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Thread: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    My LO is one week shy of 9 months and I've been back to work full-time for 3 months.

    My pumping schedule so far has been:
    At 7 am I nurse baby while pumping the other side (output anywhere from 1 oz to 3 oz, usually in the 1.5-2 oz range), I then double-pump at work at 9:30am, 12pm, 2pm, 4:30pm.

    I arrive home at around 6pm and feed on demand. At night we co-sleep and she wakes up every 2-3 hours to nurse. I pump in the mornings on my days off and weekend to help keep my supply up and stock up the freezer an usually I produce enough for my DD (in the range of 8 - 14 oz).

    In all honestly I'm really TIRED of pumping this much (my deepest respect to moms who exclusively pump - I cannot imagine how you do this!), but I'm not sure if/when/how to start dropping pumping sessions. I'd like to pump wean completely at a year and avoid formula supplementation.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Signed: one exhausted mom.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    Do you have much of a freezer stash? How much of a decrease in pump sessions are you shooting for?

    Since you want to make it to a year without formula, I would take the average oz you pump at your afternoon sessions ( the best candidates to drop) and then figure how many days of bottles you have in your stash to cover the loss of that session. That should give you a rough estimate since your babe's milk intake is probably stable now (or may still decrease some if solids intake becomes higher).

    That said, you might not see much of a decline going from 4 to 3 sessions. By then I had moved to 3 approx evenly spaced sessions and was getting the same amount of milk--my LO only nursed in 3-4 hr intervals so it was a better match to her natural routine.

    If you wanted to try dropping that 2:00 session you could probably do that easily. If your supply starts to go down or you otherwise don't think it's working out, then you can always just add if back in.
    Ali
    Mama to M, BF 17mo
    and H, born Feb '12

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    The fact that you say you pump on weekends to keep your supply up makes me think you should not drop sessions unless you have enough in the freezer to tide you over.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    The fact that you say you pump on weekends to keep your supply up makes me think you should not drop sessions unless you have enough in the freezer to tide you over.
    Susan, hmmmm... your comment made me think some more.

    I've started doing this when I first went back to work b/c I wasn't responding to the pump well, was really stressed out about pumping in general, plus the nanny was really overfeeding DD.

    Maybe as a first step of reducing my pump-induced-tiredness I should try and stop pumping on my days off and see if I can be OK without those sessions? These days all of what I pump over the weekends gets frozen, b/c it's not usually needed.

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

    Default Re: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    Yes. Try that. If you are making enough plus by dropping weekends, then you can try cutting back during the week.
    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
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    I'm back to report that the quality of my life went up 150% after I stopped pumping at home in the morning and on the weekends. Yay!

    I'm still pumping 4 times at work, but we are off to a week-long vacation tomorrow and I plan to go down to x3 after we are back (DD will be 9.5 months then). So far I've been making enough (it also helps that my DD is very enthusiastic about solids and my nanny is a lot less milk-crazy since she can channel her feeding energy into solids).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Dropping pumping sessions - how and when?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*luckypixie View Post
    I'm back to report that the quality of my life went up 150% after I stopped pumping at home in the morning and on the weekends. Yay!
    That's great! I missed this thread before, but in reading it just now, I was thinking, does she really need those morning and weekend pumping sessions? Sure enough, you didn't! Awesome.


    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.

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