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Thread: Pumping schedule after 12 months

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    17

    Question Pumping schedule after 12 months

    I wasn't sure if I should post here (BFing 12+ mo), in Pumping, or in Weaning. My questions concern all three. I have so many questions I didn't want to try to patch together answers from searching on the forum.

    I am looking to hear the experiences of others in a similar situation and get advice.

    Situation:
    I work full time (40-45 hours a week during regular business hours) and pump 3x/day. Recently my kid dropped from 14-18 oz./day at daycare to about 6-8 oz. () after a two week vacation where I didn't get to nurse him as much. He is an eager food eater so he weathered the transition just fine. My officemate (who recently finished weaning her 14 mo. child) also assured me that the change was normal and fine.
    A month later, I'm still pumping 3x/day and only getting a pitiful 1-2 oz. per pumping. My officemate weaned her kid very quickly and completely at 12 months, but she is supportive of me continuing to pump in our office. I haven't felt any pressure from anyone in the office to stop pumping. I am very lucky that I can work at my desk while pumping. However, I feel conflicted. I can't shake this idea that I need to reduce my number of pumping sessions or stop pumping now that my son is a year old. The problem is that any time I drop one I get that much less milk. My production is almost a linear relationship with my number of pumping sessions. So if I pump twice I won't bring home more than 4 oz. I have also always found that I need 30 minute pumping sessions, which makes it that much more frustrating to finish a pumping session and feel that the amount of milk scarcely seems to justify the time expenditure. I'm so embarrassed by the ongoing holds on my calendar 3x/day that I hide my almost-empty bottles in the far back of the office refrigerator. (In reality, I doubt anyone's judging except for me!)

    Questions:
    • What did others do after 12 months? How and when did you taper your pumping schedule?
    • How did you replace milk in your child's diet? I've heard of people using whole cow's milk, toddler formula, and even just yogurt, and I'm not sure what's most appropriate or if it's purely a matter of preference.
    • How much dairy should my child need between 12 and 18 months? He is great at hydrating himself with water, so for now the breast milk in his diet seems to be more important for nutrition than for hydration. I assume that conventional dairy is an important source of calcium, protein, fat and (in the case of cow's milk) vitamin D.
    • Would it be weird to try to bump up my supply and keep pumping 3x/day until something changes (ex. son doesn't want milk)? Even if he still gets antibodies from occasional nursing, I would like for him if possible to get the vitamins and non-homogenized fat from breast milk in his diet. The food at my daycare is pretty lousy (lots of heavily processed meat products, white flour, sodium, and vegetables/fruits that are almost exclusively canned or frozen ) and I don't always have time to pack fresh, more nutritious food from home for him. Also, judging by the chunks of food that come out in his diaper in a completely recognizable form, I worry that the solids are less easily digestible than breast milk and hence less nutritious for him.
    • I don't want to completely wean. I would like to still nurse mornings and evenings and possibly on the weekends. My son and I still really enjoy it. I emphatically do not want to do night feeds- my son hasn't gotten up at night to nurse since he was a few months old and both of us like our sleep uninterrupted. What's the minimum people have had to pump at work to keep this up?
    Last edited by @llli*h26; August 20th, 2015 at 04:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    793

    Default Re: Pumping schedule after 12 months

    I will tell you what I did/am doing. It may answer some of your questions:

    I continued pumping after 12 months for both kids. I can't entirely remember how I went about it with my daughter, but I think it is similar to now. My son is 14 months, and I am still pumping 2x a day, but not for long (10 min. max each time). I work 40 hours a week, generally. He has 2 bottles while I'm gone, although rarely drinks the whole thing. We are trying to switch him to sippy cups with milk, but he's only good with water in them. I am considering switching to pumping once a day for that reason. My daughter drank her milk more consistently in the day. I cut down to one time pumping with her at some point (maybe 16 months??) and then stopped pumping altogether around 22 months when my sitter said she would take her milk and throw it on the floor every day!

    I know lots of people drop pumping or quickly ramp down around 12 months. We do not drink cow's milk in our house (we eat some cheese and yogurt) so I prefer my kids to have my milk during the day. I guess you'll have to decide whether you want cow's milk as a substitute for yours. I do think any time you cut pumping you will drop some supply, but again, it depends on how much you think your son is eating, if you're happy with what he's eating, etc. I didn't want any supply drop if I could help it with either kid. Pumping doesn't bother me for the most part, and after a year I can be flexible (pump only 1x a day when I'm really busy).

    There's no reason to wean your child if you don't want to -- and from your post it sounds like you don't. My daughter weaned herself when I was pregnant and she was about 28 months old. Not sure what my son will do. He's never quite loved nursing like she did and has never been good about drinking the milk I leave him (even when it was his only source of food!). It is said on here that nursing 3-5 times a day meets your child's requirements that cow's milk could substitute. I like to stay on the higher end of that, since we're vegetarian and my kids are both pretty picky eaters.

    Make sure to keep up with your pump if you continue pumping. It's easy to slack off with changing parts after a year, but I still try to do it fairly regularly.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Pumping schedule after 12 months

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    Make sure to keep up with your pump if you continue pumping. It's easy to slack off with changing parts after a year, but I still try to do it fairly regularly.
    Which parts should I replace?

    I was wondering about that because I sometimes have trouble with my Medela Freestyle and have to assemble and disassemble and fidget with the parts to get it to have decent suction and not make weird noises. I know the warranty is only good for a year so I figured it might just be limping along after that. But I've been having occasional issues with it for months now. I think the suction probably isn't great to begin with and maybe that's part of why I need long pumping sessions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    793

    Default Re: Pumping schedule after 12 months

    I've never used a Freestyle, but on the photos it looks similar to a PISA, which I have used. Make sure to change the little white membranes regularly. I even occasionally changed out the yellow parts and tubing, just to be safe (not frequently, like once or twice in the whole time I used it).
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Pumping schedule after 12 months

    I pumped 4x a day until about 19 months. Then went down to 3 for a few months. I quit pumping work fully at about 22 mos. I built up enough stockpile that I guesstimated he could continue having 6 oz at day care for about six months. My son had a cow milk protein allergy so it was extremely important that he not need supplement. I did a ton of research on cow milk and not only is it unnecessary but it is very unhealthy imo. I would do lots of research on the alternatives. You can easily supplement vit d with one drop a day liquid supplement or 20 min outsidewith skin exposed. Nuts and seeds and healthy fats like coconut and aavocado are all great sources of dietary fats. There's no right or wrong about pumping it is just an extension of your bf relationship. Dont let others influence you one way or the other. Do what yo feel is best for your baby and you especially factoring how much solids your baby is getting and willing to continue taking. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Pumping schedule after 12 months

    My advice would be to experiment with pumping more often, less time. Frequent, short sessions are more efficient than fewer, longer ones, says LLL: http://www.llli.org/faq/pumpwork.html

    I pumped at work until dd was 16 months old. I also felt self conscious about it after a while, but I didn't want to stop sending bm to daycare.
    Mama to a sweet kitty born July 2012 and monkey #2 born August 2015.

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