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Thread: Cutting back on pumping at 8.5 months w/o reducing supply

  1. #1

    Default Cutting back on pumping at 8.5 months w/o reducing supply

    I have been pumping since I returned to work when DD was 4 months old. She is 8.5 months now and in a wonderful in-home daycare roughly 8:00-5:30.

    Since starting solids (which she LOVES) at 6.5 months, DD has cut her milk consumption at daycare way down, often consuming no more than 5 oz while she is there. She has been congested a lot and also working on her first teeth and just isn't interested. She nurses in the morning, at pick up, after dinner, at bedtime, and usually at least twice overnight. She is growing fine, wets her diapers, and seems happy.

    I am not terribly concerned about her refusing milk at DCP - her older brother was a passionate bottle hater / major reverse cycler who refused more than she did and is just fine now. But it does mean that I am pumping way more than she needs, and I'd love to scale back.

    Right now I pump 3x at work, around 10:00, 12:30, and 3:00, and get an average of 13-16 oz total (by session: 6-7 oz, 3-4 oz, 3-5 oz). I have high lipase so my milk does not freeze well. I have to scald before freezing and have a lot in my freezer already. I still think it tastes weird and so don't trust my frozen milk much.

    If I cut back to 2x at work am I likely to see a major supply drop? I'm thinking of moving towards dropping the lunchtime pump. But I hear a lot about the 9 month pump slump and am afraid of hurting my supply in a way that decreases our chances of nursing until at least 2.

    With my first I pumped to 13 months and then bf at home only until 2 years 8 months (milk dried up in late pregnancy). Since he refused EBM entirely after 11 months, I had to toss a lot of frozen milk (local milk bank wouldn't take it since the newer stash was scalded milk and the older stuff from before I figured out the lipase issue was more than 6 months old even though it was in a deep freeze). I don't want to do that again.

    Any mama who have cut back on pumping around the 8-9 month mark? Or should I just stick to 3x for longer? At what point can I safely cut back? I'd love to have my full lunch hour back ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,107

    Default Re: Cutting back on pumping at 8.5 months w/o reducing suppl

    If you cut back to 2 pumping sessions, it's really hard to say what might happen. You might see a big decrease in supply. You might not see any decrease. Or you might see something in between those two extremes.

    I think you're right to be conservative about keeping the 3rd pump session. Maybe keep it for another month or so, and see if someone is interested in taking your older milk? It doesn't have to be the milk bank- a lot of people behave more informal arrangements.
    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
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Cutting back on pumping at 8.5 months w/o reducing suppl

    8.5 months seems a little early to cut back on pumping. Especially because it sounds like you are nursing 6 times at home, a lot of moms need at least 8 times per 24 hours and many need more than that to maintain supply. While you have a decent storage capacity it's not huge so you wouldn't want to dip below that magic number of nursing sessions per 24 hours to maintain supply. I can imagine that it's annoying to do all the scalding and freezing when your baby isn't even drinking it - agree with mommal about looking into other donation options.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cutting back on pumping at 8.5 months w/o reducing suppl

    Hello! I could have written this post myself - except - I only pump twice in the morning and afternoon and go over to daycare at the lunch hour to nurse.

    I have been doing this since my daughter went to daycare at 4 months. She is now 7.5 months and I actually came to the forums about to ask the same question - except go down from two to one. Lately she is taking in a lot of solids and eating table food, and her intake has gone way down and she sometimes skips that lunch session. I really don't have time to go back to work and pump when she skips nursing at lunch, so I just push up my afternoon session an hour. I personally have not seen a change in supply since she started skipping that lunch session and still have plenty of milk to give her for the day. Not saying you wouldn't have an issue, but it might be worth a try.

    BTW - so glad to know that I am not alone in this. My busy bee is just not a day eater and she loves food and drinking from the cup and only wants to actually nurse and snuggle at night!
    Last edited by @llli*johnsokr; March 15th, 2014 at 07:50 AM.

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