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Thread: Advice for final stretch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Advice for final stretch

    Hi Ladies!
    So, here I am in my last 5 weeks of year 1. I am so excited.

    As the 1 year mark approaches, I would like some advice or personal experience to help me decide how to proceed.

    My supply has taken a hit, partially because of solids, partially because I've become way to loosey goosey with my nursing/pumping duties on the weekends and partially because DS has had a double ear infection, a cold and cut four teeth within the last two weeks. . I'm much more structured during the week. Our weekly schedule goes something like this

    515am- nurse followed by 10 minutes of pumping
    815am- pump at work
    1015am- pump at work
    1215pm pump at work
    215pm- pump at work
    5pm- nurse followed by pumping
    745pm- nurse followed by pumping
    11pm- pump
    Nurse as needed overnight. Usually at least one time... sometimes much more, rarely not at all.

    During the day, I usually get between 16-19oz of milk from the pumpings. I obviously can't say exactly how much he gets from the nursing sessions. Hopefully enough to push him over the 20oz mark. I had to start incorporating pumping after the nursing sessions because DS wasn't emptying me. It still takes him at least 20-30 minutes to nurse. He never got the efficiency memo.

    So, with five weeks remaining and a freezer full of frozen milk, how hard should I try to build my supply up? Here are the factors i think I should be considering....

    1. If he doesn't take to cow's milk right away, I will need to provide enough milk to help him transition and who knows how long that might take.

    2. I obviously don't want to run out of frozen milk too soon and scramble to get the milk he needs.

    ??? What else do I need to consider??
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; July 9th, 2013 at 01:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Advice for final stretch

    Hi there!

    I get the impression that you're in a hurry to wean after the 1 year mark - would you say that is true, or am I misreading a bit? If so, I wonder if you have considered just continuing for as long as baby wants to nurse, or if you have already decided to start cutting down on the breastmilk you offer at age 1. You mentioned cow's milk, and it made me remember that my older daughter didn't like cow's milk until she was over 2 years old; and while cow's milk isn't strictly necessary, I did also keep nursing her all that time because I wanted to make sure she had enough of everything - cow's milk IS a good source of calcium and fat.

    I guess to answer your question "How hard should I try to build my supply up?" it depends on if you want to keep nursing or if you do want to stop as soon as possible! Certainly pumping and/or nursing more will increase your supply, and I'm sure you've heard all the usual herb/food recommendations.

    Does that help at all??

    Congrats on (almost there...) making it to a year of nursing! My second babe will be 1 soon, too

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Advice for final stretch

    I really have no plans on weaning, but plan on ditching the pump. I'm not going to worry about DS getting the minimum amount of ounces. I plan on introducing cow's milk and providing it at meals but still nursing on demand. I just can't keep up the constant pumping.
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; July 9th, 2013 at 11:10 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Advice for final stretch

    ok, so, the general wisdom is that if you're nursing on demand at a year, you can ditch the pump without hurting your supply, and that if baby is nursing 3-4 times per 24 hours, you can do without cow's milk or other substitute. things are easier on you if you don't mind starting cow's milk, and i think MOST babies take it just fine. i don't know what "a freezer full" of milk means to you, but i don't think if i were you at this point (and knowing your history) that i would do anything to build a supply back UP in the 5 weeks left; you probably want to be holding steady or tapering off instead!

    i guess another question is whether you want to pump wean entirely, or whethr you're ok with 1-2 pumps/day for awhile. either way, you'll want to back off these pumps slowly, and depending on how much you want to use of the freezer stash, you could start that now.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Advice for final stretch

    Gotcha. I totally get it - I hate pumping and only do it when I absolutely have to! Good on you for doing it for so long. I'd stop pumping and keep nursing, personally. And like auderey said, it sounds like you have enough milk stored that you could start cutting down on pumping now or soon. I hope it goes smoothly for you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,912

    Default Re: Advice for final stretch

    Are you still adding milk to the freezer stash? If so I think the first thing you could do is to try to back down on pumping at least to the point where you are not producing extra.... From what you describe - the fact that you are not drained after 20-30 minutes of nursing - I'm wondering whether you actually have some degree of oversupply right now. I know, crazy thought, since I know you've always worried about having enough - but the fact that you even have a freezer stash is testament to the fact that you make MORE than enough!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Advice for final stretch

    I'm not really adding much to the stash now. Occasionally I might... but definitely not regularly. If my son's diaper output was better I would probably be more apt to think oversupply may be a factor, but despite long nursing sessions his diapers are usually not very wet. With the exception of the last pumping of the day, if I pump immediately following a nursing session I almost always offer DS the expressed milk soon after i get it. For a while when I pumped following the nursing sessions I would stash that milk, but now I'm trying to offer him everything i pump to ensure that he's getting a minimum of 20oz per day.

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