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Thread: How to learn to wean

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    13

    Default How to learn to wean

    LO is 8 months. I'm returning to work and my shift can go anywhere from 5 to 6 hours long. I tried pumping for his eating when I'm gone, but I only get about 3oz out. I plan on using supplementing formula when I'm gone, then breastfeed when I'm home. I want to slowly cut back on breastfeeding and wean him without the engorged feeling. I find I'm only engorged after a full night sleep from 9pm to 7am. What is the best way to cutback to ease into weaning without pain?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,845

    Default Re: How to learn to wean

    First question: are you 100% sure you want to stop pumping? I know you're "only" getting 3 oz when you pump, but that pumping session is still helping you maintain supply for when you are together with your baby, and it's still 3 oz of breastmilk that your baby is getting, and 3 oz of formula that you don't have to spend money on. It's also a very typical amount to produce when pumping, particularly for an older baby. A lot of moms think "Well, if I can't pump a huge amount at a time it must mean that I shouldn't bother pumping", but that's not how it works!

    When you return to work, you are going to want to take your pump, even if you don't plan on using it. That way you have it if you need it- like if you get stuck at work because your car broke down, or because someone doesn't show and you need to work a double shift, or if you just get uncomfortably full. Even though you currently don't feel full unless you've had a full night's sleep, you never know what might happen over the course of the workday. You take your pump with you for the first couple of weeks at least, just in case.

    If you choose not to pump and find that you can go the full 5-6 hours without discomfort, great- no further action needed. But if you find that you are full and uncomfortable during the workday, and need to pump, and don't want to pump, here's how you go about weaning from pumoing:
    1. REduce the length of pumping sessions. Instead of pumping 20 minutes and completely emptying yourself out, pump for 15 and leave some milk in the breast. Once you can do a 15 minute session without discomfort, reduce it to 10 minutes, etc.
    2. Increase the spacing of your pump sessions. Instead of pumping after 2 hours, see if you can stretch it to 2.5 or 3 without discomfort. Once you can go 3 hours, see if you can stretch to 3.5, etc.
    3. USe hand expression instead of the pump. It's thought to be less stimulating to supply than pumping.
    4. instead of trying to empty the breast, aim to leave milk in the breast. You want to restore comfort, not create more milk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    london
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How to learn to wean

    When you return to work, you are going to want to take your pump, even if you don't plan on using it. That way you have it if you need it- like if you get stuck at work because your car broke down, or because someone doesn't show and you need to work a double shift, or if you just get uncomfortably full. Even though you currently don't feel full unless you've had a full night's sleep, you never know what might happen over the course of the workday. You take your pump with you for the first couple of weeks at least, just in case.

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