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Thread: Preparing to wean

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Central PA
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    Default Preparing to wean

    I'm starting to think more about weaning my 9.5 mo daughter. I need to be able to stop pumping at work as soon as she is 1 yr. Any suggestions on how and when to start this. My typical day consist of this: Nurse at 5:30, pump at 7:30 (at home), 10:30 & 2:00 (at work), nurse as soon as I get home at 5:15, nurse daughter to bed anywhere from 7:30-8:00. My first concern is eliminating all work time pumpings. It would also be nice if I could eliminate the one before I got to work at 7:30 since it would give me more time to sleep or clean . I could pump at home on my lunch break if necessary but would prefer not do because then I have to inhale my lunch to be able to make it back to work on time. I want to be prepared in advance to how I am going to handle this before she actually turns a 1 yr in case I have to ease my breasts into this . Currently she is awaking during the night at least once or twice and the only way to get her back to sleep is to nurse her. I think this is due to teething because she was sleeping from 8:00 or 8:30pm to anywhere from 3-6am prior to her first tooth.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,615

    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    Lots of moms pump-wean at a year, so you're in good company!

    Breastmilk (or formula) should make up the majority of a baby's diet until a year, with solids just for experimentation with new tastes, textures, and motor skills. So until around a year you want to keep most or all of your pump sessions until 12 months to ensure a) that baby has the milk she needs at daycare and b) that your supply stays close to what baby needs for those days when you're home with her and nursing all the time. If you get to 10-11 months and you still have a huge stash of milk in the freezer, you could start cutting out a single pumping session and see what happens. Once you're at 12 months, you can gradually cut out the daytime pumping sessions. Cut one, wait a few days for supply to adjust downwards, and then cut another.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Northern CA
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    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    with Mommal

    If you want to fully wean that is okay. But if you simply want to stop pumping at a year, you can do that and still nurse your daughter when you are together. I work 10-12 hour shifts and stopped pumping at around 12 months with both my children. DS continued to nurse for another 5 months. DD is almost three years old and still nursing. Once you have nursed for a year, your supply is much more stable and can handle long stretches of being apart from your baby with no ill effects.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    Hi mama, do you have a freezer stash? If so, you can start the pump weaning process before 12 months in order to be done at exactly 12 months. Exactly when depends on how much you have in the freezer and how much milk your LO drinks. Also, I'm wondering about your statement that you could pump at home during your lunch break - does that mean you could nurse at home during your lunch break? At least for me nursing is quicker than pumping. That way you might be able to transition more easily. How quickly you can pump wean depends on how abundant your supply is and how much you are pumping per session. For me I would not have been able to cut out a session just like that, because I would have been way too full - I had to first back down on the amount I was pumping with each session, then cut out the session. But others can get by with just dropping sessions. Either way though, gradual pump weaning is best to avoid or diminish engorgement, plugged ducts, and the potential for mastitis.

    I wholeheartedly agree with wdsmom that pump-weaning does not have to mean total weaning. I've continued nursing each of my three children after pump weaning. Currently nursing my 13.5 month-old after pump-weaning at a year. I think a lot of working mothers find nursing much more enjoyable and less stressful when they no longer have to deal with pumping. That's certainly been true for me. Just a thought! But it's absolutely wonderful that you have nursed your baby this long - working and pumping takes a lot of effort!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Central PA
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    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    I do have a small freezer stash but could possibly increase it lately with my DD teething and waking up once or twice a night. Before the teething she had been sleeping about 9 hours straight at night but those days are just a fleeting memory now No I couldn't nurse at home on lunch for two reasons 1) my DD goes to daycare about 20 minutes away and 2) she also nurses for a good while (anywhere from 20-45) especially before her nap (which would be at lunchtime) and before bed. For me pumping is quicker than nursing most of the time. Last month during all three pumping sessions I would usually get about 7-10 oz and lately I've been getting about 9-11 oz. I've increased her bottles due to this increase but I think she would probably be fine with the amounts that she had been used to before my increase so that I could increase my stash. She does eat solids too. I try not to give her too much of the solids so that she drinks all her milk and doesn't fill up on solids but my daycare lady keeps on telling me that DD should be eating more solids at this point. She compares what she eats to what her other daycare kids ate at her age.

    I'm really on the fence about total weaning. I don't want to just take away something that means so much to her. I have pretty much become her pacifer I think at times. I'm also worried about how I would get her to sleep at night, at naps, and in the middle of the night when she wakes. I nurse her to sleep at night and at naps and the only way I can usually get her back to sleep in the middle of the night is to nurse. I'm afraid of totally weaning her and then having trouble with all these times that nursing is the only solution.

    Yes I do agree that pumping takes a lot of effort and is stressful. It feels like my life revolves around it. DD is only ever away from me when I'm working so I do throughly enjoy my pump free weekends however my fiance sometimes pressures me to send her with a grandparent for the day on the weekend so I can get my school work or so we can do things around the house. This usually gets me all bend out of shape for a couple reasons. First reason is that I feel the weekends are the only time that I get to spend quality bonding time with her. During the week as soon as we are both home and done nursing I have 50 million things to do before she and I both go to bed. Secondly I don't want to pump any more than I already do during the week. I'm starting to feel the pressure to fully wean and I don't know how I feel about that. I'm not ready for my DD to spend the night away from me and I think if I did fully wean certain family members may want to keep her overnight. I think I'm considering still nursing after a year to avoid this from happening. I wouldn't mind not having to nurse all the time and it would be nice to have my fiance be able to help put her to bed. Sometimes it all gets a bit overwhelming at times and its hard because I'm the only one who has what she wants or needs right now.

