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Thread: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    How does one manage to go all day if your little one(s) doesn't empty you first thing in the AM?

    My twins are nearly 22 months. I work f/t, so after nursing each separately, pump (since they don't empty me in the AM), go to work, and then nurse again at bedtime. We nurse more frequently on weekends. Personal stress level is above "normal" because my husband and I have been separated several months (but are making progress at reconciling). He is not very supportive of continued nursing.

    I am torn, because I feel tethered to the house by nursing. I obviously cannot get to the office any earlier because I am nursing the children and then pumping, and I take a loooonnnnggggg time to pump. Because of the nature of my work, I cannot see clients after mid-afternoon...so nursing has had a very big financial impact (and I am the only breadwinner for all intents and purposes). Of course we have the intangible and irreplacable benefits of nursing, and I love the snuggle time.

    I guess what I'm looking for is some encouragement...or advice on what to do. I never expected to go this long. Heck, I almost didn't make it to 2 weeks. In an ideal world I would love to let them wean on their own, but right now I am not feeling optimistic about getting beyond the two-year mark.

    I am considering dropping the post-nursing pumping, but won't I get engorged? At this point I probably pump 2-3oz on one side and 4-5 on the other after the AM nursing. At night I think they nurse around 5-6oz from each side and pretty much empty me. (Early on I pumped more and would sometimes see 10oz on a side, but now I seem to be prone to plugged ducts and mastitis, so quitting pumping when I'm not otherwise emptying makes me nervous.) And what's going to happen to my nighttime supply?

    Geez, I'm long-winded! If you can get through this mess, I'd sure appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    Many mothers eventually stop pumping, yet continue to nurse their little ones for as long as everyone immediately involved is comfortable with it.

    If you'd like to drop that morning pumping, please go slowly. You can try stopping the pump after a few minutes, let the milk continue to flow, but don't pump til nothing else comes out. After a few days, reduce the pumping time by a few more minutes. The goal with this method is to slowly train the body to make less milk at this particular time of day. Since you already know that you're prone to plugged ducts and mastitis, abruptly dropping this pumping session may not be the best idea. By taking it slow, you're allowing your body to learn that it doesn't need as much milk at that time.

    The first few days, you may feel full. If it starts to get painful, try expressing just enough so that you're comfortable. Some mothers doing this process find that they need to go back to wearing breast pads for a few days, just until their body readjusts.

    Also during this process, try not stimulate your breasts when it's not necessary. Loose shirts rubbing up against your nipples can be enough to bring on a letdown; wearing a bra can help prevent this.

    You may find other ideas here: http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct03p183.html
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    are you pumping in order to supply them with milk while you're at work? i dropped my work pumping because my son wasn't drinking milk while i was gone. i feed him in the morning when i leave, when i get home at night and before he goes to bed. on the weekends, he nurses much more often. he's 16 months old and i stopped pumping when he was about a year. so if your twins aren't actually drinking that milk, then i would use the method from the pp and drop that session. it will be so liberating!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    They drink every drop I pump and ask for more, but they have a good and varied diet, so it wouldn't be a total nutritional disaster if they didn't get EBM, too. As it is, my supply dropped when I dropped the afternoon pump session a year ago, and not long after they needed CM to supplement. They would nurse when I got home from work if I'd let them, but then I wouldn't have enough at bedtime.

    My concerns are 1- my supply is tenuous as it is and it will tank if I quit pumping, and I won't have enough in the evening, 2- I'll have unending plugged ducts (and mastitis), and 3- guilt. I've done it all till now, so why not continue, except for selfish reasons? I'm forced to pump sometimes anyway, because they have overnights w their dad.

    I exclusively pumped for our eldest. When I finally stopped I did it by reducing pumping times while increasing time between pumps. I had no problem w plugged ducts then, and that method won't work anyway because I'm not yet trying to stop...I think.... This "mom stuff" is hard.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    First and Foremost! Go Momma! Working full time and Nursing Twins and doing it almost alone! You amaze me! I have a great support system and I am finding it hard to work and nurse one let alone two! You should be very proud of yourself for all you have and are accomplishing.

    With that being said, it's not 100% selfish to want to wean the pumping. You already said it would be financially beneficial for you and your family if that time could be devoted to work. I think if you want to wean that aspect then you should do so. Maybe some adjustments can be made to your diet to help with your supply concerns? Maybe some afternoon cookies and tea (oatmeal and mother's milk) of some fenugreek to help?

    Just some ideas, but moreso what to tell you how impressed I am by your accomplishment!

    Mommy to Gabriel born 12/25/06 Breastfed 12/25/06 - 12/09 and possibly here and there still
    Madelyn born 9/24/09 delivered at home and caught by my husband

    "To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    I don't think it'd be necessarily selfish to stop pumping. I used to pump double, and eventually, as D started getting more and more active, I decreased to just two sessions. Now I pump once a day and express when needed. I'm not donating as much at all, but my los needs are met with some to spare.
    In your case, I cant say if I would stop altogether or not. My lo goes to work wih me, so its totally different. He nurses on demand. You doing this alone with two nursng babes is just amazing. Whatever you decide just know that you are amazing!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    Quote Originally Posted by babydsmommy View Post
    Whatever you decide just know that you are amazing!
    Proud mom to,
    Cassi 5/17/85
    Carlie 3/16/96

    The Twinzillas
    Camryn 8/17/06
    Carson 8/17/06
    & their Shadow
    Caitlyn 4/22/07

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Considering giving up...or at least dropping pumping

    I graduated from medical school and started my very hectic intern year as a physician (60-80 hr/week working) about the time my daughter turned a year old. I cherished the bond that my daughter and I had through nursing; however, I felt that trying to continue to pump with my busy schedule would create more stress and feelings that nursing was a burden rather than a joy. So, I stopped pumping but continued to let my daughter nurse whenever she wanted when I was home with her.

    My daughter is now 21 months old, and I have been AMAZED at how well my body has adjusted my milk supply and allowed me to continue nursing without pumping. Despite my ridiculous schedule sometimes working days, sometimes nights, sometimes 30 hrs at a time, I still have enough of a milk supply to continue nursing, but I rarely get engorged.

    If I have a period of vacation or several days of a lighter schedule, my daughter does manage to build up more milk, so I do occasionally have to pump once on my first shift back to work.

    Otherwise though, my body has seemed to maintain the perfect amount of milk. I will be just full enough when I get home from work so that she can nurse.

    It really is amazing how well our bodies were designed to facilitate nursing our babies as long as is possible. Good luck, hope this is helpful!

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