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Thread: Nursing less and confused about what to do!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    NYC
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    Default Nursing less and confused about what to do!

    Hi mamas, I am grateful and blessed to have nursed my son for almost a year. We've gone through so many challenges (tongue tie, reflux, vasospasms) that I can't believe we've made it this far.

    My son (who will be a year in a few weeks) has definitely not shown as much interest in nursing over the past few months. I still pump three times a day while I'm at work and he drinks about 10-12 ounces while I'm at work. He nurses in the morning when he wakes up for a good long while. I initiate another morning nursing before I go to work (he usually doesn't take much) and then again before he goes to bed.

    On the weekends, I feel like I'm always initiating the nursing. He doesn't "ask." Sometimes he will, but after a few sips, he's off and running. He doesn't have any water or other liquids in his diet. He has three solid meals a day and eats a ton of solids.

    What do you recommend in terms of pumping at work? I pump three times a day and would love to stop one of those sessions but since he drinks breast milk during the day, I'm worried about reducing my pumps. I am also really protective of my milk supply! I pump about 12-14 ounces a day at work. If I do cut out a pump, what do I replace this with? I've read that goat milk is more like breast milk and is less hard to digest than whole milk. When I'm at home on the weekends, do I just nurse during the day? (i.e. initiate the nursings). I also have a big freezer stash so my thought was to use that down first and then transition to other milk.

    I'm not pushing to totally wean but am reading my son's cues. I am definitely more sad about the prospect of not breastfeeding anymore. I still think he wants to nurse in the mornings and before bed but I am confused about what happens during the day. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: Nursing less and confused about what to do!

    Hi sb, my LO is the same age as yours and has a very similar nursing schedule. The rule of thumb is that if your LO is nursing (or drinking EBM) at least 3 times/day in 24 hours, he doesn't need additional dairy. If not, you can add in either cow's milk or goat's milk, or other dairy sources such as yogurt or cheese. If he is eating solids well then you certainly don't need to keep pumping at work. Many moms pump wean at a year (I have done this with my previous kids, and I've started the pump weaning process for this LO as well) - and continue the nursing relationship with their LO's outside of work. It's common for an active toddler to be interested in other things besides nursing, especially during the day. At a year you start transitioning from breastmilk being the major source of nutrition for your LO, to breastmilk playing a complementary role to the solids he is taking in. And of course, breastfeeding is also about comfort and connection. So while he may be busy playing during the day, he will probably still be happy to nurse upon waking up and going to bed, at the very least - and you may find that he increases nursing at certain times. Certainly if you want to continue breastfeeding then it is a good idea to continue to offer, but don't panic if he only wants to nurse a few times per day - that does not mean that your breastfeeding relationship is coming to an end! The other thing is that it would be fine to introduce water together with his meals during the day. But if you have frozen breastmilk then it's also fine to continue offering that until you run out. Anyway, sounds like you are doing great, and it's wonderful that you've made it to a year!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    NYC
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    80

    Default Re: Nursing less and confused about what to do!

    Thanks so much for your help. This is really helpful advice. It's weird how freaked out I am about pump weaning- I can't imagine not producing milk since it's been such a big part of my life for the past year!

    About how much milk or dairy do you suggest? My son has recently started sleeping through the night so he will nurse before bed, when he wakes up, and then I initiate once more before I go to work. He's often not interested in nursing before I go to work. So I'm thinking about pump weaning first: pumping just twice a day for a week or so (10 and 2:30) and then trying to pump only once a day after that (maybe just in the morning since I'm fullest then). What do you think?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Nursing less and confused about what to do!

    I think your pump weaning plan sounds great. If you're nursing at least twice/day and you're continuing to give him EBM once a day (whether from pumping once/day or from your freezer stash), you should be set on the dairy. If you eventually run out of frozen milk and you want to drop the last pumping session, and he's still only nursing twice/day (you never know, as his one-year molars come in he might want to nurse at night again!) you can give him milk (whether cow's or goat's) with a couple of his meals, or do milk with one meal and yogurt at another - whatever works. And on the weekends, if he is interested in nursing three times/day, you don't need to do the milk/yogurt.
    I know what you mean about the pump weaning - pumping becomes so much a part of your life that in a way it's hard to think about stopping! But it's really nice when you can pack that pump away!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: Nursing less and confused about what to do!

    Thanks again! One last question: if I do completely stop pumping during the week while I'm at work but my son may want to nurse on the weekends during the day, will I have milk for him when he wants to nurse during the day?

    Oh boy, I used to be so worried about whether he was getting enough with breast feeding and now it's the opposite!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: Nursing less and confused about what to do!

    Yes, there will still be milk there. Remember your breasts are never "empty," so even if your son nurses on a Saturday morning, if he feels like nursing again on Saturday afternoon, there will be milk in there, even if you are no longer pumping at that time. And if he does nurse Saturday afternoon, it sends the signal to your body to make more milk again, so that when he wants to nurse at bedtime, there will be milk in there again. Supply is generally very well-regulated by this point.

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