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Thread: Reducing breastfeeding (not complete weaning) by 11 mo old?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Reducing breastfeeding (not complete weaning) by 11 mo old?

    Hi mamas! Please excuse the length of this question in advance as I figure out how the partial-weaning process works.

    I'm thinking ahead to an int'l business trip to Asia in mid-August, when my LO will be just over 11 mo old. For at least one portion of the travel I'll be on a plane for at least 12 hours, both ways.

    I'm a WAHM/WOHM, so currently I either pump or nurse my 9 mo old LO ~7x in 24 hrs plus he gets small solids meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner (always AFTER a breastfeeding or bottle).

    I haven't decided totally, but I think I may want to scale back breastfeeding/pumping before mid-August so I don't have to pump more than 2x/day (morning/night) while I'm away, and won't have to deal with trying to pump on the plane, which I am admittedly pretty anxious about.

    I just did a business trip within the US that my LO and I successfully made it through w/o a strike afterwards, and I brought home milk on the plane (no pump & dump - yay!), but it was at times tedious, stressful and difficult trying to pump as often as I needed to in order to keep my supply up. And on top of that my supply took a bit of a hit anyway, which I'm trying to build back up before my next business trip in early July.

    So yes, next month I have a (shorter) int'l biz trip that I'm still going to try to make it through with pumping. But I don't know if I can hack it for the Asia trip and I want to pump-wean by the time my LO is around a year (September) if possible.

    If I am fortunate enough to make it to a year, I don't want or plan to stop the morning/night (and during the night if necessary) breastfeedings, and at this point am interested in continuing those for as long as my LO is interested. I love the idea of going beyond a year and seeing how it goes!

    Anyway, long-winded explanation to ask - if what I am trying to do is possible (scale back by August w/o bringing on early weaning, and maintain breastfeeding relationship at morning/night) and if so, how to gently start that process? If it's not an easy answer, perhaps someone could suggest resources for figuring this out?

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Reducing breastfeeding (not complete weaning) by 11 mo o

    Does hand expression work at all for you? That way you need not make any decision now, and just hand express to comfort on the plane as needed. Yes your supply may take a small hit but not as much as pump weaning now would cause. Otherwise, as long as you are OK with the possible hit to your milk supply or not pumping enough for baby at this point, I see no reason why you cannot slowly start pumping less often now or soon, but keep nursing as much as you like or can while with baby to keep the breastfeeding relationship going as long as you can or would like to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Reducing breastfeeding (not complete weaning) by 11 mo o

    I started partial weaning of my twins around 10-11 months. I wanted to stop pumping at 12 months (I am away for 12 hours for work) and didn't see how I could go without pumping weekdays and nurse all day on weekends. For me, my goal was to still continue to breastfeed but at a reduced number of feedings.

    At 10 months, my girls were nursing 5 times a day (no overnight feeds) and I would pump 3x a day at work. I cut that back to 2x pumping and cut out 1 nursing session. I was trying to keep my pumping schedule to match the weekend nursing schedule.

    At 11 months I cut back to pumping 1x a day and cut out another nursing session (down to 3).

    Right before the girls birthday, I cut out 1 more feeding and stopped pumping.

    I nurse my girls in the morning (6-7am) and evening (6-7pm), it has been about 2 months since we have been on that schedule and everything is working. I believe I am making enough milk during those sessions, but even if not they are happy to continue to nurse.

    I hope some mama's comment on how you can still travel and pump, travel with milk. But I wanted to share my story to let you know that I did partial weaning starting at 10 months, it worked for me, and that is one of the reasons why I am still breastfeeding my almost 14 month old twins (because it's manageable for my life and family). Good luck
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Reducing breastfeeding (not complete weaning) by 11 mo o

    Thanks so much, both of you! lllmeg, that is a good suggestion and I may go that route ... toddlerandtwins, really happy to hear something along these lines worked for you - especially with twins!

    My main fear has been that I would cause my milk to go away completely or cause my LO to strike or wean early, so I will be careful how I approach the scaling back. Maybe I will still try to pump once midday during my trip away in August (so, possibly pumping 3/4 times in 24 hrs instead of 2 times/24 hrs) and try some hand expression on the plane when I have bathroom breaks. I will have to see what type of "Mothers' Room" situation I have at the meeting I'll be at. I've heard breastfeeding rates are very low in the country I'm traveling to, which has been another source of mild anxiety (over maybe not having access to needed resources/locations to do what I need to do).

    Thanks again, I appreciate the advice!

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