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Thread: What does pumping routine look like at 11 months?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    57

    Default What does pumping routine look like at 11 months?

    My 11-month-old has started refusing to nurse, even to latch in her sleep, since yesterday. We had been going on 2-3 months of pretty blissful nursing (no bottles, I stay home) after a long rough period with lots of "mini-strikes," so this came as a surprise, though I know it is common around this time. She is cutting teeth so I am hopeful it is related to that and temporary, however, she will suck from a sippy cup and suck on her thumb just fine, and she is not necessarily unhappy about not nursing. She is just hungry! She doesn't take much (expressed breastmilk) from the cup. She's had maybe 3-4 oz since she last nursed at 4 yesterday.

    I only have a manual pump and if this continues through today, I think I'll want to rent a double electric to get us to the one year point at least. How many times a day and for how long would I need to pump to maintain supply for her at this point? Is it true that my body is more likely to interpret periods like this as weaning, and so I need to be extra careful, or is the reverse true? Thanks so much for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: What does pumping routine look like at 11 months?

    Ugh, nursing strikes are the worst! I hope your baby decides to go back to the breast soon.

    I'd aim for around 8 pump sessions per day, at least until a year. Annoying and time-consuming, but then it's just 1 more month before you can start weaning- if that's what you want. I don't know if there's any way to say what your individual body will do when faced with long intervals between milk removal events. On the one hand, you've been nursing for close to a year and that sometimes means that your supply is a little less vulnerable to fluctuations. But on the other hand, long intervals between nursing sessions is how weaning happens. Therefore, I think a little extra caution is warranted, at least until you hit the 1 year mark.
    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
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: What does pumping routine look like at 11 months?

    Thanks so much. I wouldnt' have thought so many sessions were necessary, so that is good to know. Looking back over the past couple months, the truth is that I may have been inadvertently encouraging weaning by not being more proactive about upping the number of feedings, which had dwindled to 3-4...i.e. only before naps and bed, with maybe a very brief snack in between some days. I would always offer if she seemed to be asking and always before solids, but almost never would she accept. Only when sleepy. So maybe she wants it this way? Still, to go from 3-4 happy feedings to none at all seems a bit abrupt. I know my body thinks so--hello, engorgement. I am going to ask the pediatrician what she thinks too, as I'm not sure if her allergies to cow's milk would have any bearing on the situation---how important it is to continue with BM through a year, etc. I sure would love to have some yogurt and cheese again, but not so much in exchange for early weaning.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: What does pumping routine look like at 11 months?

    8 sessions might not be necessary, depending on you as an individual. The number 8 is a big guesstimate on my part, which I arrived at from 3 factors: first, most women require at least 8 nursing sessions per day in order to feed their babies exclusively on breastmilk; second, breastmilk is supposed to be the baby's majority form of nutrition until a year; third, pumping generally isn't as effective at maintaining milk supply as nursing is. You might need just 5-6 sessions per day to get the milk you need. Or maybe just 3-4. It really depends on what your individual body can and will do!

    Allergies to cow's milk do make this situation more difficult, because babies who are 100% weaned from the breast still need some form of whole milk "dairy" until age 2, at least. So if your baby weans herself, and you decide to stop pumping, what are you going to offer to meet that "dairy" requirement? Definitely talk to the doc about this, and maybe a nutritionist as well.
    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!"

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