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Thread: When is pumping not worth it anymore?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default When is pumping not worth it anymore?

    My DD is now 13 months old. I've been back at work since she was 10 months or so. I only pump once a day and have been gradually reducing time spent at the pump. I used to spend 35-40 minutes, yielding up to 10 oz., but now I only spend 15-20 minutes sometimes less and yield only about 3-4 oz. I barely ever feel engorged anymore, just heavier in the chest as the workday wares on. DD drinks a mix of soy milk and EBM at daycare, so only half of what I bring gets used.

    I'm starting to wonder if it's worth pumping for her anymore. It's getting harder and harder to get anything out of the pump (I have to do breast compressions to help the process), and I never have any time for myself at lunch.

    My only concern is whether or not DD will like drinking only soy milk, instead of her usual mix of EBM and soy. Aside from that, I'm SO READY to ditch the pump and just nurse during evenings and week-ends.

    Input anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: When is pumping not worth it anymore?

    I think you're the only person who can decide if it's time to hang up the horns , but what made the decision for me was my inability to let down with the pump. It happened around 10 months for me, and I went from pumping several ounces per pumping session to zero, as in less than a quarter of an ounce combined. I used fenugreek, ate lactation cookies, and guzzled oatmeal, but pumping was just not working anymore (I didn't have any problem nursing). I was really worried about it, and I think that made the problem that much worse. Thomas's dad finally said (gently and from a safe distance ) that maybe it was time to stop putting us all through that since he was nursing well and eating solids well. It was still a hard decision to make, but it was a relief not to have the constant worry about it anymore.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: When is pumping not worth it anymore?

    I don't know the answer, but I'm currently thinking about this as well. My daughter will be one at the end of October and I don't know if I'm going to continue pumping after that time or not. I'm kind of on the fence... we have exercise classes here at work that I would like to go to but cannot fit into my three pumpings a day schedule...

    I think if you're ok with her having the soy milk, you could go ahead and stop. Maybe add less EBM each day until it is just soy milk?

    And by the way, great output without doing compressions! I have to do compressions the whole time anyway - and I get about 12-16 ounces out of three 20 minute sessions.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW Ohio

    Default Re: When is pumping not worth it anymore?

    As Paula said, it's really up to you when it's time to hang up the horns. But for me... my daughter moved up to the pre-toddler room at daycare right about 13 months old, and there were no bottles allowed in the new room. She wasn't drinking milk all that reliably out of a sippy just yet then, but she soon picked it up (within a week of being in that room), and she began just drinking cow's milk during the day. I have to say... when I was finally able to quit pumping and just nurse her when we were together (mornings/evenings/weekends), it was the MOST enjoyable time of our nursing relationship. From about 13 months, until she self-weaned at 19.5 months, I GREATLY enjoyed our nursing relationship, and was so grateful to not have to worry about the pump anymore. I would say, if you are only getting a few ounces out of your pumping session, you could safely wean from the pump with little effort, and then just enjoy nursing your LO when the two of you are together!!

    Also wanted to say... I did have to drag the pump back out once after I pump weaned, and that was when I went on a business trip for 3-4 days and was away from her. But even then, I only pumped in the morning and bedtime, which was equivalent to when my DD was nursing. I came back home and she resumed nursing as if I had never left.
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09

    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: When is pumping not worth it anymore?

    It's not worth it anymore when you think it's the right time for you to stop.

    I waited until after DS1 was 26 months to stop... mainly because he was going to have to have oral surgery under general anesthesia and that was scheduled for a few weeks after he turned 2. I wanted to keep my supply up so I could nurse him before surgery since bm counted as a clear liquid and I also wanted to be able to comfort him after with nursing.

    Good luck with your decision and congrats for pumping so long!

    DS1 6/08/06
    DS2 5/26/09

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