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Thread: Can I really stop pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Can I really stop pumping?

    I'm in a quandry about whether to continue pumping or not and hope some folks here can give me some guidance.

    DS is a bit over 16 months old. He nurses every night before bedtime and once during the night. If I'm home during the day (and always on weekends), I nurse before his two naps. I pump 1x per day at work - this was cut back from 2 about a month ago.

    I don't intend to stop the pre-night or middle-of-the-night nursing any time soon and intend to let J self wean off that when he is ready. I might want to let DH put him down for a nap or two w/out me and my breasts from time to time, but don't have a PLAN to wean off that really either. On the whole, this isn't about wanting to wean - but I wouldn't mind giving up pumping if that would work.

    So here are my questions: (1) will my body be ok with NOT pumping M-F during the day but still be OK with making milk evenings and nights and even days during the weekends? Will this be too confusing on my physiology and not work? I'm still - usually - able to pump 2-3 oz in my one session, though when I'm ovulating or menstruating that drops to 1-2. Our nanny insists that J drinks straight cow's milke better than mixed EBM/cow now so there is less of a need for me to provide EBM every day -- and I still do have some freezer supply.
    (2) are there enough benefits in the appx 2x per day BF sessions for DS that I'm not failing him by having it at that level - i.e., him not getting EBM in his cups during the weekdays.

    Anyone been through this or have any thoughts? thanks for any suggestions!
    -linda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    I stopped pumping when ds was about 11 1/2 months old. I wasn't getting all that much, and he took to cow milk really well. Not to mention that I was really, really sick of the pump. I decided that I would be a lot more likely to continue bfing well into his second year if I wasn't pumping... I know it sounds counterintuitive.

    Well anyway... although I wasn't pumping, I still continued to nurse during the day at least once on weekends. I never had any problems. Occasionally, I would be a little bit on the full side by the end of the day on a Monday, but not really uncomfortable or anything. Our bodies are incredible machines.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    1,198

    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    Thanks for the response. Maybe I'm being moved to this because three days this week now I've not gotten even 2oz when pumping it feels like more than it is worth to tote the pump, set up, try, try, try, try, hand express, wash up, drag home, wash parts, etc. DS has taken to cow's milk really well too, so that's a help.

    I wonder if I should still hand express - not to the point of stimulating a letdown - for a week or so if I feel any need. I had such a long haul with blebs, milk stasis secondary to blebs and plugged ducts that I don't want to risk having any more problems like that at this stage. Did you find you needed to do any relief stuff in the first days you stopped pumping??

    thanks again!
    -linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    281

    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    I really didn't have any problems. I think because I was only getting a few ounces with pumping anyway... my body was already fairly acclimated to not producing a lot during the day. I also had a nasty bout with mastitis and then thrush (ugh!) early on, so I was very careful to pay attention to how I felt. I think hand expressing to take off any pressure if you have it instead of pumping to let down is probably a good idea. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    89

    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    Hi Linda,

    Thought I would share my experience . . . dd is now 19 mo and we nurse 4x/day during the week (6 a.m., 8 a.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.), on demand on weekends, and we are trying to wean off the night feedings at the moment (she usually would nurse 1-2x/night at around 12-4 a.m). I was fortunate to have had dd at on-site daycare until she was almost 1 year old, so I was running over 1x a day to nurse until she moved into another daycare at that age. When she started at the new daycare we dropped the last workday nursing. I was worried that a) I would have oversupply/stasis issues (I struggled with these for a long time) and b) conversely, that my supply would drop so much that I wouldn't have anything for dd on mornings/nights/weekends. Actually it has turned out to be fine. I had some fullness for the first two weeks after dropping the daytime nursing--I would express a little by hand until I was comfortable--but since then my body has really adjusted. I had much less trouble dropping the last daytime nursing than I did with some previous ones . . . I noticed that since dd has been over a year old that the oversupply problems have really improved; why, I don't really know.

    Good luck . . . maybe it's worth trying to stop pumping for a few days and see how it goes? After we dropped the last daytime nursing, I toted my pump to work for weeks, I was so worried I would suddenly have a blocked duct or something during the day, but fortunately I never needed it.

    Best,
    Jill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    Thanks, both of you, for the really helpful responses and suggestions.

    I'm trying to gear myself up for not pumping at work next week - and am realizing that there is much more of an emotional component to it than I thought there would be! Even though I'm not doing this to wean, it still seems to be 'itching' at me somehow! I totall agree that I will have my pump with me - I'll see if I can get myself to leave it in the car, though and just bring in some bottles in case I express enough worth keeping!
    Thanks again... I will post an update as I get into this....!
    -linda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    3

    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    My DS is 11 months and is still breastfeeding 4x a day -- he also gets 2 or 3 4 oz bottles of organic forumla at daycare.

    I breastfed for nine months, and DS got EBM while I pumped for five of those months. I usually double-pumped 2x day, and got between 2 and 8 oz.

    As I got closer to DS 9months, I was only able to pump 2-4 oz total per day, regardless of what "tricks" I tried (oatmeal, breast massage, lots of water, relaxation, breastfeeding supplements, renting hospital pump).

    So I gradually started adding bottles of formula (with some guilt) to what he received at daycare, eventually getting to the current scenario. I really worried about maintaining my supply since I could pump so little -- but I figured we'd keep nursing until he was ready to be done.

    And two months later, he continues to be happy to nurse (and I'm very happy not to have to pump!) and we'll continue to do this as long as he wants.

    I'm sure it differs for everyone but I thought I'd share my experience, especially since I was struggling with what I thought was a low supply, but was probably a non-response to the pump!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8,018

    Default Re: Can I really stop pumping?

    Hi Linda!
    My DD is 13 ½ months old and hasn’t taken a bottle since she was about 11 months old. She’ll only take about 3-4 ounces of EBM via sippy during the day while I’m at work. She BFs about 4x per day (6 pm, 8:30 p.m., 2 a.m., 6 a.m. approx.) and at least one additional time during the day on weekends. I also have a small freezer stash. For about the past month or longer, I had been pumping once per day (6-8 ounces), but we haven’t been using all of it. In order to continue giving her some in the sippy and to keep my supply up, I have continued to pump about 2 days a week to keep my body in tune between weekends. This is a new experiment within the past two weeks, so I’m no exactly sure how it’s going to pan out.
    I just thought I would share how I’m dealing with a similar issue. I also think gradually cutting down the weekly pumpings might be good as far as preventing plugs, etc.
    Glad to hear from you!
    HTH!

    P.S. I use a manual pump so it’s not as much gear to tote around. I even pump in the car sometimes!

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

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