    Sorry that I'm rambling on but I just feel a lot of pressure coming from various people in my life about all of this. I try to vent to other people in my life and they all seem to take everyone else's standpoint but mine. I think most people I know don't feel as strongly about breasfeeding as I do and they seem to think that solids are so important at this stage of my DD's diet and the just think of me as a food source and not about the pleasure and reassurance that DD gets from nursing in addition to the nutrition.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    Do not wean your child due to pressure from other people. If you want to wean, fine. But there is no, none, not any not one single reason to wean a child at a year and many many reasons to keep nursing, the most important being that you and your child enjoy nursing!

    As far as your fiance and other family members pressuring you to leave your very young baby with others overnight or on weekends-Well, that is just weird. Isn't it bad enough you have the pain of being separated from your child so you can work? Of course you want to be with her as much of the time as possible-nursing or not!

    You are normal. Your desire to be with your baby (and she with you) is normal and healthy.

    What if a friend came to you and said "I really love my job and want to advance my career, which requires some weekend work. however my fiance sometimes pressures me to not go to work for the day esp. on the weekend so I can get my school work or so we can do things around the house. This usually gets me all bend out of shape for a couple reasons. First reason is that I feel the weekends are the only time that I have one and one time with my boss who is my mentor and I learn from her, plus if she sees how hard I work I will get a promotion, and after that things will calm down and I will have more time. During the week I have 50 million things to do before she and I both go to bed. .... I'm starting to feel the pressure to take more time off and I don't know how I feel about that. I'm not ready to lose my job and if I did take time off certain family members may move in on my extra time and make me do things for them that I don't want to do...."

    Wouldn't you tell your friend that her fiance and her family members are being incredibly selfish???

    What about what YOU want? what about what your baby wants and needs, which is you. Your child is only little for a VERY short time. These early years are vital for creating a strong bond with your child, which will pay off with a lifetime of loving trust and connection.

    Do you have a breastfeeding support group near you?
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 2nd, 2013 at 12:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    I just wish certain people would be more supportive of our breastfeeding. Yes I do need help with my DD a lot. I am working full-time and in the process of finishing my Bachelors degree online. On the weekends I try to get my school work done but it is hard because my DD either wants to be down crawling all around (which is difficult keeping an eye on her while trying to study or complete my assignments). My fiance is busy getting yard work and house repairs done on the weekend so it's hard for him to check an eye on her in between our nursings while I do my stuff. I wish family could/would come visit with her while I do stuff so I don't have to 'ship her off' to a relative's just to get things done like my fiance suggests. The family isn't really pressuring to take her overnight yet but I know they think that once she turns a year and can have cow's milk she won't be nursing anymore and they can spend more "alone" time with her and are looking forward to keeping her overnight once she is no longer breastfeeding. I was begining to feel like I was the one being selfish. After reading your version of the situation it does appear that maybe I am not the one being selfish after all. My fiance and some family members are. What did you mean when you said "plus if she sees how hard I work I will get a promotion, and after that things will calm down and I will have more time"?

    Sometimes it seems like what I want is such a big deal to ask for. I do realize that she is only little for a short time and that's why I am so adement about having her with me at all times except for when I'm working. I don't want to miss a thing. She is already away from me so much during the week and I think that I've already missed some of her very firsts during these times.

    There are only 2 local support groups; one is at the hospital and the other is a LLL group but unfortuately one is too close to my DD's bedtime and the other is during the day when I am at work. I would love to be able to attend them both.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    Hi mama, I agree with meg, what you are feeling is normal! Of course a mama wants to be with her baby and a baby wants to be with her mama. And if you're working that time together is so precious. It does go by fast. And as a working mother myself, I feel like nursing is such an important way to maintain that mother/baby bond. So don't give in to pressure to wean just because other people are telling you to do it. This is YOUR baby and this time is fleeting and you don't get it back. You are doing an amazing job - work, baby, school - wow! I admire you.

    As for your family members who are so eager to keep her overnight: what if you just came out and told them you're not ready to give her up for a full day or overnight (and I totally hear you on not wanting to pump any more than you already are), but you would love it if they could come over for an hour or two and spend time with the baby while you do some of your schoolwork?

    It's also normal for baby to comfort nurse. Don't let people tell you that "you shouldn't be her pacifier." And I agree, nursing is a great way to get baby to sleep!

    You're doing a great job mama! You are NOT being selfish. Forming that close, intimate, one-in-a-kind bond between mother and baby, as meg says, is exactly what baby NEEDS.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    Okay, so your original post was about pump weaning. I got distracted by my annoyance with people pressuring you to wean. I think you can safely go back to feeding your daughter the amount she was getting before especially if she is doing a lot of night awakenings (which is probably why you've seen your daytime pump output increase, by the way - nighttime nursing is great for working/pumping mamas!). That will give you more of a cushion to tide you over during the weeks when you're pump weaning. So you can see how much of a stash you have when you get to the 11 month point and then figure out when you can start pump weaning. The more time you can give yourself, the gentler it is on your body.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Preparing to wean

    I have a nine month old too and she is crawling like crazy. It is much harder to do things like sit at my computer than a few months ago!

    Yes it is frustrating your relatives won't come to your house to help! What if you AND your baby went to the relatives, and you did your school work, while they watched baby crawl around, and then brought baby to you to nurse? Or what about asking around for a responible, level headed girl of 10 or so (or older) to be a mothers helper a couple hours a week, so you can do your school work at home with baby playing in the next room? Mothers helpers are less expensive than sitters.

    What if one weekend day was for yard/house work, and one day for fiance taking baby for a walk or playing with baby so you can work? That would give him needed bonding time with baby as well. And again, he could bring baby to you to nurse or when baby 'wants mama.'

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