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Thread: Breastfeeding only once a day?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Breastfeeding only once a day?

    For reasons I won't go in to, several months ago my baby began refusing to breastfeed. He would only breastfeed overnight or early in the morning. At that time, I began (almost) exclusively pumping, with the exception of the once or twice he would nurse at night/early in the morning. He is now 8.5 months old, and if I continue to pump for 5-6 more weeks, I will have enough to get him to about 13 months. We have been fortunate not to have to use formula because I was able to keep to my supply up with pumping, but I honestly want to throw my pump out the window! I very much look forward to being done with pumping. However, I am happy to continue the nursing sessions that he will still do, as long as he continues to want to do them (especially with winter and cold season approaching!).

    My question is this... he is at the point where he occasionally nurses overnight, but usually just nurses once early in the morning. Can I keep my supply just nursing that one time? Or will I still need to pump once during the day/evening? I have nursed my prior three in the mornings and nights (basically twice a day) at some point during our breastfeeding journey for an extended period of time, so I know I can keep up my supply with twice a day, but I'm not sure about once a day. I would really, really like to stop pumping altogether, but I will still pump once a day if that means keeping up my supply so that he can continue to breastfeed until he is done on his own. Anyone nurse or pump just once a day for an extended period of time?

    Also - I am done trying to get him back on the breast. Again, I won't go in to all of it, but pumping for him is preferable to that fight, the resulting dehydration, etc. Also, I have tried to wake him up at night a few times to get an extra nursing session in, and that does NOT go well either. If it is not his choice, then it is not happening. This kid redefines stubborn.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Breastfeeding only once a day?

    My question is this... he is at the point where he occasionally nurses overnight, but usually just nurses once early in the morning. Can I keep my supply just nursing that one time?
    It depends on what you mean by keeping your supply. If your baby nurses once a day, you could expect your body to produce enough milk for a baby to nurse once a day, meaning, your body would probably continue to make a few ounces a day, for at least awhile. Another way to look at it is that you would probably produce about half what you produce when you are removing milk twice a day, a fourth of what you produce when expressing milk 4 times a day, and so on. Obviously it is not that exact but that would be the general idea.

    As it sounds like you have experienced, it is common (usually in later toddlerhood) where a child might nurse once or twice a day for many months, even a year or more. But when this happens, milk production is far down from what it was at the point there was more frequent milk removal. So, if you take away most milk removal, you will not continue to make what you make now (while pumping several times a day(?)) and you would not want to, because if you continued to make that much milk, but milk was removed only once a day, you would probably experience painful engorgement and related health issues.

    But this is not an exact science. Moms with larger breast storage capacity (this is different than breast size as far as outside appearance) can have less frequent milk removal and still make more milk overall than a mom with a smaller storage capacity. Also your personal milk production level matters.

    You do not say how often you are pumping now nor how much you get when pumping each day, nor how much baby drinks, so I am not sure what exactly would happen if you reduced down to once a day milk removal. What I do know is you want to make any such change gradually or you might end up with milk stasis (too much milk sitting in the breasts too long) causing plugs or mastitis.

    Another factor to consider is that you have a child who already hardly nurses at all and is at the prime age for a nursing strike. When an older child nurses once or twice a day long term, they are almost certainly doing so almost entirely for the comfort of nursing, rather than how much milk there is. So in those cases, in fact there may be very little milk, but a child of that age is less likely to care about that compared to a younger child or a child whose personality makes them a child who is nursing more for the milk and less for comfort. So whether or not you continue to make milk and how much does not address the possibility your child will no longer nurse even the one time some time soon.

    hope that answered your question?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; September 5th, 2017 at 02:32 PM.

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