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Thread: When to phase out pumping? Almost at a year

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    4

    Default When to phase out pumping? Almost at a year

    Hi all - I'm curious about when or if to start phasing out pumping. I know I have a lot of reading to do, but this is such a new step for us! Thanks for any advice or stories - I appreciate you all so much.

    Main question: do I have to pump during the day still to keep a decent supply at night? My goal for now is to bf as long as she wants.

    My daughter is almost 1 yr (next Saturday ), and has taken bottles of pumped milk during the day since 4 months. I work full time and pump 3-4 times during the day. We nurse on-demand in the evening and 2-4 times at night/early morning.
    Six weeks ago or so, she suddenly refused all bottles and did a few days of drinking nothing at all. After a few days, we got her to take sippy cups and reg cups of water and breast milk, but she's never returned to her 10-16 oz of milk a day. And after all this, she discovered solid food (we had been taking it really slowly and going by her cues), and she started eating everything in sight. We still nurse evening/night.
    I'm pumping 2-3 times a day now, and scalding and donating most of my extra milk (I'm getting 50 extra oz a week, so it has to go somewhere!!) I'm ok with pumping 2-3 times a day for a while, but I'm curious when or if I should back off of that. Do I keep pumping for someone else's baby? Or will pumping 2 times a day keep my supply up at night? Or can I quit pumping and still have a supply in six months?

    I've spent so long keeping track of my supply and boosting it back up a few times that it really really really strange to back off my normal routine!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: When to phase out pumping? Almost at a year

    Hi mama, unless you want to continue donating milk, you can start pump weaning now. Your baby has made it as clear as can be that she doesn't need much (if any) of your milk during the daytime! In any case, many/most mothers who work outside the home pump wean at around a year. Some add cow's milk during the day, but if you are nursing between 3-5 times per 24 hours, giving your LO water during the day is fine. Or, if you want her to continue having breastmilk during the day, you could save some of your extra milk in the freezer and continue to use that over the next few months. And yes, you will still have plenty of milk at night and on weekends. My LO is turning 18 months next week. I pump weaned at a year and she nurses happily when we are together! And there are plenty of other moms on here who do the same, I'm sure they will chime in too! It is definitely a psychological shift to go from making sure you have enough ounces every day to not worrying about pumping, but so nice not to have to schedule your day around pumping!

    In terms of HOW to pump wean, as with any weaning, gradually is best. So drop one pump session, wait a few days or a week, then when you're comfortable, drop the next - it depends on how full you feel how slowly you need to go, and whether you're prone to things like plugged ducts. I start with dropping the last session in the day, since that's usually the one with the least milk to begin with. Then you can spread out your other sessions to cover the day. So drop your fourth session, then spread the remaining three out; drop the third session, and spread the remaning two out, and so on.

    Congrats on a year of nursing!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,626

    Default Re: When to phase out pumping? Almost at a year

    It's up to you if you want to keep donating. It's a really wonderful, special gift but if you just want to meet your child's needs then start backing off now as PP mentioned.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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