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Thread: Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

    My 11 month old is not eating any solids yet. He is tasting things but not actually eating anything yet. I have still been pumping three times a day at work but when he turns a year in July I will no longer be granted access to the pumping room as my workplace does not want to "set precedent." There isn't really anywhere private that I can go to pump on the sly during breaks except one room that may or may not work out...He generally nurses at least six times each night and morning before I go to work. I have a LOT of frozen breastmilk. If I end up not being able to pump at work, will my supply still be high enough to meet his demands when I am at home and on my days off? Or will my not pumping decrease my overall supply too much for a little guy who is still pretty much exclusively breastfeeding?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

    I should mention he is only eating about 6-7 ounces of milk while I am gone from 12:30-9:30 pm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

    Hi, I do have a couple suggestions.

    Can you talk to your employer about the fact that you will need to wean from pumping or risk discomfort or even possibly serious illness? It is a medical fact. If you are pumping 3 times a day at this point you cannot suddenly stop pumping at all on his birthday! Milk production does not work like that. You would want to gradually reduce the number and length of your pump sessions so that your milk production can gradually ramp down. How long exactly it would take to reduce your production safely is not knowable.

    You might also explain to your work that since your baby is not eating much in the way of solids, you need to continue to provide your milk for him in order to protect HIS health. No need to tell them you have milk in the freezer.

    Frankly you should be able to get doctors notes to back up both of the above, but that depends on the doctor.

    It sounds like you workplace is determined to stick to the letter of the law rather than the spirit. 1 year was written into the law because so rarely do mothers intend to pump beyond that and they pump wean earlier. But it is not like one year is some magic number.

    Hopefully if you are willing to do some compromising of your own, you can get your employer to see the wisdom of setting the precedent of reasonably accommodating the health needs of their employees and their families. You can look online for articles about negotiating about pumping at work.Many mothers pumped at work for years before there were any laws, and they did it by educating and negotiating with their employers.

    If I end up not being able to pump at work, will my supply still be high enough to meet his demands when I am at home and on my days off? Or will my not pumping decrease my overall supply too much for a little guy who is still pretty much exclusively breastfeeding?
    It is just impossible to know this with any certainty. If you stop pumping at work, your milk production will eventually reduce (it better, or you will be in pain or even sick) but whether it reduces "too much" just depends on the situation. Since your baby still nurses frequently when you are home, that will help s good deal to protect your milk production.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 21st, 2017 at 12:01 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

    Mostly you can depend onyour body producing enough after the year point because your supply is established. And honestly most women are ready to begin pump weaning at the year point. And that usually can happen in as little as 3 weeks, by dropping one pumping session a week, or as long as three months if you want to go more slowly. When I went back to work at the 14 month point, I went from nursing on demand to no pumping at all and continuing to nurse on demand while together and continued to nurse my son until he was 4.5 yrs old. But a major difference was that my son WAS eating solids whole heartedly by the year point so when I went back to work? He just drank water for the hours he was away from me and ate solid food. I don't know what exactly you are doing around solids and solids exploration but I want to encourage you to be diligent about including your child in meal time every night and giving the baby lots of choices. I also agree eith Maddie that you should get a doctors not saying that going cold tukey during the day could result in Mastitus and you missing work and that you be allowed to take at the very least a an extra month to pump wean. A lot can happen in the way of solids in 2 months if you are diligent about the ritual of meal time and lots of interesting choices.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

    Thanks for the replies. I work for the government, and they are very much about the letter of the law, so I do not see them being accommodating at all, unless I were to get a doctor's note demanding they let me...when I was pumping for my second child I was able to use a room for which I had a key, and I pumped for 14 months though I was given pressure from the management to pretty much quit as soon as possible after a year. He was also slow to eat solids. Now, with my third son, the designated room has its own special key that is kept in the supervisor's office and I have to get it every time I need to use the room and then return it. So they basically know every single time I pump. I don't think it is coincidence, either...it seems they think that pumping after a year is unnecessary and taking advantage, of what I do not know. All the supervisors are either older unmarried women, or men, so I wouldn't expect to garner much sympathy from any of them. I don't think it is a fight I want to pick with them. It is so ridiculous that it is amusing to me, but anyone who uses the "lactation room" has to keep an Excel spreadsheet log of what time of every day we use the room, and send this spreadsheet every quarter to one of the human resource people.
    My little one sits with us at every meal, I give him one or two things that he can eat, and he is willing to put his tongue on lots of things to taste them (while I hold it for him) but hasn't shown any interest in eating anything except a tiny bit of peanut butter or banana. We also get him to feed us, which he likes doing. He doesn't put anything in his own mouth for the most part. He also seems to not like the feel of banana, sweet potato, peaches, etc on his hands, but he will play with puffs. He just doesn't try to eat them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Need advice/thoughts on pump weaning

    Ok well that is infuriating. My husband works for the government of our state and I know how regimented everything can be. But sometimes it just takes getting to the right person with a perfectly reasonable request, and gradually reducing frequency and length of pump sessions so your body can adjust is reasonable. I do not know if you are union or have a HR person you could talk to or what but just a thought. Frankly in my opinion what they are doing with holding the key hostage is already inappropriate as it invades your privacy as well as obviously not aligning with the spirit of the law once again. Also, gotta say as a taxpayer it would bother me if my tax dollars are going to micromanaging of a mother's pumping schedule! Nutty.

    Anyway, if you cannot pump at work anymore (or soon) I suggest have a plan in place to deal with any discomfort at work, and that would probably mean hand expressing in the bathroom, hopefully no need for a key in that case. Even if you were not able to save that milk, this would help protect your health as well as protect you milk production going forward. Yes of course it is true that your milk production is long established, and as long as baby is nursing with high frequency your production is likely to continue to meet baby's needs. But there is no way removing 3 milk expressions a day from your routine is not going to reduce production somewhat. How much and how much it matters depends on the individual situation. But reducing the number of times milk is extracted is exactly how weaning happens, and the weaning process is not only baby nursing less but mom making less. It does not matter if it is a pump session or a nursing session that is eliminated, the mechanics of milk production is the same.

    Also for baby who is not thrilled with solids an excellent book is My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez. He offers a fresh, logic and science based perspective on babies and young children and food intake and growth that many parents find insightful and reassuring.

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