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Thread: Pumping Is Wearing Me Out! Question for women that exclusively pump

  1. #1

    Default Pumping Is Wearing Me Out! Question for women that exclusively pump

    Hi,

    My son is 4 months now and I have been exclusively pumping since he was 1.5 months. Currently, I pump 5 times per day and I get about 6-7 oz. each time. Some days, he will need slightly more than that so I occasionally supplement with formula.

    I've gotten in to a routine of pumping at the same time every day: 8am, 1pm, 5:30pm, 10pm and 3am. With the exception of the 3am session, I make it through the days without too much problems. I have to pump for 45-60 min. but I've realized that part of the reason I have to pump so long is because I am stressed. So I've been trying to relax more and this has increased my supply/shortened the sessions.

    The problem is that my sleep scheduled has become so disrupted by this that I've been experiencing sleep paralysis. Meaning, I wake up before my body wakes up and I'm not able to move. I talked to my husband about it and he thinks that because I've been on this schedule, I'm beginning to wake up naturally around 2:30 (my alarm goes off at 2:45am) but my body is so exhausted. I know this sounds strange (yes, I'm going to see a doctor soon!)

    Well my question for women that exclusively pump is: can I train my body to make less milk at night so that I can sleep through? I could always pump more during the day if I could just get a good nights rest.

    Thank you!
    Jas

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

    Default Re: Pumping Is Wearing Me Out! Question for women that exclusively pump

    When I was EPing (from the time DS was a newborn until 17 months), I only pumped during night in the very beginning. Until about 10 months I pumped 6x during the day. I would pump right before going to bed (11pm) and then again when I woke up (6am). I would sleep in on the weekends sometimes and even go until 9am. It never caused me any problem, except some leaking which I just put up with. I know your body might be different, but for me waiting overnight never really caused a problem. I think if you get on a schedule your body just kind of knows what to produce when.
    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
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,357

    Default Re: Pumping Is Wearing Me Out! Question for women that exclusively pump

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sandballoon View Post
    can I train my body to make less milk at night so that I can sleep through?[/B]
    Yes. Eliminating the 3 am pumping session may result in a few uncomfortable nights of engorgement, but your body will learn that the milk it is making at night is not required, and it will therefore reduce production during the nighttime hours.

    However, if you eliminate that 3 am session, you may need to pump more frequently during the day in order to make up for that missed session. Often when a baby starts to sleep through the night, he increases his feeding during the day in order to a) boost mom's daytime production and b) get enough calories to see him through a long night of not eating.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Pumping Is Wearing Me Out! Question for women that exclusively pump

    Yes, you can eliminate the 3 am pumping. Many recommend going no more than 6 hours between pumping sessions though, so you might want to rearrange the other pumping times.

    There are a few ways to go about eliminating pumping sessions. You can drop it "cold turkey" but this might cause a few nights of discomfort and it's not a good a idea if you're prone to clogged ducts. Another way to eliminate a sessions is to start decreasing the amount of time you are pumping during that session. This takes a little longer but you probably won't experience any painful engorgement. So, if you are pumping for 45-60 minutes, try doing a few nights where you only pump for 40 minutes, then after a few nights only pump for 30 mins, and so on until you are down to about 10-15 minutes. At that point you can probably drop it all together and then, if necessary, re-space the other pumps. How quickly you reduce the time, depends on you. If you start feeling uncomfortable or are getting clogs, stick at that time for a while and don’t drop any further until you’ve got rid of them.
    Trish~homebirthing mom and surro mom to DD Kaelie (5/03) surro son Aidan (2/08) & surro daughter Ellyss Anne 6/09; Proud to EP!!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pumping Is Wearing Me Out! Question for women that exclusively pump

    I gave up the 3 am pumping when my son was about a month old. I found that I could pump longer when I woke up at 6 am. With the extra sleep, I made the same amount of milk with the one morning pumping at 6 as I did at 3 and 6 pumpings combined. It's worth getting the extra rest. I just had to plan to pump longer to keep the 6 am supply up.

    Good luck.

    Toni

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