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Thread: If I cut down on pumping...

  1. #1
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    Default If I cut down on pumping...

    So, my son will be one year old in 10 days, and I'm starting to think about cutting back to one pumping session a day, with the goal of pump-weaning altogether by 14-15 months. Currently I work about 35 hours a week and pump 2-3x per day while at work, depending on how long I'm going to be gone that day and my work schedule. Right now I am getting 10-14 oz per day combined from my pumping sessions. Last week, I asked my mom to start giving DS solids before his bottles, rather than after, to see if we could up the amount of solids he's taking and decrease the amount of milk I need to pump. When he was getting milk first, then solids, he was taking 9-10 oz per day (occasionally up to 12 oz but that was uncommon). For the past week, with solids-first, bottle-after, he's only taking 4-6 oz of milk per day while I'm gone. Of course we nurse on demand when we're together and when we're together we mostly nurse and don't do a lot of solids (he gets solids 2-3 times per day from my mom while I'm at work). He doesn't have a lot of teeth yet, just 2 on top and 2 on bottom, which makes it hard for him to eat a ton of solids, since we're doing BLS and with no purees or spoon-feeding. He seems to be doing ok with the new approach of solids-first, bottle after if he still seems hungry, and eats fruit, cheese, yogurt, cheerios or crackers, and oatmeal (that mom does spoonfeed) with no problem. He has a tougher time with proteins like chicken, turkey, etc. due to having so few teeth.

    I think he will be okay with about 6 oz of milk per day and the rest solids while I'm gone, and I think I can probably get that 6 oz from one pumping session in the morning and not have to worry about it the rest of the day. However, if he's not okay with 6 oz of breastmilk and needs more, how hard will it be to re-increase my supply once I've partially pump-weaned? Can I just start pumping more again and expect my supply to respond or will that be a lot harder now that he's nearly a year old? I'm nervous about dropping pump sessions if there's no going back, because he still doesn't have many teeth and doesn't take solids that well. I THINK he will be okay with 6 oz, but if he isn't I want to make sure I can go back to producing more, if I need to. I guess the other option is to give him whole milk in addition to whatever I pump but I'd prefer to just keep him on breastmilk for now. I also don't know how well he'd take whole milk, haven't tried it.

    Thanks in advance!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    Don't you have a freezer stash? Or is there Lipase issues?

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    I do have a freezer stash, but yes, there are lipase issues. It seems to stay okay in the freezer for 2-3 weeks after being scalded, but older than that I'm not sure. The main question is, if I cut back on pumping now and find I need to increase it again, will I be able to? Or once I let my supply drop, is that kind of it?
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    I don't really want to speak to it because I don't think you are going to go back. I think that you are moving forward. Hitting the year point and pump weaning and moving into the part of your relationship where you only nurse while together. I don't want to say "there is no going back" because I don't want to scare you. But to me, from the other side it makes more sense to focus on supplementing from your freezer stash if there seems to be any need. But I don't think there will. Be. I think your baby will be fine on 6oz OR LESS during the day as long as you continue to nurse on demand while together. I think the thought of you working to get your supply back up to a place after the year point is a waste of time. You are working towards pump weaning. I think you pumping MORE after you drop to one session is counter productive to your goal. So feel secure in your freezer stash if you need to fall on it a couple of times. But I don't think it's going to go like that.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    Just wanted to say thanks for your reply (I wasn't on here over the weekend so just saw it now). Thanks, you've reassured me. I am dropping to 2 sessions (from 3) as of today, and will be dropping to one session sometime in the next few weeks (after his first birthday, which is a week from today). I think he'll be fine on the 6 oz or so I can probably get from one pumping session. If not, we'll supplement from the freezer stash till that runs out, then give cow's milk. It's so weird though to be purposely letting my supply dwindle after working so hard to keep it up for the past year! I think my anxiety about pump-weaning is mixed in with ambivalence about him turning one, outgrowing his babyhood, etc. I'm sure I'm not the first mother to feel that way, nor will I be the last.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    This was my approach as well - I pumped once a day for a long time, and then slowly cut that pumping out too. It worked out great, my little guy did fine on cow's milk (not required, by the way - if you are nursing 4X a day, your baby doesn't need any "milk" beyond that), and nursed great evenings and weekends. It all just magically works. It is hard to see the end of the era, but pump-weaning really made me love breastfeeding all the more, because pumping was my least favorite part of the whole BF'ing thing. After pump weanings, I could just enjoy nursing, without all of the work-related hassles. So it was a huge relief and really awesome for me.

    But if your baby doesn't do so great without his milk, and if you needed to increase your supply again, I think you could, no problem. By one year, your body is pretty much making milk on demand. You might not make as much, but that's natural since most toddlers dont' drink as much as an infant does.


    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: If I cut down on pumping...

    You will see. When you baby is one year and ONE DAY. He doesn't stop being a baby overnight.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joshuas.mommy View Post
    . It's so weird though to be purposely letting my supply dwindle after working so hard to keep it up for the past year! I think my anxiety about pump-weaning is mixed in with ambivalence about him turning one, outgrowing his babyhood, etc. I'm sure I'm not the first mother to feel that way, nor will I be the last.
    i KNOW! i was there with you too. so weird to switch mindsets from pumping MORE to pumping LESS. but it's a lovely little benefit - your gift on your son's first birthday!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: If I cut down on pumping...

    I'm impressed you can get 6 oz from one session, joshuas.mommy! My DD turned one a little over a week ago, and I'm still pumping 3x a day and getting only about 7-10 oz. with all those combined. I am going to cut back to 2x a day and then hopefully down to 1 (I don't get to nurse before work and then only 3x once I get home and overnight combined). But I think she'll be lucky to get 2 oz when I cut down to one! So you seem to be in good shape from my vantage point.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

    with #2, due mid-June. Will I ever sleep again?

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