I used to respond well to the pump - when she was 3-4mos old I could get 4-5oz easily in 10-15 min. Looking back I think I had a bit of OS, definitely some OALD too. Just didn't know it at the time. Now that things have evened out it takes me 30min+ sometimes and I can get maybe 4oz. *Sigh* good to know that it will be easier to pump wean after the 1 year mark - 3 months to go!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Going from 3 sessions to 2 - thoughts?

    Oh, I just picked up that you have a 9 month old. You are also probably hitting the proverbial wall, where pumping becomes a total pest and very hard. Many moms start having a hard time responding well to the pump. Sme moms have a hard time pumping enough milk and think they have a low supply. Just keep pumping. Nurse as much as you can when at home.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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