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Thread: Pumping at work beyond a year:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    567

    Default Pumping at work beyond a year:

    I know the overwhelming feeling is that pump weaning at a year is totally okay, that your body will adjust, etc. I am thinking a lot about the year point, as I have recently hit a minor, but seemingly permanent pump slump.

    It seems like most people worry about engorgement, leaking, etc--literally, they need to wean slowly to tell their body to make less milk during the work day. I worry about the opposite. I feel like I could probably stop all four pumps tomorrow, and never get engorged or uncomfortable. I do however, feel like it would tank my supply for at home, even though we nurse all evening, all night, and all day on the weekends. I don't know if I can trust my body to do this right away. Mostly, I don't think I want to make baby rapidly adjust to a lowered supply.

    So, just out of curiosity--did anyone here pump much beyond a year at work? How did that go, if you did?
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    I only work away one day a week but I kept pumping over lunch break until 15 mos because she would still take my milk while I was gone. We nursed 39 mos so really it didn't slow me down. It won't tank your supply if you're nursing all night. Think of all the 1 yr olds who don't nurse all night but nurse during the day. You'll be fine but I wouldn't drop more than a a session/week.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    536

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    I pumped up until only about a month ago -- my LO is almost 2. I did for a number of reasons -- worried about supply, she's a picky eater and I wanted her to have some more nutrients, she always requested milk at home (we don't drink cow's milk and we only use nut and other milks sparingly), and some days I work long hours. I don't remember exactly, but I think I pumped 2x a day until about 16 months or so. Then just once a day most days until recently when LO started refusing her milk when I wasn't home. It worked okay for me. I got to keep reading my books during pumping!

    Don't worry that most people pump-wean at a year -- you have to do what works for you! If you want to stop pumping, you can get lots of help for doing it. But if you want to keep pumping, that's fine, too -- it can't really hurt. But my supply did keep dropping, so by the end I was lucky to get 1.5 oz from both breasts after 15 minutes of pumping. Even if LO didn't start refusing, I was about ready to stop since I was getting so little. I think even if you keep it up it won't be worth it at some point!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    I think you just have to listen to your body and your baby. I pump weaned really slowly and then had to go back to it after a year for a while because of plugged ducts. But it was actually less annoying because I just did it when I had time, rather than at certain times of the day. And I only pumped once in the day. So maybe you can keep an open mind about whether you do want to keep pumping or not, but relax a little about having to pump quite as often or as long. And if everything is going fine with your morning/evening/nighttime nursing, you may find that you are ready to make the leap to no more pumping! A lot of it is psychological too - it's hard to get out of the mindframe of having to produce x number of ounces every day at work. But it's fine to ease yourself into it (or out of it) psychologically as well as physically! In any case, if circumstances permit it usually is better to go slowly. Even though you feel like you could stop all at once that might not be the case!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,424

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    After her B-day. Drop one session. See how that goes. Pump weaning can be just like actual weaning. It can be done a number of different ways. And you don't have to decide which way to go until you actually get to that place. See how your body reacts to letting go of one session.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    I definitely plan to drop one, if not two, sessions after her 1st birthday in November. I do sort of feel like at minimum, I would like to keep one pump a day just for supply purposes, for a while. She eats solids really well--I don't think I need to even bring cow's milk in. I just want a gentler transition to water from my milk.

    Pumping rights are protected here in NYS for three years after the birth of a child. I am mostly worried that my employer will start making me take the breaks without pay--I've been lucky so far, they pay me to pump right now! So I don't want to take advantage of the generosity and overstay my welcome,but I also really do feel pretty strongly that I will probably need longer than the year point to hang up the horns completely!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    Wow, didn't realize that about NY, that is awesome. Though I hear you about not wanting to take advantage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    That is great! Could you use lunch/break time to pump without going off the clock?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    We have to punch out for lunch, anyway. So ideally, I'd just pump then, and no one should be affected. As long as they are still providing me a space to pump, anyway--right now, I either pump in available exam rooms or open offices. Some of our clinical sites do not have space for me to pump, so I do not currently get sent to them, but I imagine they'll want to start rotating me there at the year point.

    More than anything, I suppose I just worry about having these conversations because I am the first person who has even pumped a full year in my company, let alone beyond! I need to just tough up and work it out, though. They've been good to me so far.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Pumping at work beyond a year:

    I always wanted to have my milk available for her when I'm gone. She always asks for it. So I pumped the whole time I worked until I became a SAHM @ 19 months. Now I struggle with the idea of leaving for just an hour or two without leaving milk for her. It's like our connection while I'm gone. When you pump wean how do you get the child used to the idea of no mommy milk available? esp. for those of us who don't do cows milk and use other milks sparingly?

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