Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: How much can you realistically pump?

  1. #1

    Default How much can you realistically pump?

    My daughter is 20 months old and still nurses a few times a day. I stay home, so I never pumped much, but when I did I was generally able to get 4-8 oz at a time. It has been about 6 months since I pumped.

    I really really really want my daughter to have breastmilk until she's 2, but I just don't think I can make it that long. I am really far past ready to be done, but every time I think about weaning her completely I feel too guilty.

    I'm wondering if there is some kind of compromise here? Would I be able increase milk production substantially so that I could pump 3 months worth of milk in say a month, or is this a crazy idea?

    The big reason I want to wean is because we are dying to have another baby and my body refuses to get pregnant while nursing (no period yet, yes I chart any and all fertility signs). So I'm kind of wondering if and when we have another baby if there might be a way to "hack" my fertility the next time by pumping a lot in the first year and stopping nursing at a year and giving pumped milk from 12-24 months. Is this at all realistic? I've been so blessed to be able to nurse my child, but we want a large family and having 3+ years between kids just isn't working for our family.

    Any thoughts are sincerely appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,601

    Default Re: How much can you realistically pump?

    Why do you feel guilty about weaning? Is it that your child does not seem ready, or some other reason? Because by this age nursing is very much not only for the milk but also for that act of nursing (to the child.) In other words I am not sure what the point of having tons of milk to give in bottles going forward would be if what is difficult for your child is no longer nursing. (Or the point of doing this for any future children who would be weaned at a year but still getting milk.)

    Also if one reason you are wanting to wean is to conceive, then I would strongly suggest not trying to increase your milk production at all, and certainly not to some high amount. I do not know about getting production to 3X your current level, but it is probably possible to increase production to some degree by removing milk more frequently. But, while it might be possible to increase production to a higher level then it is now, you would then have an even longer time before your body stopped making milk. And you would have a child who is probably even more interested in nursing because you would have so much delicious milk to offer! Even if you only pumped a ton and did not let your child nurse, which again does not make sense to me, if lactating is really what is causing you to not conceive, increasing your production would only increase the time it takes to conceive. Because it would be the hormones of lactating- your body making milk- that might in some cases cause a lower chance of conceiving, not your child nursing.

    I'm wondering if there is some kind of compromise here?
    The compromise that makes sense from a biological perspective is to allow the weaning process that is already happening to continue, and to encourage it to move a little (or a lot) faster for your own preference as you wish.

    Also, while nursing causes a delay in fertility returning, once it returns it does not typically cause a mom to not be able to conceive even when mom is lactating/baby is nursing. So, if your period is back and you are not conceiving after "trying" at the right times based on your cycle, I would suggest that you might want to look for other possible causes to not conceiving. If your period is not back, as is fairly typical at this age, it will probably be back within the next few months whether your child continues to nurse or not.

    For understanding your cycle and fertility signals better, a great book is Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

    So I'm kind of wondering if and when we have another baby if there might be a way to "hack" my fertility the next time by pumping a lot in the first year and stopping nursing at a year and giving pumped milk from 12-24 months.
    Yes you could, as of course this is how people nurse multiples. They make enough milk for 2, 3, etc. but having such high production in the first year when you have a singleton might end up causing assorted problems for your baby and you, plus you would need to do a great deal of pumping and to my mind, that could cause a quality of life issue especially the more kids you have.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 7th, 2017 at 09:09 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •