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Thread: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

  1. #1
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    Default What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    I'm just wondering. I've heard often on this forum that pump-weaning after a year, Mom's supply is well-enough established that she'll continue to be able to nurse on demand whenever her LO wants to, but that by pump-weaning before a year (even relatively close to a year, like 9 or 10 months) puts your supply in jeopardy. Is this true, and if so, why? Just curious.

    I'm a working mama but don't plan to pump wean before a year in any case. I'm actually thinking I may end up pumping till 15 months or so, if I can swing it, just because my son is already 9.5 months and doesn't eat much in the way of solids. He is still almost completely dependent on my milk for nutrition. So unless he starts eating a lot more solids in the next couple of months, he'll still need bottles during the day, and I'll need to keep pumping. So this question is just out of curiosity. Does something happen to your milk supply at 12 months that makes it more resilient, or what?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    The reason moms can generally look forward to pump weaning at a year is not because 12 months is a magic timespan after which milk supply is amazingly resilient. It's because babies are supposed to have breastmilk as their primary source of nutrition until 12 months, and until that time you must fill any shortfalls in your pumping output with formula, rather than with cow's milk or solids. After 12 months, it's wonderful if you can continue to pump and send bottles to daycare! But you don't absolutely have to, provided your child will take cow's milk or solids. And because after around 12 months breastmilk can make up a lesser proportion of the baby's diet, it doesn't matter so much if your supply dwindles.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    With my first child, I did the "pump weaning at 12 months".

    With my second child, I did not pump at all when I went back to work at 8 months. She never took to the bottle and didn't seem to need it. She got some solids during the day and just nursed a lot when we were at home together. I did not have any problems with supply.

    I don't think there is anything magical about the 12 month mark, but as mommal said, it is considered the transition to when solids become a more significant part of the diet, so it's a reasonable time to make the transition for pumping, all other things being equal. If you're planning to keep going past 12 months, that's awesome (and makes sense given what you said about where your DS is with solids).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    I think the guideline has more to do with the baby needing breastmilk/formula before a year than mom's supply. That said, pump weaning at four or five months could definitely result in a total loss of supply, whereas this is unlikely to happen at a year. There's no magic point when your supply is safe, and every woman is different. But by a year, most women can pump wean and continue to nurse in evenings and on weekends indefinitely.


    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
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    The new reccomended age according to American Academy of Pediatrics is TWO years.
    Mine is turning two next month and I am just now pump weaning.
    I would have happily continued longer, but she has just lost interest in pumped milk.
    So I am just taking my cue from her.
    TW
    <Abigail 9/6/10>

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*wilsonduo97 View Post
    The new reccomended age according to American Academy of Pediatrics is TWO years.
    Two years is the recommended age for breastfeeding, right? Not necessarily pumping at work. I nursed my baby until he was two and a half, but pump weaned at one year. Of course, if you can pump at work for longer, that's awesome, and you should do it!


    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.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    Thank you all! It makes a lot of sense that the recommendation for pump-weaning is based on the fact that baby's main nutrition should be from breastmilk until a year, not that something magical happens with mom's supply at the one-year mark. My son doesn't go to daycare; my mom watches him during the day for me and she's good about doing whatever I say as far as solids vs. breastmilk so no issue there. I'm lucky to have a flexible job where pumping isn't a problem, and I've always been a good producer for the pump, so I can probably get by with one session a day starting when he's a year old. I'm a little concerned that my coworkers will be less understanding about my monopolizing the private office for pumping once he's a year, but I'm usually the only one who's there for most of the day anyway so I can probably continue to fit in at least one session a day. I know my right to pump at work is protected by law up until a year but there's no legal protection after that, right? (I'm in California if it makes a difference). I don't think it is going to be that big an issue since I'm usually the only one using that office anyway, just would like to know what my rights are, legally speaking.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    I'm in CA too. There's no specific time limit that I'm aware of, but the law requires that employers allow employees space to pump for their "infant child" so that would probably suggest younger children. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...file=1030-1033

    That said, for most of us, the law is less important than our rapport with our employer and coworkers.

    I pump weaned at a year because the nature of my work meant that, most of the time, pumping time was ADDED onto my day. At some point, it just made more sense for me to come home a bit earlier and nurse my baby, rather than take the time to pump. Of course, everyone's situation is different.


    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    Thanks for the info JoMo!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What's magical about pump-weaning at a year vs. sooner?

    also, just want to chime in to say that the volume of solids your baby takes at 9.5 months is totally unrelated to the volume at 12 months! DS was still just playing with food at 9.5 months, but very quickly around a year (and even more at 13 months) started to take in a significant number of calories via solids. so needing to send a midday bottle at 11.5 months doesn't mean you'll need to at 12.5 months.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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