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Thread: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    135

    Default To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    Hi Mums,

    We're at 16 months now and I returned to work at 6.6 months so I am now about 10 months of pumping. I sorta thought by now I'd be pump weaning but I still pump at 11 am and again around 2-3 pm. I nurse my LO in the am, before bed and 2-3 times during the night (hello reverse cycling!!) and she gets two bottles while I am away at work. She takes a bottle before her nap, she has just started to lose the 2nd nap but still takes it 50% of the time.

    When we are together she nurses a lot, but just briefly - but I'd say as much as 10-12 times per day. I don't mind at all, I really enjoy the experience and nursing a toddler is really nice. Funny at times...and so cuddly and affectionate too. BUT goodness I hate pumping and lately my supply has really tapered off. I am lucky to get 6 oz with my two pumping sessions - this last few weeks have been around 5 oz.

    So do I go to one session? I am really worried as my supply is really tapering off and maybe this is normal. My LO is well on solids and eats yoghurt and cheese, but I really didn't want to do cows milk. I just keep thinking for some reason its gotta be 100% mummy's milk and that's THE BEST option.

    I know I can supplement, but there is this nagging feeling that I shouldn't that it's going to kill my supply or not be THE BEST for her. I was hoping to hear some of your experiences and when you knew it was OK to drop a session or pump wean altogether. I really want to BF my toddler for as long as she wants & needs it and even thinking of weaning or cutting back/supplementing breaks my heart. But pumping is wearing on me, lately I don't have a private place and have to use the washroom. I'd also love to have my lunch break back sometimes. Should I just wait until she goes to one nap and then pump once for that one bottle? Is this normal to be so worried about messing up my supply this late in the game?
    Mummy to LoLo

    We luv cloth baby bums!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    You aren't going to mess up your supply. There are many many mamas here who pump weaned right around a year and continued nursing when they were at home for another year or more. And you don't have to give cow's milk just because you stop pumping. If you are nursing 3-4 times a day and LO is eating solids you don't need to replace your pumped milk with anything.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    California
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    119

    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    DS is almost 16 months now and I pump weaned at a year. I knew I was ready because I was starting to feel something akin to resentment about pumping at work every day, as bad as that may sound. I was just done with it. We have experienced no problems whatsoever since pump weaning 4 months ago, yet we had MAJOR issues with supply at the beginning. So I am very grateful that I pump weaned when I did because now, for the first time since LO was born, nursing is a 100% pleasurable experience for BOTH of us.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  4. #4
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    At sixteen months, cutting out two pumping sessions a day will not affect your supply for the rest of the day/night and weekends.

    Another option would be just to cut down to one pumping session a day and see how long you feel like doing that. You may find you get almost as much milk from one afternoon session as you currently are from two, at least for a while. And that way, you're cutting back gradually. You can always add a session back in if you have second thoughts. There's no NEED to pump wean - you should do it only if you want to.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    103

    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    i pumped weaned around 12 months, well actually i still pump 2 times per week b/c i return home from work after my lo goes down for the night on mon and thurs evenings. if your lo is drinking bm 3-4 x daily you do not have to supplement with cows milk. i did choose to give my son cow's milk but he barely drinks it anyway as he prefers my milk. (he prob drinks about 4 oz/daily of cows milk) my supply like yours also started to go down at the pump but it does not worry me b/c he always seems satisfied at the breat. from what i've read on this site, sometimes our bodies stop responding to the pump after we pump for a long time.

    it feels great to be away from the pump, you can always try it, see if your lo is happy at the breast and if she is i think you are good to go!
    mom to ds daniel 12/16/09 and ben 2/27/11

  6. #6
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post
    At sixteen months, cutting out two pumping sessions a day will not affect your supply for the rest of the day/night and weekends.

    Another option would be just to cut down to one pumping session a day and see how long you feel like doing that. You may find you get almost as much milk from one afternoon session as you currently are from two, at least for a while. And that way, you're cutting back gradually. You can always add a session back in if you have second thoughts. There's no NEED to pump wean - you should do it only if you want to.
    My son is 17, quickly rolling up on 18, months. I went from pumping 3x/day to 2x when he was 14 months and have been getting pretty similar output from those 2x as I was getting from 3 (of course some days are better than others ). There have been a coupe days where I've only pumped once with no ill effects. My son gets water in addition to his milk at daycare.

    If you don't want to pump wean entirely (if you do, however, go for it!), at this point it's really no problem to pump just once a day to leave a little milk while you are gone and nurse while you are with your baby.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    I would say you can quit now. Your toddler will keep your supply up while you nurse together. I quit pumping at work at 16 mos and my daughter is almost 3 and nurses fine.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    thanks everyone- my only concern is that my LO still sometimes needs two bottles if she naps twice. I think I will wait til she goes to one nap and then go to one session. If you don't pump or supplement how to does everyone get their LOs to nap?

    On another note we had our 16 month checkup and vaccinations today and the doctor told me that I need to night wean or face my baby having tooth decay. I told her that wasn't true for breast fed babies, but she was insistent it was. She also told me I need to cut her back to 3-4 sessions/day. I was so angry!! Time for a new pediatrician I guess. It's a shame she was such a supportive pediatrician in the hospital and ensured the NICU staff didn't give bottles or pacifiers - I really thought I had a good fit.

    It's just so ridiculous all the false and negative info out there, I am so grateful for LLL and resources like kellymom.com and for the wisdom of my mother.
    Mummy to LoLo

    We luv cloth baby bums!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    You can stay with your pediatrician if you still like her, I don't have to agree with everything my doctors say but if you think that's worth switching over then so be it.

    My husband would walk my daughter up and down the hallway until she fell asleep. I did that sometimes, too or take her for walks outside.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: To Pump Wean or Not to Pump Wean? When were you ready?

    I take my son for long walks before nap time almost every day. The exercise helps him sleep better, but I do still nurse him down for naps most of the time when I am with him. My mother rocks him to sleep when she watches him, and his daycare provider either sits next to him on the couch or just puts him in a crib and he falls asleep just fine for both of them. If he's sleepy and I am carrying him in our Ergo, then he will often conk out for me too without nursing.

    Sorry your pediatrician is being so unsupportive. I've been so disappointed at how many people who cheered me on while I was nursing my infant pressure me to wean now that I'm nursing a toddler.

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