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Thread: Weaning from the pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Weaning from the pump

    My daughter is 3 months old and about a month ago we found out that she has a milk allergy so we switched her to formula. I have been exclusively pumping since she was born after many failed attempts at breastfeeding. Prior to switching to formula I was pumping 5-6 times per day. I have managed to get down to 2 pumps a day - I dropped one pump per week - but am finding it hard to get rid of the last two pump sessions (one in the morning and one at night). I tried dropping to one session but I was very engorged, sore and I could feel areas of hardness still in my breasts so I went back to two sessions to avoid getting an infection. I'm not emptying the breasts during the pumping sessions, usually just pumping about 5 minutes but I'm still getting 2-3 oz from each side.

    I'm really a newbie at all this. Any recommendations on what I should do next? Should I try pumping for a shorter period of time or try to drop one session altogether?

    Any advice would be great

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Weaning from the pump

    dear SRB,
    I am responding to your post b/c so many moms read these forums
    and misinformation is rampant among the uninformed.
    I am truly sorry you were lead to believe that your precious infant was
    Allergic to your milk.
    The only infants who can not be fed their own mother's milk are those with
    Galactosemia. that is a life threatening absence of the enzyme to break down galactose.
    There is no such thing as a infant who is allergic to breastmilk. It's like saying an infant is allergic to their own blood or saliva.

    If you are trying to stop producing milk, stop pumping.
    hand express to relieve achy fullness, but do not try to express out every last drop b/c that stimulates the production of more milk.
    Which in reality, if you wanted to try breastfeeding your baby again, you are ahead of the game b/c you kept up your milk supply.
    Last edited by @llli*esthervegan; August 5th, 2012 at 04:59 AM.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Weaning from the pump

    I think srb might be saying that her daughter is allergic to cows milk. This can happen and sometimes babies grow out of it, but not always. My 7 mo is allergic to cow's protein and we found out when she was about 1 month old using an elimination diet. So I do not eat any dairy of any kind. This is a huge lifestyle change for me and it is not easy. I still accidentally eat a hidden dairy ingredient every now and again. The latest mistake I made was to forget to tell my PCP and she prescribed me penicillin for strep throat. I just didn't think of it and took 1 pill. The pills have a lactose filler in them so my poor dd had a full allergic reaction complete with large amounts of blood in her poop, rash and crankiness the poor thing was so uncomfortable. I have now added the allergy to my record so that mistake shouldn't happen again. Breastfeeding is very important to me and my baby so I work very hard to avoid dairy of any kind. I will say again it is not easy. Even once I realized there might be a dairy ingredient in the medicine I had to spend a long time on the phone with the pharmacist to confirm and they kept saying lactose allergy. This is not the same as cow protein allergy. People do not understand. Also, I miss cheese (pizza, nachos, Parmesan . . .), ice cream and milk. I also miss take-out and going out to eat. I have found however that restaurants around here are not all that reliable when it comes to dairy allergy. They are great for gluten or peanuts but don't quite understand that diary is in things like bread, batter for fried foods and so on. For me it is worth it to maintain my breastfeeding relationship for the bonding and nutritional benefits. I want to keep feeding my baby normally rather than switch to artificial feeding methods. This is something each family needs to decide on their own. If you find your child has a milk protein allergy I would encourage you to go online and do some research to figure out if you think it is a lifestyle change you think you can do so that you can continue to breastfeed/give breast milk. Check out Kelly Mom Hidden Dairy Cheat Sheet, Yummily for dairy free recipes, Enjoy Life for a ton of yummy dairy free snacks and always read labels. There are a ton of people out there who live without dairy and most of them have blogs I obviously have my own opinion and I think that people should be very sure to educate themselves prior to taking away their baby's best food source, but I also know how hard it can be to really avoid dairy. Good luck in whatever you decide.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Shakedown St.

    Default Re: Weaning from the pump

    m11612 has given you some great information on dealing with a cow's milk protein allergy if you choose to continue nursing at this point (which is certainly still an option if it suits you). If not, then there are a few things that you can do to help with the engorgement while you wean. I have not weaned (so take this for what it's worth), but I can tell you some things I did to handle engorgement due to oversupply that can be applied to weaning. I think you can start shortening up your pumping sessions to encourage your body to make less milk if it is too uncomfortable to drop a session entirely (I would work on dropping one pumping session at a time). If you try to drop one session, then massage your breasts firmly during engorgement to avoid plugged ducts (it hurts, but it really helps). A firm massage in a warm shower helped work out stubborn plugs for me, but you shouldn't let the warm water run directly on your breasts because it can stimulate milk production. I found a lot of relief from cold compresses, and you can also try putting some cabbage leaves in your bra.

    Here is a list of herbs that tend to lower milk supply:


    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Weaning from the pump

    Yeah, sorry about that. I guess I went on a tangent. I don't know anything about pump weaning, but phi gave some good advice on dealing with engorgement.

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