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Thread: Reducing pump frequency?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Reducing pump frequency?

    My boy is 7.5 months and I've been working outside the home since he was 10 weeks. I pump 3x during the work day and am blessed by being able to put milk away in the deep freezer at the end of each week and still continuing to give my boy very generous bottles while he's at day care. It is a nice problem to have; I am blessed.
    Where I am going with this is to see if other mommies have been able to reduce their pump frequency during the work day and still keep up with their supply. I do not have the ability to pump at my desk. I physically go to another building to pump and it's a major inconvience to my work day. It is also taking a toll on me physically and mentally. If I only had to pump twice during the workday, I think it would help me so much. I'm just not sure how it would ultimately affect my supply in the long run.
    I can give further specifics on my pump schedule, I was just curious if I could back off my pump frequency for my mental health and productivity but still maintain a good supply.
    My goal is to ebf until my boy is 12 months, then gradually wean from then. He will be a year Jan 25. My thought was to reduce my pump frequency down to twice a day (while at work) on Nov 1. We do have quite the freezer stash in case my supply took too much a hit and had to go back to 3x during the work day.
    Any advice would be helpful!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    How much does your son drink every day and how much do you pump? I went down to twice a day - and it was nice! - but did go back to three times a day after about 9 months or so, with Beatrix. I think you should be fine going down to twice a day. It would be best if you could pump what he's drinking and maybe stop adding to that stash. How much do you have frozen?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    My lo gets 4 bottles at 5oz each. He is very active at day care and is thriving on what he's getting. Even with what he gets during the day, we still add to our freezer stash. I can't say exactly how much we have frozen, but we are quickly filling our small deep freezer.
    If I go down to 2 pumps during the work day and notice a major decrease in my supply, if I go back to 3 pumps during the work day would that help?
    My main concern right now is to make it to a year, we're doing great, but I'm just concerned about getting too lax and having supply issues at the end (even though that's not an issue right now). I'm extremely methodical in how I do things and my lo is too precious to me to slack off. He is worth the sacrafice, but if I can make my life easier without it affecting my supply, I would so do it.
    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    Yes, if your supply decreases too much, you can add the extra pump session back in and you can get your supply back up. It's not immediate, but you should be fine. It sounds like you should be able to suplement with your freezer stash if you need to while you get your supply back up. Or you can just keep pumping three times a day, but maybe pump for a little less time one of the times.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    what is your average daily output each day? I see he's drinking 20oz per day, are you pumping each day for the next day's bottles? and still adding to the stash?
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    Thanks for the advice. We got off to a rocky start with breastfeeding. But now at almost 8 months we're doing real well and my lo's thriving. So I've been hesitant to deviate from the routine because we're doing so well. But my mental health is suffering with all these breaks during the work day. This whole pumping at work thing is tough! I admire all the mommas who continue to do it after a year old. Thank you again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    I pumped twice a day for most of my pumping career with Joe. I was gone approximately 9 hours a day, and would nurse right before leaving and first thing when I got home. I never had any problem with supply on this plan, but I tend towards oversupply (and different women have different "storage capacity"). I did allocate a nice long break for pumping (about 30 minutes), tried for two letdowns, and really emptied my breasts. Basically, I think you kind of have to feel it out - if you see a decrease in supply (beyond what you're comfortable with - sounds like you're making more than your baby needs now), then you can always add a pumping session back in.


    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,908

    Default Re: Reducing pump frequency?

    I've always pumped twice during my workday (which is typically 8.5 - 9 hours at work, plus a half hour commute on either side) and always had enough to get my first two babies past a year without formula (third baby is 7 months and doing fine with her too). But I do think it depends on milk supply; I'm fortunate in always having had a robust supply. With baby number #2, I actually went down to one pumping session in the last six to eight weeks and used the frozen milk stash to make up the difference.

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