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Thread: When to stop pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Washington DC

    Default When to stop pumping

    I posted a little while ago about when to stop pumping. A few people pointed out that if I stop pumping at least once a day at work it could affect my supply since my son still nurses frequently throughout the day when I am home. My son is 17 months old, and I still pump once a day around 11:30. I'm at work for about 9 hours, from 7:30-4:30. I'm okay with pumping once a day for now, but I'd really like to stop by the end of the summer. But, I don't want to stop at the expense of our nursing relationship. When is a reasonable time to stop pumping? And when could I do it so it doesn't hurt my supply?
    working mom to Pete, born 12/26/12, and Alice, born 2/20/15.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: When to stop pumping

    So any time you remove some demand from your breastfeeding equation, supply is going to decrease. There's no point at which you can stop pumping or drop a nursing session and still maintain the exact same level of supply. The question is, when is it possible to drop a nursing or pumping session without it causing a problem? And the answer is, of course, "that depends"! If your baby is happy to nurse even though supply is lower, and is already eating plenty of solids and getting some sort of breastmilk alternative (e.g. cow's milk, yogurt, cheese) during the day, then it probably doesn't matter whether or not you drop a pump session. But if the baby is less than a year old, or won't nurse when supply is lower, or isn't eating any sort of breastmilk alternative, then the best course is to continue to pump.

    Most moms pump wean at 12 months, so I personally think you have done your due diligence- and then some!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: When to stop pumping

    I agree with mommal! Just wanted to say that I am one of those moms who pump weaned at 12 months (for all three babies), my current LO is 26 months and still nursing happily. Of course, every mother-baby dyad is different, and some toddlers are more finicky about mom's supply than others. As far as I can tell the supply and demand equation still holds true at 2 years though - my supply seems to be a bit less by the end of the week, then picks up again after lots of weekend nursing. So you could try dropping the pumping session and pick it back up again if you notice a difference in your LO's nursing enthusiasm. I think it's hard to predict to what extent dropping the pumping at this point will affect supply - on the one hand, it could, but on the other, LO might actually nurse a bit more if supply is lower to get what he wants, so there might not be a big effect - you don't really know until you try, and I certainly think it would be reasonable to do so at this point (or at the end of the summer).

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