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Thread: How to cut down on pumping frequency?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    16

    Question How to cut down on pumping frequency?

    There I was, keepin' on keepin' on, pumping every 2-3 hours (with a longer stretch at night for rest) and building my milk supply, watching it slowly grow ... I ordered some fenugreek to help it along even more and was patiently waiting for it to arrive ... when the latest bump in the road happened:

    MASTITIS!! NOT FUN!

    But what really has me worried is what awaits me in the near future:

    First, my mom leaves in 2 weeks, which means I won't have the luxury of having someone else feed/change/comfort LO while I pump ... that will more than likely affect my current schedule of pumping every 2-3 hours.

    Second, work starts in 3 weeks, and then I DEFINITELY will only be able to pump about 4 times a day. (5 if I am lucky)

    So here's my question (finally):

    Do I need to gradually wean from 7-8 times a day down to 4? Or just wait until D-Day and drop sessions "cold turkey"? I've got 2 weeks to get the weaning process underway if I need to ... otherwise I'll just pump like a crazy woman until my mom leaves??
    FTM to Dante
    Birthday: June 15 2008 (Father's Day!)
    Birth Time: Crack of Noon
    Birth Weight: 8 lbs 4 oz


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,552

    Default Re: How to cut down on pumping frequency?

    I EP and I pump 6 times a day. Originally I started out with 10-12 times a day, but gradually cut down. Honestly, I just got lazier and lazier about pumping and started to go longer between sessions, but it worked out, and I just pumped more milk at each session. I have been pumping 6 times a day for the last 7-8 months.

    With plugged ducts or mastitis though, I would be nervous to cut out sessions. I would hold off on trying to cut them out. I understand that you are returning to work, but would it possible to pump more at home, even if you can't at work as often? I go much longer between sessions at work than I do at home, and it's worked out for me.

    Also, how long have you been pumping? How long are your pumping sessions now? For me I noticed that my pumping sessions got a lot shorter later on. Now I only pump for 10-15 minutes, and get about 10 ounces each time. In the beginning it took me 20-30 minutes and I got a lot less.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: How to cut down on pumping frequency?

    These are the facts, ma'am:

    Week 1: Started breastfeeding. For various reasons (bad latch, low milk production, jaundice, etc.) had to switch to pumping & supplementing
    Week 2-4: Pumping every 2-3 hours; except: middle of the night, and when LO has doctor appointments (once a week) ... currently producing enough milk for LO to have all BM during the day, 2 bottles of formula at night
    Week 5: ??
    Week 6: Mom leaves (yikes!)
    Week 7: Get back to work!

    Like I mentioned previously, I'll be able to pump once while at work (twice on a good day) ... but no more. Dem's the breaks
    FTM to Dante
    Birthday: June 15 2008 (Father's Day!)
    Birth Time: Crack of Noon
    Birth Weight: 8 lbs 4 oz


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: How to cut down on pumping frequency?

    If you go cold turkey and drop to five or six pumpings per day, I'd be worried about a return bout of mastits and, barring that, just a lot of discomfort as you'll be carrying a lot more milk than your breasts are used to.

    Can you pump more at night or in the morning before you leave for work to have more than five sessions per day? How often will you be able to pump at work? The general rule is to pump as often as your baby would eat. So, if LO is getting three bottles while you're gone, then pump three times.

    I EP every three hours during the day with a four month old. At times, when I'm lucky, it's while she's napping or playing happily for 20 minutes on her activity mat. But, I'll be honest, there are times when she doesn't make it the full 20 minutes and she spends some time crying. It's heartbreaking, but it's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make to be able to provide EBM for her. And, there are times I just have to cut the session short and go for only 10 minutes if her crying is desperate enough or started when I started pumping. It's tough some days but we manage and I still get all my pumping done. Granted, there are times when I'm pumping two hours apart or even four, but the ounces seem to add up either way.

    Good luck going solo! Hope all goes well and you can work out a routine for pumping and going back to work.
    Fran
    Mom to Anna, March 28, 2008

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